A Classic Dessert
We all have times when we need or want a fast and easy dessert. Perhaps one of the most beloved dessert recipes in fairly recent history is the ever humble but always delicious and satisfying Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. I think a better name could have been invented for this wonderful dessert, but from what I can determine, “dump” cake just came from a description of the instructions – “dump” everything into a baking dish!
If you’ve ever been to a church social, a family reunion or any other event where there is a potluck supper served, then you’re probably familiar with dump cakes. Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake would be a great recipe to teach a child or grandchild since there are a small number of ingredients and the results are almost always terrific!
Variations on a Theme
The original version was made with cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, a box of cake mix, and butter. Some versions of Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake add coconut and nuts also. Of course any kind of pie filling may be substituted for cherry. My husband’s favorite is cherry but my favorite is blueberry, which seems to go quite well with pineapple.
Yellow cake mix is probably the most often selected cake mix used when making dump cakes but then there are recipes that use chocolate cake mix, such as the Black Forest Dump Cake, which deletes the crushed pineapple and adds a can of pitted dark cherries and nuts. I have also seen recipes for Pumpkin Dump Cake, Rhubarb Dump Cake, Peach Dump Cake and Apple Dump Cake. There are no rules and no limits for what can go into a Dump Cake!
There are also variations in how a dump cake is assembled. One recipe I looked at recommended making the topping by putting the cake mix in a bowl and adding softened butter to it, then mixing these two ingredients together until the mixture achieves the texture of dry pebbles. Other recipes say to melt the butter and pour it over the cake mix which has been layered over the pineapple and pie filling layers. Yet another way to do this was to dot pats of butter over the cake mix.
When I was making the Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake, I tried the latter method – that is dotting the cake mix with pats of butter. There were areas of cake mix that the butter did not touch even after it melted, leaving dry cake mix in the topping. I remedied this problem by melting some butter and pouring it over the areas that were dry and baking the Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake for a little longer. From now on I will be melting the butter and pouring it over the layer of cake mix. Some dump cake recipes call for 1 stick of butter and some call for 2 sticks – I use enough to cover the cake mix layer, somewhere between 1 and 2 sticks.
Interestingly enough, I also found variations in the amounts of crushed pineapple to be used (8 oz., 14 oz. and 20 oz. cans) as well as whether or not to drain the pineapple. I don’t drain the pineapple because I want this dessert to be as moist as possible.
Any kind of nuts may be used in Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. I did not add nuts to the cake because my husband is having some dental issues but I added almonds to the whipped cream that I served on my portion of Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. If you have family or friends that can’t or don’t eat nuts for whatever reason, you might consider offering the nuts separately.
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
First, spread a layer of pineapple on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Next, spread a layer of cherry pie filling over the pineapple layer.
Spread the cake mix evenly over the pie filling layer. Dot butter over the cake mix layer OR melt butter and pour over the cake mix, trying to get all of the cake mix dampened with the melted butter.
Bake at 350°F. for 50-60 minutes, until topping is lightly browned. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, or your favorite topping.
Here’s the printable recipe:
- 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
- 1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1-2 sticks butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- In the prepared baking dish, spread the crushed pineapple. Layer the pie filling over the pineapple. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the pie filling, smoothing evenly.
- Pour the melted butter over the top, covering evenly.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until brown on top and bubbly.
- 1 cup nuts - macadamia, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc.
- 1 7-oz. bag sweetened flaked coconut
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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