Cherry Dump Cake

Cherry Dump Cake Recipe: Sweet, Simple, and Perfect for Any Occasion

Cherry Dump Cake dates back to the mid-20th century when convenience foods became popular in American kitchens. Cooks sought recipes that saved time without sacrificing flavor. The name “dump cake” comes from the simple technique: you pour or “dump” ingredients into a baking dish. This dessert entered the culinary scene during an era when canned goods and pre-packaged mixes were hailed for their practicality.

How It Differs From Traditional Cakes

A Cherry Dump Cake sets itself apart from traditional cakes in several ways:

  • Preparation Method: Traditional cakes require separate mixing of wet and dry ingredients, while a dump cake involves layering components directly in the baking dish.
  • Ingredients: Standard cake recipes use a variety of fresh ingredients, such as eggs and butter. A Cherry Dump Cake uses canned cherry pie filling and boxed cake mix.
  • Texture: Traditional cakes have a uniform, fluffy texture. Dump cakes, because of the layering method, feature a mix of fruity, gooey filling and a crispy, buttery topping.

Examples of other dump cake variations include peach dump cake and apple dump cake, where the same technique applies but with different fruit fillings.

AspectCherry Dump CakeTraditional Cakes
Preparation MethodIngredients dumped in layersIngredients mixed separately
Key IngredientsCanned cherries, boxed cake mixFresh ingredients
TextureGooey filling, crispy toppingUniform, fluffy texture

Key Ingredients Needed

Choosing the Right Cherries

For Cherry Dump Cake, canned cherry pie filling provides both convenience and consistency. Opt for high-quality brands since they generally use plump, juicy cherries and less corn syrup. This ensures a rich, authentic flavor. If you prefer less sweetness or more control over ingredients, choose a cherry pie filling labeled “low sugar” or “no sugar added.

Essential Pantry Items

Several pantry staples are essential for making Cherry Dump Cake:

  • Boxed Cake Mix: Vanilla or yellow cake mix forms the perfect base. Choose a good-quality mix for better texture.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter adds richness and helps make the topping crispy. Use one stick or 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces.
  • Nuts (Optional): Chopped pecans or walnuts add a crunchy texture. Use about 1/2 cup if desired.

Keep these items on hand to easily whip up this dessert anytime.

Step-by-Step Baking Guide

Preparing Your Ingredients

Gather the components for your Cherry Dump Cake. You’ll need canned cherry pie filling, a boxed cake mix, and melted butter. Ensure the ingredients are at room temperature. Open the cherry pie filling and the cake mix so they’re ready for quick layering. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

  1. Canned Cherry Pie Filling: Use two cans of cherry pie filling (approximately 21 ounces each). Spread the filling evenly in the greased baking dish.
  2. Boxed Cake Mix: Choose a yellow or white boxed cake mix (approx. 15.25 ounces). Pour the dry cake mix evenly over the cherry filling, ensuring it covers the fruit completely.
  3. Butter: Melt 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the cake mix.

Baking and Serving Tips

Place the prepared baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the cherry filling bubbles around the edges. Use a toothpick inserted into the center to check if it’s done—the toothpick should come out clean or with a few crumbs.

  1. Cooling: Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes in the dish. This allows the filling to set.
  2. Serving: Serve the Cherry Dump Cake warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
  3. Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to three days. Gently reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.

For variations, experiment with different pie fillings like blueberry or apple. You can also add chopped nuts or shredded coconut to the cake mix before baking for added texture.

Variations of Cherry Dump Cake

Gluten-Free and Vegan Options

Creating a gluten-free cherry dump cake involves substituting traditional cake mix with a gluten-free version. Choose mixes labeled gluten-free, ensuring no cross-contamination with wheat. For vegan adaptations, replace dairy products with plant-based alternatives. Use vegan butter or margarine instead of regular butter and opt for non-dairy whipped toppings. Combine these substitutions to produce a delicious dessert free from animal products and gluten.

Alternative Fruits and Toppings

Experimenting with various fruits and toppings introduces new flavors. Swap canned cherry pie filling with alternatives such as blueberry, apple, or peach filling. Adding toppings like shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips can enhance texture and taste. Consider mixing fruits—combine cherries with pineapples or strawberries for a unique twist. These variations keep the classic dump cake fresh and exciting.

Pairing Suggestions

Best Beverages to Complement Cherry Dump Cake

Choosing beverages that enhance the flavors of Cherry Dump Cake can elevate your dessert experience. Opt for:

  • Coffee: Strong black coffee or a latte accentuates the rich, fruity flavors of the cake.
  • Tea: Herbal teas like chamomile or mint offer a refreshing contrast to the cake’s sweetness.
  • Wine: Pair with a sweet Riesling or a light Pinot Noir to complement the cherry notes.
  • Milk: A glass of cold milk provides a simple, balanced pairing.
  • Family Gatherings: Its ease of preparation makes it perfect for large family events.
  • Potlucks: The crowd-pleasing nature and quick assembly time make it an ideal potluck dish.
  • Holiday Meals: The dessert’s festive look and taste fit seamlessly into holiday menus.
  • Casual Weekends: For a fuss-free weekend treat, Cherry Dump Cake offers a delightful end to any meal.


Cherry Dump Cake is a delightful and versatile dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re sticking to the classic recipe or experimenting with gluten-free, vegan, or fruit variations, this dessert is sure to impress. Pair it with your favorite beverages and enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness that Cherry Dump Cake brings to your table. Happy baking!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *