Cherry Dump Cake Recipe – 10 Step-By-Step Instructions

The cherry dump cake recipe is a light, delicate, and family-friendly recipe that you can enjoy on any occasion. Let’s discover how to make cherry dump cake in this blog.

What is a cherry dump cake?

A Cherry Dump Cake is a simple and delicious dessert that is popular in American cuisine. The name “dump cake” comes from the ease of preparation—ingredients are essentially “dumped” into a baking dish without much fuss. This dessert typically consists of canned or frozen cherries, a dry cake mix, and butter.

What is a cherry dump cake?

Cherry Dump Cake Recipe

The magic of the dump cake is in its simplicity—there’s no need for mixing or additional steps. The butter melts into the cake mix, creating a crisp, buttery topping, while the cherries provide a sweet and fruity filling.

Cherry Dump Cake is often served warm and can be enjoyed on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. It’s a favorite for potlucks, family gatherings, or any occasion where a quick and tasty dessert is desired. The versatility and minimal effort required make it a go-to recipe for those who want a delicious treat without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Ingredients to make cherry dump cake

To make a basic Cherry Dump Cake, you will need the following ingredients:

Canned or Frozen Cherries (or Cherry Pie Filling)

You can use either canned cherries, frozen cherries, or cherry pie filling. The choice depends on your preference and what’s readily available.

Dry Yellow Cake Mix

A standard box of dry yellow cake mix is commonly used. This provides the cake layer on top of the cherries.


Typically, unsalted butter is used. It’s sliced and placed on top of the dry cake mix. As the cake bakes, the butter melts and helps create a delicious, buttery crust.

Ingredients to make cherry dump cake

Ingredients to make cherry dump cake

Chopped Nuts

Some recipes may include chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, for added texture and flavor.

Instructions for making cherry dump cake

Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to the temperature specified on the cake mix box, usually around 350°F (175°C).

Prepare the Baking Dish

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a similar-sized oven-safe dish to prevent sticking.

Layer the Cherries

Spread the cherry pie filling or canned/frozen cherries evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.

Sprinkle the Cake Mix

Evenly sprinkle the dry yellow cake mix over the cherries. Use a spoon or spatula to level it out.

Add Butter Slices

Place the sliced butter evenly over the dry cake mix. Ensure that the butter slices are distributed across the entire surface.

Optional: Add Chopped Nuts

If desired, sprinkle chopped nuts over the top for added texture and flavor.

Bake in the Oven

Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake according to the time recommended on the cake mix box, usually around 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden brown, and the filling should be bubbling.

Instructions for making cherry dump cake

Instructions for making cherry dump cake

Check for Doneness

Insert a toothpick or knife into the cake portion to check for doneness. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs (not wet).

Cool and Serve

Allow the Cherry Dump Cake to cool for a bit before serving. It can be served warm, and many people enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


Serve and enjoy this quick and delicious dessert!

Tips for optimizing the flavor of cherry dump cake

To optimize the flavor of your Cherry Dump Cake, you can experiment with various tips and additions. Here are some suggestions:

Choose High-Quality Cherries

If using canned or jarred cherries, opt for high-quality, natural cherry pie filling or whole cherries. If using frozen cherries, ensure they are of good quality and not overly sweetened.

Add Lemon Zest or Juice

Enhance the fruity flavor by adding a bit of fresh lemon zest or a splash of lemon juice to the cherry filling. The citrusy notes can brighten up the overall taste.

Mix Cherry Varieties

Combine different varieties of cherries for a more complex flavor profile. For example, mix sweet cherries with tart cherries to balance sweetness and acidity.

Spices and Extracts

Experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or a pinch of almond extract. These can add depth and warmth to the flavor. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.

Sprinkle Sugar on Top

Before baking, sprinkle a bit of sugar on top of the cake mix. This can create a slightly crunchy, sweet crust on the cake.

Tips for optimizing the flavor of cherry dump cake

Cherry Dump Cake Recipe

Quality Cake Mix

Choose a high-quality yellow cake mix or experiment with different flavors like vanilla or butter pecan for added richness.

Butter Quality

Use high-quality, unsalted butter for a rich and buttery flavor. The butter plays a crucial role in creating the golden-brown crust.

Add Nuts for Texture

Consider adding chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts. The nuts not only provide a pleasant crunch but also contribute to the overall flavor.

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream

The warmth of the Cherry Dump Cake pairs exceptionally well with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The contrast in temperatures and textures enhances the overall experience.

Allow the Flavors to Meld

Let the Cherry Dump Cake cool for a bit before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, and the cake can firm up slightly.

In conclusion 

Cherry dump cake recipe is a unique journey from delicate cherries to a golden cake surface. Let each piece of cake that ends your meal be special and filled with joy.