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.

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!

How to Make

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!

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
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°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!

Video

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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!

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.

Cherry Dump Cake

4.18 — Votes 23 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This cherry dump cake is the easiest dessert you’ll ever make, and doesn’t sacrifice flavor!

Ingredients  

Instructions 

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

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 500
Keyword: dessert, Fresh cherry, gluten free, thanksgiving, vegetarian

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.


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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

    1. We’ve never tried it, Cricket, so we can’t say for sure! I’d be afraid that it’d be too liquid-y. Please let us know how it goes if you do try it!

    1. Hi Bonnie! I don’t think that will work since the fruit releases juices during cooking and adds moisture plus flavor. -Team FF

  1. 4 stars
    Easy and delicious, but I would prefer it to be less sweet. I used a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix and fresh cherries. I may try the recipe again if I find a cake mix with less sugar. Or I might try it with a scone mix instead of cake mix. Anyone tried to create something less sweet & have tips? It’s just such an easy recipe! Love it.

    1. So glad that you enjoyed the ease of the recipe! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. -Team F&F

  2. 5 stars
    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. That’s so great to hear, Emily!!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    2. 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. 4 stars
    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. So glad you enjoyed this one, Mallory! Thanks for the tips!

    2. question: what are your thoughts on using the king Arthur chocolate cake mix? I am thinking black forest vibes. maybe in a crock pot for a pot-luck

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

    1. 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!

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

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

    1. 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.

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

    2. No such thing as a dumb question. I’ve asked dumb questions many times. It’s not because we are dummies, simply
      not into certain topics. Pittsburgh Pa. viewer.