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Cherry Pineapple dump cake is a super easy recipe using 4 basic ingredients. A delightful dessert that’s similar to a fruit cobbler, but with a crunchy topping.
HOW TO MAKE CHERRY DUMP CAKE
Cherry Pineapple dump cake is so simple to make. The fruit is literally dumped into a cake pan, mixed together then spread out to make sure every piece has fruit in it.
The cake mix isn’t exactly dumped in the pan, but it is simply sprinkled over the top making sure any large dumps have been removed.
The hardest part of this cake is slicing the butter and setting it on top of the cake mix.
The second hardest part is waiting for it to come out of the oven and digging in!
CHERRY PIE FILLING
Canned cherry pie filling is used in this recipe. Homemade cherry pie filling can easily be used as a substitute.
I usually use the 21-ounce can of filling with the normal amount of cherries in it. I have used the larger cans and cans with “more fruit” successfully. This cake really is so simple it’s hard to mess it up.
Crushed is the best kind of pineapple for this recipe. It is easier to mix with the cherry pie filling and spreads out more evenly.
Pineapple tidbits can be used, but drain at least half of the liquid off of any pineapple that isn’t crushed. Leaving that much pineapple juice in a dump cake will make it soggy.
THE CAKE MIX
Boxes of cake mix have gotten smaller over the years and some boxes still have more weight in them than others. Any full-size box 15.25 ounces to 16.5 ounces will be fine.
ADDING THE CAKE MIX TOPPING
Cake mix right out of the box can be a bit clumpy. This doesn’t matter when making a regular cake or cupcakes. It does matter when making a dump cake of any kind.
The cake mix is not going to be made, it is going to be sprinkled on the top. There are two ways to deal with clumps.
I usually grab a handful at a time and sprinkle it over the fruit filling. This allows me to break up the clumps as I go.
A second solution is to use a small mesh strainer. Add the cake to the strainer and tap it over the mixed fruit in the pan.
Once the cake mix has been added, the cake mix needs to be spread out as evenly as possible. An uneven layer of cake mix will result in the butter running into the low spots and pooling.
The cake mix can be gently patted down. Pushing too hard will cause the cherry and pineapple mixture to squish outsides or even through the cake mix.
THINLY SLICED BUTTER
I don’t like floury uncooked bits of cake mix sitting on top of my dump cakes. To avoid this problem I use cold butter sliced thinly rather than melted butter that’s poured on top.
I don’t use thick slices placed randomly, I am talking about covering every ounce of that cake top with butter! Use slices that are about 1/4-inch or thinner.
Cold butter sliced thinly, I can get about 50 slices per stick. I need only need about 10 tablespoons of butter if I slice it thin enough.
Yes, it is a little more work, but this way makes a crunchy topping all over the whole thing rather than having blobs of super buttery and crunchy parts surrounded by dry and dusty parts.
How long do you bake a dump cake?
For the crunchiest dump cake, bake for 45 to 60 minutes in a 350 Degree F oven. For a softer dump cake topping bake just until the topping is golden brown.
When baking for less time, the topping is likely to go soft within a few hours.
It can be cooked longer than 60 minutes for a super dark crust. I don’t recommend much longer than an hour though, burnt butter and cake mix will ruin a dessert.
ADDITIONS TO CHERRY PINEAPPLE DUMP CAKE
To make a cherry pineapple dump cake with nuts, simply add a good handful of nuts on top of the sliced butter. Putting nuts on top of the butter will prevent dry cake powder in the finished product. Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are my favorite nuts for this recipe.
Coconut goes well with cherries and can be added to the top of the cake during the last 20 minutes of baking. Alternatively, toasted coconut can be sprinkled on top after the cake is finished.
HOW TO SERVE DUMP CAKE
Dump cake can be served warm or at room temperature.
It’s rich enough to be served on its own with a simple glass of milk but my favorite way to serve it is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s the perfect combination of hot and cold.
Heating room temperature dump is cake is as simple as zapping it in the microwave for 15 seconds or until hot. 30 seconds may be required for refrigerated dump cake to heat through.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CHERRY PINEAPPLE DUMP CAKE
Cover loosely with a pan lid, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil. It will keep at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours before it starts to pick up the humidity and start to soften.
Cherry dump cake does better in the refrigerator if storing longer than 18 hours. The butter in the cake mix will solidify some and prevent the crust from turning soggy too fast.
It will last in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Can you freeze dump cake?
Making a dump cake is so fast it would take longer to prepare it for freezing than it would for making. Literally, this thing takes less than 5 minutes to put together.
I suppose you could freeze a baked dump cake. I’m thinking it will be pretty mushy when it comes out and thaws though.
Instead of freezing an uncooked or baked dump cake, I would refrigerate or freeze the separate components and just put together a new one.
How to Make a Mini Dump Cake
Smaller servings of dump cake can be made by using smaller baking vessels.
For individual serving size, use an oven save custard dish. I use my 4-ounce Pyrex custard cups. Add 1 tablespoon of pineapple, 1 tablespoon of cherry pie filling and top with about 2 tablespoons of cake mix. Slice the butter into thin slices and use just enough to cover the dry cake mix.
Bake at 350 Degrees F until the top is brown. It won’t take 45 to 60 minutes, but it will take at least 30 minutes.
Refrigerate the leftover pie filling, pineapple, and cake mix in airtight containers. Use this to make fresh dump cake when you want more.
Alternatively, use a small cake pan for half of the ingredients. This may be slightly thinner than a full dump cake. For a thicker cake, use 2/3 of the ingredients.
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- Preheat an oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Spray a 9 X 13 cake pan with baking spray.
- Add cherry pie filling and pineapple to the bottom of the cake pan and stir to combine. Spread the mixture as evenly as possible in the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the fruit in the pan. Break up an large lumps of cake mix.
- Slice the cold butter into thin slices, 1/4-inch or thinner is ideal. Thee may be butter left if the slices were thing enough. I usually use about 10 tablespoons of butter.
- Place the butter slices over the entire surface, leaving as little space as possible. Overlapping areas of butter are fine. Any spaces not covered with butter will be browned powdery bits of cake mix.
- Place the cake into the preheated 350 Degree F oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is as browned as preferred.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.