Every now and again you want something so classic, so comforting, that nothing else will do. This easy Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake is cobbler-like in texture and it’s truly one of the most flavorful desserts you’ll ever eat.
If you enjoyed my classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe, you’re really going to love this one! Instead of being cake-like, this version is a rich, gooey dessert you’ll eat in a bowl with a spoon. (Yum!)
This is one of those cake mix recipes you’re going to love!
What is a Dump Cake?
Maybe you’ve made a few dump cakes over the years. Traditionally, you take a can of fruit (your choice), place it in the bottom of a baking dish, add a dry cake mix on top, then cover in slices of butter. It bakes into a cobbler-like concoction that’s simple and delicious.
This Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake started with a random idea: What if I turned a pineapple upside-down cake into a cobbler? Instead of using maraschino cherries, I could use cherry pie filling!
I had a feeling I wasn’t the first to think of this idea, and sure enough. . .I wasn’t. This impressive dessert has already made the rounds. I was just late to the party!
I went on a search on the web and found plenty of recipes, but none of them suited me. I wanted something super moist and filled with flavor, more cobbler than cake.
So, of course I adjusted the recipes I found online. What I came up with is crisp on top, warm and sweet in the center, with the tart bite of pineapple on bottom.
Best of all, it can be whipped up in a hurry with no trouble at all!
History of Dump Cakes
How long have dump cakes been around? It would seem they became popular in the 1960s. According to an article titled The History of Dump Cake (from Quaint Cooking) this recipe really took off in 1968 and 1969. An article about the recipe joked, “You may not like the name but you’ll certainly like the results.”
Honestly? I love the name. I think it’s adorable. It kind of reminds me of that cowboy stew the Boy Scouts used to make, the one where they dumped in a can of this and a can of that until it formed the perfect meal.
Hey, anything that’s easy makes me happy. I’m a busy gal, after all.
So, dumping a can or two of fruit in a dish and covering it with dry cake mix? Yes, please!
A History of Boxed Cake Mix
Let’s take a quick look at boxed cake mixes. This recipe just wouldn’t be the same without the addition of one!
So, when did companies start making and selling boxes of cake mix?
According to tastingtable.com Pillsbury launched a chocolate cake mix in 1948 (which included powdered eggs).
In 1951 Duncan Hines cake mixes got their start. This brand called for fresh eggs. Duncan Hines very quickly outranked Pillsbury in sales.
These days, you can find cake mixes in abundance–everything from Betty Crocker to Duncan Hines to Pillsbury. A lot of stores sell their own name brands, too.
You guys know this site is all about using and doctoring boxed cake mixes. I love turning simple boxed cake mixes into all sorts of different things!
So, the idea of dumping dry mix on top of fruit? Hey, I’m all about thinking outside of the box, so this delicious recipe is right up my alley! And I’m a huge fan of an easy recipe!
Ingredients for this Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
As I mentioned above, this recipe only requires five ingredients. You might already have some of these in your pantry! You’ll find a full printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but for now, here’s a quick glance at what you’ll need:
- crushed (or diced) canned pineapple, drained
- cherry pie filling
- brown sugar
- yellow cake mix (or golden butter cake mix)
- cold butter (stick butter, not tub)
That’s it! Just five simple ingredients.
How to Make this Luscious Dessert
This is going to come together so easily you’ll wonder why you didn’t think to make it before!
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with non-stick spray.
Open your can of pineapple. Strain well, removing excess juice. (You won’t need the juice for this recipe, but it’s tasty to drink!) Place pineapple into the bottom of the dish. Spread evenly.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the pineapple.
Now it’s time to add the cherry pie filling. Take care to spread it as evenly as you can over the brown sugar/pineapple concoction.
Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the cherry pie filling. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t smoothed mine down. Rougher would made for a crunchier topping, I think.
You can add the half cup butter one of two ways: either grate it (like you see in the picture below) or slice it into thin slices and spread around. (Note: this is one recipe that doesn’t call for room temperature butter. The colder, the better!)
Place your pan into a preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden on top. (I was surprised that it took so long, frankly, but I think that’s because I didn’t strain the pineapple of its juice. The added moisture took awhile to cook.)
Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack. You’ll want to leave it for a few minutes so that the fruit has time to gel. (It will thicken a bit as it cools.)
Scoop out a large spoonful and place in your favorite bowl.
Top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you choose.
What to Expect from This Pineapple Upside-Down Dump Cake
This is one of the easiest desserts I’ve made in a while. It’s going to shock you with its flavor and texture! There’s something so luscious about the combination of pineapple and cherry pie filling. (Truly, amazing!)
And trust me when I say that the cake on top is really sweet and delicious. It adds just the right amount of crunch! You’ll want to make sure you get a little of the topping in every bite!
When all is said and done, this dish is going to make you feel like you’re having one of the most lush cobblers you’ve ever eaten. It’s tropical, it’s rich, it’s sweet, it’s tart. . .it’s literally everything in one bite.
