Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake is a super easy recipe using only 4 pantry ingredients. This delightful dessert is like a fruit cobbler, with a pie filling base and crispy top made with boxed cake mix!
This is one of my go-to recipes for just about every potluck or picnic we go to. I never bring home Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake leftovers. It’s that good!
It’s so quick and easy to make with just cherry pie filling, pineapple, boxed cake mix, and butter. It’s got the same flavors as my no-bake cherry delight with a crunchy cake mix crust on top!
Why Is It Called a Dump Cake?
The name may not be the most appetizing, but the final result is.
For this easy cake recipe, the fruit is literally dumped into a baking dish, covered in dry cake mix, and topped with butter.
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 cold butter and setting it on top of the cake mix.
You can make dump cakes with any flavor, like my pumpkin dump cake I make repeatedly during the fall.
You only need four ingredients for this Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake — cherry pie filling, canned crushed pineapple, boxed cake mix, and butter. I always have these in my pantry and fridge for last-minute potlucks and late-night dessert cravings.
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.
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.
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 18 ounces will be fine.
Cake mix right out of the box can be a bit clumpy. 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.
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.
I don’t like floury uncooked bits of cake mix sitting on top. 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.
Start with cold butter so it’s easier to slice thinly. You can get up to 50 slices per sick of butter if it’s sliced thin enough. I need only need about 10 tablespoons of butter this way.
You’ll get a crunchy topping all over the whole thing rather than just in spots.
How to Make Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- First, spread the cherry pie filling and pineapple chunks to a greased baking dish and spread it in an even layer.
- Then, sprinkle dry cake mix on top of the filling. Try to break up any clumps. You can use a sifter!
- Now, cover the top with thinly sliced cold butter pats. You want it completely covered to avoid dry cake bits.
- Finally, bake until the cake is brown and bubbly.
You can serve this cherry dump cake perfectly plain, with whipped cream, or even a la mode! No need to worry about cutting the perfect slice. Just scoop and serve.
What to Add to Dump Cakes
Adding more toppings is easy!
Add a good handful of nuts on top of the sliced butter. Putting it on top of the butter will prevent dry cake powder in the finished product.
Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are my favorite chopped 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 to prevent burning.
Do You Serve Dump Cake Hot or Cold?
It 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.
If your cake is at room temperature, heat individual pieces in the microwave for 15 seconds or until hot.
Do You Need to Refrigerate a 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.
It 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 getting soggy too fast.
It will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but the top will get less crunchy within a few days at best.
How to Make Individual Dump Cakes
Need some cake, but don’t need a WHOLE cake? Make a single serving dump cake!
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 cake mix.
Bake until the top is brown. It won’t take the full baking time, but it will take at least 30 minutes.
Refrigerate the leftover pie filling, pineapple, and cake mix in airtight containers and use it again when you want more.
Alternatively, use a small cake pan and half of the ingredients.
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Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- 9×13 baking dish
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish 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 thin 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.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is as browned as preferred.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Start with cold butter, it’s easier to cut into slices.
- Any regular size cake mix can be used, a couple of ounces in package sizing won’t matter.