The famous dump cake

This was almost the post where I tell you about majorly screwing up the easiest recipe of all time.

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In honor of Father’s Day, I had to make the Pilot his all-time favorite: dump cake! Target didn’t have crushed pineapple, so I figured it would be no big deal if I used pineapple chunks. I even considered giving them a whirl in the food processor, but Liv was snoozing while I made this and instead of lugging the food processor outside, I just said a prayer it would work. As I was putting in the oven, my brain was immediately flooded with doubt. “It’s a 4-ingredient recipe with THREE STEPS. I think you’d have to work to screw this one up, but then again I always surprise myself….”

Thankfully, turns out that it’s a forgiving recipe. It came out just as glorious as we all remembered it. 

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It’s not much to look at, but I promise it will be one of the best and easiest desserts you’ve ever had. It’s almost like a crispy cobbler, but better, since it involves cake mix 😉 With ice cream on top, it’s basically the quintessential summer dessert.

Here’s how the dump cake works:

Dump cake

You pour a variety of ingredients into a dish and bake it until golden brown. No stirring, no measuring; you dump, bake and eat. Enjoy piping hot with ice cream, by itself, cold out of the fridge the next day… 😉 

Here are the ingredients for a classic dump cake, courtesy of the Pilot’s stepmom. She used to make it often while he was growing up, so I like to make it every now and again as a little tip of my hat to his childhood. (And let’s be real, I’m pretty obsessed with it, too.)

The ingredients:

-1 can cherry pie filling

-1 can crushed pineapple (diced works too)- do not drain

-1 box yellow cake mix

-1 stick of butter, melted

1. Pour the cherry pie filling into a baking dish.

2. Top with the crushed pineapples.

3. Crumble the cake mix on top. (That’s right; just the mix! No adding eggs or oil or anything like that.)

4. Pour the melted butter on top, but try to do it evenly so it makes little dots to cover the entire cake.

5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. 

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What’s your favorite super easy dessert?? Mine: make healthy cookie dough. Eat it.

It’s barre thirty for this girl 🙂



It’s giveaway time! Check out the details on the week 1 workout post (<— click to enter). You don’t have to be participating in Summer Shape Up to enter the giveaways <3

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  1. I guess I have been missing out for almost 30 years, as I have never heard of such a cake! I could see this going over really well at family bbqs.

  2. I love dump cake and am so excited to see it in your blog!! The easiest recipe I know is combining a box if cake mix with a can of pumpkin. Bake and eat!

  3. I can’t say I’ve ever had a dump cake before, but thanks for the tutorial! I think my healthy dessert faves are banana soft serve and fruit salad. I could eat both forever!

  4. Looks delicious! Do you think it would work with a natural canned fruit instead of the cherry pie filling to cut down the sugar a little?

  5. Yum! This looks simple and delicious!

  6. I’ve heard of dump cakes before but never made one, it’s looks great! I’ll have to save the recipe for a big get together, otherwise I can almost guarantee I’ll end up consuming an absurd quantity of it.

  7. Can I just say, one of the best things about your blog is these awesome, easily pin-able, save-to-my-phone-able, all-the-text-is-in-the-image-able, super-clear-and-easy-to-understandable pictures?! I love them! Honestly I know lots of other blogs and websites have great recipes, workouts, etc., but there’s nothing like the convenience of these easy-to-follow pictures. Thanks Gina!

    Oh, and my favorite easy dessert… Does buying frozen yogurt from Yogurtland count? ;D If not… Fruit. Growing up, we had fruit for dessert EVERY DAY. As a result, I’m pretty good at peeling and cutting up fruit. I was later surprised to learn that normal people eat stuff like cake and ice cream for dessert. You can imagine college (read: unlimited, buffet-style dining hall with tons of real desserts) was not a healthy time for me….

  8. This was a great post to see! I have made this before – I used fresh peaches – and it turned out awesome.

    I have a work BBQ tomorrow and was at a loss for what to make. Problem solved!

  9. What a simple cake to throw together! It looks amazing!

  10. This look delicious!! I am going to have to give it a try sometime!

  11. Jessica says:

    This is actually the cake I request from my mom every year on my birthday. It is the best.

  12. I have always heard of dump cake, but have never had the joy of eating it. This looks absolutely delicious. I must make this for our next BBQ!

  13. I wonder if this would work with just a can of apple pie filling or sliced apples and cinnamon…

    Nommmm. Is it bad the butter sounds like the best part? ha

    • Fitnessista says:

      i always salivate while pouring it haha

    • Michelle says:

      It works well with any combos of pie filling/fruit. I don’t think you can just use pie filling because you need the liquid from the fruit. I have made it with apple pie filling and peaches also apple pie filling with pears. The last one is good for fall!

  14. My mom used to make this all the time when i was a kiddo. We left the pineapple out though. Just cherries for us! YUM! Now I NEED to make this. 🙂

  15. OMG! This looks heavenly! Unfortunately, I always stay away from baking *unless for an occasion when we have somebody over* because I have zero control when it comes to eating it hahah! xoxo Olena

  16. We love dump cake in our family. I do not make it very often because I could eat the whole pan. My mom has a version that is made with apple pie filling and caramel sauce and then you put cake mix and butter on top. It is amazing as well.

