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How to Make Dump Cake

Rhubarb Dump Cake

Learn how to make a dump cake in a snap right here! Learn how to make a dump cake in a snap right here!  Dump cake, while not the most attractively named dessert, has a serious loyal following, especially on the potluck circuit. One reason may be because it's so easy to literally “dump” ingredients into a baking dish, put it in the oven, come back 45 minutes later and have a homemade dessert. The other is that it tastes so good. 

The History of Dump Cakes

While the exact origins of this dessert are not crystal clear, many people believe the cake made its first appearance around the time cake mixes arrived in modern kitchens. Since then, people have been learning how to make a dump cake and serving one for dessert. 

Originally a true convenience dish, the first versions of dump cake used canned cherries, canned pineapple and cake mix, with all of the ingredients coming together in a dish that resembles a cobbler when it comes out of the oven. In addition to being convenient on the ingredient side, the recipe is convenient on the time side, too. Making the cake right in the pan you bake it in means easy cleanup. 

How to Make a Dump Cake: Basics

Discovering how to make a dump cake starts with learning baking basics.  If you're a novice, our How to Measure video will introduce you to the basics steps for baking cakes and cookies. Once you’ve mastered the the basics, you can move on to the specifics of how to make a dump cake.

How to Make a Dump Cake: Fruit


First, choose your fruit. Canned fruit (in the form of cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple) is the most traditional choice, but fresh can also be an option. Our dump cake recipe features fresh rhubarb sweetened with sugar and JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin. Berries (fresh or frozen) and fresh apples, peaches and pears are just a few of the other fruits that make great dump cakes.  

How to Make a Dump Cake: Flavor

Next, pick your cake flavor: White pairs well with all fruit, but if yellow is your fave it works just as well. Some fruits, cherries especially, pair well with chocolate. They lend a Black Forest Cake flavor to your dessert.

How to Make a Dump Cake: Next Steps

Once you’ve chosen your fruit and cake, you’re ready to go with the next steps of learning how to make a dump cake. Some recipes have very few steps: Put the fruit in a baking dish, pour the cake mix in, top with sliced butter, put it in the oven. Our Rhubarb Dump Cake recipe has some special extras: The fresh rhubarb is sweetened with sugar and JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin, which also thickens the natural juices of the rhubarb as it cooks. In our recipe, the cake mix is blended with water and melted butter and poured over the fruit as a batter. This will give you an even topping, more like a cobbler. Then bake: Now you’re on your way to an amazing dump cake. 

We hope this page helped you figure out how to make a dump cake. Now, it's time to get baking!