Cherry Dump Cake

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This cherry dump cake is the easiest dessert recipe ever! Grab a few bags of frozen cherries, then top them off with cake mix and butter and you've got a delicious, crave-able dessert with minimal effort.

cherry dump cake in a round white dish on a marble surface

Last month we published our pumpkin dump cake and it has been so popular that we wanted to bring you another seasonally-appropriate spin on it. This cherry dump cake is the perfect thing to bring to your holiday gatherings – especially when you're short on time (this one brings all of the cherry pie flavor with none of the fuss!). It has a sweet cherry filling and a crisp, rich, buttery cake topping.

Why is it called a dump cake?

You may be wondering why this is called a dump cake. Whereas most cake recipes involve mixing a bunch of ingredients together to form a batter, for this cake you simply dump all of the ingredients into the pan, then bake. We love this minimal approach!

Cherry Dump Cake Ingredients

You'll only need 3 simple ingredients to make this dump cake! Here's what to add to your next grocery list:

  • Frozen Cherries – to start, you'll need 3 pounds of frozen cherries. Many cherry dump cake recipes opt for using a can of cherry pie filling, but we found that between the sweetness of the cherries and the cake mix, using just plain frozen cherries works fine! In the summer months, you can also make this with fresh cherries, but using frozen saves you the step of pitting them.
  • Dry Cake Mix – you'll also need 1 box of yellow cake mix. We use King Arthur's gluten-free yellow cake mix, but any yellow cake mix will do just fine! If you want to put a chocolate cherry dump cake spin on this recipe, simply swap the yellow cake mix for a box of chocolate cake mix!
  • Butter – finally, you'll need 3/4 cup butter (or 1.5 sticks of butter), because butter makes EVERYTHING (especially dump cake!) better! Another reason this recipe is totally fuss-free? No need to use melted butter, you'll just slice your cold butter and top with that instead!
frozen cherries in a round white dish on a marble surface to make cherry dump cake
cherry dump cake batter in a round baking dish on a marble surface
frozen cherries topped with cake mix and butter in a round white dish on a marble surface to make cherry dump cake

In addition to those 3 super simple ingredients, you'll also need to follow these EASY instructions to make (and then enjoy) this cherry dump cake!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the Frozen Cherries – dump the cherries into the bottom of a 4-quart baking dish or cake pan.
  3. Top with Cake Mix and Butter – sprinkle the yellow cake mix over top of the cherries, then slice the butter and place the butter slices on top of the cake mix (making sure to distribute the butter evenly).
  4. Bake – bake the dump cake in a 350°F oven for one hour and 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cherries are cooked down!
  5. Top with Ice Cream + Enjoy!

Do you serve dump cake hot or cold?

While you can serve this either hot or cold, we recommend serving it hot – preferably in a bowl with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped pecans!

cherry dump cake in a white bowl with a scoop of ice cream on top

How long does cherry dump cake keep?

Cherry dump cake keeps for about 5 days. We recommend covering it and storing it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer.

Variations

While we chose to keep this recipe super simple, here are a few ways you can make it your own!

  • Add Sweetener – While we think cherries are sweet enough on their own, if you like yours a bit sweeter about 1/4-1/2 cup of white sugar, brown sugar, or even maple syrup adds a perfectly sweet touch here.
  • Add Extract – about a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract adds another layer of flavor to this yummy dessert.
  • Make it Dairy-Free – You can make this cake dairy-free by using vegan butter or coconut oil in place of the butter.
  • Add Nuts – sprinkle 1/2 cup of sliced almonds or chopped pecans over the cake in the last 15 or so minutes of baking for extra crunch.
  • Add Crushed Pineapple – Mix about 1 cup of crushed pineapple in with the cherries for a slightly tropical treat.
  • Mix in Other Berries – Any berry will work well here, just make sure you wind up with 3 pounds of fruit total!

We hope you love this easy dessert as much as we do!

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Cherry Dump Cake

cherry dump cake in a round white casserole dish

This cherry dump cake is the easiest dessert you'll ever make, and doesn't sacrifice flavor!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the cherries in the bottom of a 4 quart casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle yellow cake mix over top of the cherries.
  4. Slice the butter and place on top of the cake mix, distributing evenly.
  5. Bake at 350 F for one hour and ten minutes*, until the top is golden brown and the cherries are cooked down.
  6. Serve warm with ice cream!

Notes

  • If using fresh cherries instead of frozen, you'll only need to bake for a total of one hour.

Keywords: Fresh cherry, gluten free, vegetarian, dessert, thanksgiving

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Recipe rating

  1. Jennifer says:

    Maybe this is a stupid question, do I prepare the cake mix according to the box instructions first? Or just dump the cake mix powder as is on top?

    1. Caitlin says:

      Just dump it right on top. I like to make sure it evens out a. It and fills any pockets.

  2. Courtney says:

    Would a grain-free cake mix (such as Simple Mills) work in this recipe?

    1. Kristen says:

      The Simple Mills cake mix will have about half the amount of cake though, right? (They’re a lot smaller than King Arthur.) Might want to keep that in mind and adjust accordingly.

  3. Beth says:

    My husband is allergic to cherries, have you tried it with another fruit?

  4. Elizabeth Molleker says:

    Will using ghee work

  5. Carly says:

    Preheat to 375, but lower to 350 while baking?

  6. Mindy says:

    Why are there 2 different temperatures…one for preheating and one for baking? Seems one must be a typo…?

  7. Rebecca says:

    Peaches?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Peaches work great in this recipe!

  8. Crytal says:

    This looks fantastic! Do you think I could bake it in a 9x 13 pan? I don’t have a 4 quart baking dish.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’ll work just fine, Crytal!

  9. Jenn-Jenn says:

    recipe instructions say PEACHES not cherries.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thanks for catching that! Just fixed it!

  10. Jenn-Jenn says:

    King Arthur through your link at Amaz says it’s $24 per box.
    VitaCost has it for $6 or $7 per box.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh, so good to know! It looks like it’s out of stock there right now, but we’ll certainly keep an eye for when it is restocked!

  11. Mallory says:

    I made this yesterday, and it’s really yummy! Next time I think I’ll add a little lemon juice to the cherries as they felt like they were missing some acid. I’ll definitely keep this one saved though (and it’s really easy to make vegan/dairy free needed, if you use non-dairy butter, like Mioko’s).

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you enjoyed this one, Mallory! Thanks for the tips!

  12. Emily says:

    This was so good! I used the organic berry mix from Trader Joe’s and Miyokos butter since we had vegan guests and it turned out wonderfully! I’m not sure if it was because of the butter substitute, but I ended up baking mine for around 1 hr, 40 min to get the crust to brown up. It’s a very forgiving recipe because even with the extended bake time, nothing got overdone. I can’t wait to try other fruit variations this summer! This recipe is a keeper!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s so great to hear, Emily!!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    2. Annie says:

      Does the fruit have to be frozen? I have a bunch of fresh blackberries from our garden! Is it a must that I freeze them first?

    3. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Fresh works, Annie!