  17. Wow, flashback! I used to make this for friends all the time in high school and college!
    And it’s DEFINITELY best straight-from-the-fridge (and straight from the pan) the morning after… 😉

  18. I’ve never had a dump cake before. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I like how it’s so simple!

  19. Love this! Never heard of dump cake. I was actually skeptical when I read the title, but it makes perfect sense now. Apple dump cake could be in my future for a holiday.

  20. My mother in law asked me to make this last summer while we were on vacation. She told me exactly what to do (same as you have done but without cherries). I remember thinking there is no way this is going to turn out right, especially since you don’t stir anything. I was shocked when it came out of the oven and tasted so AMAZING! And , generally, I’m not a big fan of cooked pineapple. Total convert!

  21. Yum! This looks so good and so easy! I am pinning this one for sure! Do you think you could make it camping in a dutch oven?! That would be perfect!

  22. We were just discussing a potluck at work on Thursday a group of us are having and I said I would make dessert and now see this – this is happening! Perfect for the time crunched and looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Yesterday I made a FABULOUS Nutella Souffle that I adapted from Laura in the Kitchen. It was soooo good and super easy!

    I omitted cream of tartar (I didn’t have any and other recipes didn’t use it anyway) and added a pinch of cinnamon. It actually was enough for 3 soufflés…and you must dust the inside w/cocoa powder…it totally makes a difference!

  24. I have to make this for my teenage boys! They will love it!! Have you ever varied the fruit filling? I’m wondering how apple pie filling would work? We loooove apple pie and crisp around here 🙂

  25. It’s one of my favs…. and a favorite at work, when I bring it.

    Few things I do diff ~ Once I add both cans of cherry pie filling & crushed pineapple ~ I do mix it around in the pan before adding the cake mix. I also always add chopped pecans or walnuts. And, I don’t melt the butter. I just cut up in lil pieces a stick of butter ~ and spread it out evenly over the top. 🙂

  26. I have made it with apple pie filling and blueberry pie filling. But, cherry is my fav =)

    I can’t believe there are so many that haven’t heard, nor eaten a dump cake!! 😮 Run to the store now and get the ingredients and make it. HA!!

  27. Oh that looks awesome! Definitely trying it!

  28. Yum! Dump cakes are soooo good! I will have to give this one a try soon. I have a recipe for a rhubarb one that I used to make a lot but I kind of forgot about it. I don’t think I’ve made it for a couple of years. Might be time to put some dump cake back in my life. That’s a classy sentence! 🙂

  29. This kind of reminds me of a cobbler, and I love desserts like that! Im sure a nice cold scoop of vanilla ice cream would go perfectly with this right? 🙂
    Also, always wanted to take a barre class!

  30. This sounds perfect for summer! Now my mouth is watering for tart cherries!

    My favorite summer dessert recipe is fruit pizza–sugar cookie topped with a cream cheese/fluff mixture and sliced fruit. So good!

  31. Becca Lynn says:

    This cake is a favorite in our house with one addition: chopped pecans! So good 🙂

  32. We do a version of this in the summer that we call “Cheatin’ Cobbler” You can use fresh fruit in place of the cherry filling! It’s a *little* lighter. I just cut up some fresh strawberries in to a layer on the bottom. I’ve also used fresh blueberries. I use a can of drained crushed pineapple (liquid retained). I layer the fresh fruit and then the crushed pineapple and sprinkle about 1 TBS of Sugar in the Raw over it. Then the cake mix. Then the melted butter. Then the pineapple juice. Bake. GREAT version for a BBQ. It seems like the fresh fruit would not add enough liquid, but it does!

  33. We add chopped walnuts to our dump cakes as well! I’m not interested in desserts without a little crunch! 😉

  34. laura johnson says:

    Hi Gina! I really enjoy your blog and just wanted to let you know that I tried the dump cake and my whole family loved it 🙂 Also, because we are taking a trip down to La Jolla in July I signed up for Sparkcycle with the free “first ride” promo you posted. Thank you for all your inspiration!

    • Fitnessista says:

      i’m so glad everyone like it! and enjoy sparkcycle; it’s a ton of fun!! let me know how it goes 🙂

  35. Smoothies! When I want something sweet fast, I make a smoothie– I love adding chocolate chips and barely mixing them in, so there are chocolate chip chunks in it. I also make your cookie dough breakfast cereal often- that is dessert to me!

  36. Jennifer Lioy says:

    I’m making this a second weekend in a row! Bringing to friends house tonight!

  37. I do peach dump cakes with homemade banana from Blue Bell. Guuuuuuuurl !!!!!!!

  38. Dump Cake is the Best! Our family makes it with: crushed pineapple, shredded sweetened coconut, yellow cake mix then butter slices covering the entire top. So so good. Reading this makes me want it RIGHT NOW!

    Speaking of delicious things: have you tried the pumpkin pie ice cream sandwiches from Whole Foods? They are amazing. Pumpkin ice cream with graham cracker cookie to make the sandwich. You must get these ASAP if you haven’t had them.

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