And best of all, it’s one of the easiest dishes you’ll ever make. It took me less than five minutes to get all of the ingredients into the dish.
This would be the perfect dessert to take to a church potluck or a family reunion. It would also be terrific for breakfast! (Hey, it’s fruity!) No matter where you serve it, you’ll be asked to bring it again and again. That’s how good it is!
How to Store this Easy Pineapple Dump Cake
Honestly? I doubt you’ll have any left over to store. That’s how good it is. Just know that if you choose to refrigerate it, the moisture from the fruit will cause the topping to soften and it’s tough to get it to crisp back up. (Ask me how I know!)
You can always freeze in individual portions and re-warm in the oven or toaster oven.
Variations on this Recipe
This is one of those great desserts you’re going to come back to, time and time again. You probably won’t want to change a thing about this delicious dump cake.
Me, though? I’m so adventurous! I’m already thinking of ways to change up this quick dessert for next time. Here are some of the ideas floating around in my brain:
- Coconut. I know, the mind reels at the idea of more fruit, but I might consider sprinkling sweetened coconut on top of the cake mix about 10-15 minutes before the cake is done.
- Pecans. Y’all, I’m nuts about pecans. Pun intended. I think that chopped pecans on top of this delicious dessert would be just the ticket. I would probably just put them on half, though, in case some of your guests aren’t a fan.
- Rings of pineapple. I mean, why not? You could place rings of pineapple down, then add your brown sugar and cherry pie filling, and finish off as directed above. You would drain all of the juice off, of course, so the dump cake probably wouldn’t have to bake as long.
- Not a fan of Pineapple? No worries! Make this into a cherry dump cake (or cherry cobbler) by using cherry pie filling without the addition of pineapple and brown sugar.
- Any other pie filling you like! You can choose from apple, peach, blackberry, blueberry, or any other flavors you enjoy! Skip the brown sugar if you do! (And you’ll probably want to skip the pineapple, too, since pineapple won’t pair well with many of these.) Peach dump cake is a favorite in my family!
- Make it in the slow cooker! Check out this Slow Cooker Cherry Dump Cake! It only requires three ingredients! (Easy-breezy!)
- Make a sugar-free version: You can use a sugar-free cake, no sugar added pineapple, and sugar-free cherry pie filling. (No kidding!)
- Make a pumpkin dump cake! (This would be great as a Thanksgiving treat!)
- Use a white cake mix. You can get by with using white instead of yellow, if you like.
- Make the cake batter according to the box’s directions and pour over the fruit. (I haven’t tried this option, but I’m guessing it would be yummy.)
- Make the cake batter according to box’s directions using crushed pineapple instead of water. Pour over cherry pie filling and bake. (Sounds delicious! I might have to try this one!)
- Add melted butter to dry cake mix and stir until it’s streusel-like, then use it to top the pie filling and pineapple.
Other Sweet Desserts from Out of the Box Baking
I’ve got so many easy dessert recipes, y’all! The best part? You can make most of these in a hurry!
Here are a few you might want to try:
- Old-Fashioned Pound Cake: This one will take you back. Granny would’ve been happy to serve this to her guests. You will be, too!
- Easy Doctored Brownie Mix with Mint Chocolate: There are no words to adequately describe how good these are, y’all.
- The Best Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (with Chocolate Mayonnaise Frosting): I was so stunned at this one, folks! It’s absolutely over-the-top delicious!
Let me know what you think if you try my Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake or any of these other recipes, including my classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake From a Box Mix.
I’m so excited to hear your thoughts!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- Ingredients for this Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
- As I mentioned above, this recipe only requires five ingredients. You might already have some of these in your pantry! You'll find a full printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but for now, here's a quick glance at what you'll need:
- * (1) 20 ounce can crushed (or diced) canned pineapple (drained)
- * (1) 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
- * 1/2 cup brown sugar
- * 1 yellow cake mix (or golden butter cake mix)
- * 1/2 cup butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
- That's it! Just five simple ingredients.
How to Make this Luscious Dessert:
This is going to come together so easily you'll wonder why you didn't think to make it before!
First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
Open your can of pineapple. I used crushed pineapple and strain it, getting rid of the excess juice. (You won't need the juice for this recipe.)
Place pineapple into the bottom of the dish. Spread evenly.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the pineapple.
Now it's time to add the cherry pie filling. Take care to spread it as evenly as you can over the brown sugar/pineapple concoction.
Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the cherry pie filling. Don't bother smoothing it out. Rough is fine!
You can add the butter one of two ways: either grate it (like you see in the picture below) or slice it into thin slices and spread around.
Place your pan into a preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden on top. (I was surprised that it took so long, frankly, but I think it's because I didn't strain the pineapple of its juice. The added moisture took awhile to cook.)
Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack. You'll want to leave it for a few minutes so that the fruit has time to gel. (It will thicken a bit as it cools.)
Scoop out a large spoonful and place in your favorite bowl. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, if you choose.
This cake doesn't store well because the moisture causes the topping to go soft. You probably won't have any left to store, anyway!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 3g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.