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:

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
Yields 8
A fast and easy dessert to make when time is short. Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake uses only 4 ingredients.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  2. 1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling
  3. 1 box yellow cake mix
  4. 1-2 sticks butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the melted butter over the top, covering evenly.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until brown on top and bubbly.
Optional ingredients that may be added
  1. 1 cup nuts - macadamia, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc.
  2. 1 7-oz. bag sweetened flaked coconut
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Take another look at this classic recipe when you need or want a dessert that’s sure to please.  It’s great for events with many people but it’s also great at home when you’re snowed in with your family! Enjoy!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!


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Fast and Easy Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake — 20 Comments

  1. I’ve never made dump cake, but my husband loves cherries. I need to make this for him for Valentine’s day. Thanks for sharing on the “whats for dinner” linky!

  2. Hi Helen, My husband loves cherries too! Hope you’ll try making a dump cake – it’s fast and easy! Thanks for hosting! Blessings, Janet

  3. What wordpress template are you using on your website? Is it from these guys by any chance: http://www.nuttythemes.com

  4. This certainly is easy! Thanks for linking up at the Let’s Get Real Weekly Link Party. Be sure to join us next week, Thursday at 5 p.m. EST! Tweet and pin.

  5. Can you believe that I just (an hour ago) pulled this recipe from the bottom of my file! It was a favorite in the sorority house when I was in college. Their variation had chopped walnuts or pecans. I remember it very fondly. At a reunion a few years ago I passed the recipe around and haven’t looked at it since. Small world! Thanks

  6. I do love cakes with cherries! but more cherries please! ? Looks yummy; glad you shared it with Fiesta Friday!
    Hope you’re enjoying the party! :)

  7. Hi Mila, I saw a version of the dump cake made with chocolate cake, a can of cherry pie filling and a can of cherries. It was called Black Forest Dump Cake. Or perhaps you could use 2 cans of cherry pie filling and leave out the pineapple? Enjoy! Blessings, Janet :-)

  8. Hi Liz, Glad to bring back a fond memory for you! My original recipe had nuts in it but my husband has some dental issues so I leave them out for him. I don’t know how long this recipe has been around but I know I first obtained it from a lady I went to church with in the late 1980’s. Enjoy! Blessings, Janet

  9. That is an amusing name, but definitely an quick and delicious dessert. I imagine you could make a lot of interesting variations too.

  10. Hi Hilda, The variations could be endless! I plan to try the Black Forest Dump Cake at some point – using chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling and a can of cherries (instead of pineapple). Sounds decadent! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, Janet

  11. Hi Patty, Thanks for your comments and for stopping by! I’ll see you this week on Let’s Get Real Link Party! Blessings, Janet

  12. Hi Joseph, The theme my site uses is called Weaver Xtreme. It’s a free theme. My husband also has a website and he also uses it – we’ve both been happy with it. Hope this helps, Janet

  13. Hi Carol, I just happened to go through my spam file and found all these kind comments from you! I don’t know why your comments are going to my spam folder! Anyway, thanks so much for your kind comments – sorry I had not responded earlier but didn’t receive them. See you this week on Sharing Your Cup! Blessings, Janet

  14. We would just love your Dump Cake, it looks delicious. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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