If you've never tried this Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake recipe, you need to put it on your to-do list. Immediately. This classic dump cake is one of my all-time favorite easy desserts! It's ridiculously simple to make and tastes crazy good.
Why you'll love pineapple cherry dump cake
This Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake is insanely good. It's one of those things that when you try to explain it to someone they are like, "yeah, none of that sounds amazing."
Delicious dump cake recipes are the best thing to serve no matter what the occasion. And these flavors together are like a party in your mouth.
Related: Crockpot Cherry Dump Cake - a cherry dump cake without pineapple!
What is a Dump Cake
Yeah. You read that right. This is called a dump cake. Dump cakes are my favorite because they require hardly any work on your part but taste like pure magic.
It's a classic open-and-pour situation. So quick. So simple. And I think this is the original dump cake recipe. The one that has delighted families for YEARS!
You literally just dump and layer things in a baking dish and pop it in the oven. You don't even need to mix. It's perfect for when you have company over and such a popular potluck idea.
It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to make a Pineapple and Cherry Dump Cake. Dump Cake recipes are the best last-minute dessert to make when you're having people over.
You can find a printable recipe card for this yummy dessert further down in the post.
- Crushed Pineapple (not the tiny can and do not drain it)
- Cherry Pie Filling (Comstock is a great brand to use)
- Yellow Cake Mix
- butter (or margarine if you have to use it for food restrictions)
I used salted butter but you can use unsalted if you prefer.
Some dump cake recipes call for just one stick of butter. But I prefer two. I like my cake mix crust to be buttery and delicious. And I think 2 sticks is able to give the dry mix a little more moisture.
How to Make a Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake
It's as easy as dumping everything into your cake pan or baking dish. But here are step-by-step instructions if you need them.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grab a 9 x 13 pan. Use a cooking spray to lighting grease it. This cake doesn't stick all that much but using a prepared baking pan will help to make clean up a little easier.
Pour a can of crushed pineapple in your baking dish. Make sure that you didn't drain it. You need that pineapple juice liquid to mix with the melting butter to create crust magic.
Spread the pineapple out so it covers most of the pan (seriously there is no wrong way to do this and you should not spend much time on it. Just dump it.)
Then pour a can of cherry filling over the top. Seriously, this fruit filling adds SO much flavor.
Sprinkle the dry yellow cake mix over the fruit. Yes, the DRY cake mix. Do not add any of the other ingredients listed on the back of the cake mix box.
Try to cover the fruit fillings as evenly as you can. It will look like this when you are done. And even at this stage, it will smell SO yummy.
Pour the melted butter over the top of the cake mix. And your cherry and pineapple dump cake will smell even better than it did a minute ago.
The hardest part of this recipe is melting the butter. Why can't I get it to melt all nice and mellow? It always pops and blows up all over my microwave. Melting butter is super aggressive.
Bake the Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake for an hour and it gets evenly golden brown and bubbly. And smells EVEN BETTER than you thought it could.
The edges get all crusty and the butter soaks into the dry cake batter...yum.
This is the perfect dump cake to start with as it's a classic flavor combo and always gets rave reviews. But then get creative and try out some other easy cake recipes.
How to Serve Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake
To serve the dump cake, spoon a heaping portion into a bowl. It is mostly made up of fruit after all...
While I prefer to eat my dump cakes plain, many people like to serve them with a topping of whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
While it doesn't immediately look like a dessert you would make when having guests over due to its somewhat sloppy demeanor, the taste of this delicious dessert is a total crowd-pleaser.
And your kids and male guests will get a good laugh when you call it a dump cake. So there's that.
My son had a whole bunch of food allergies when he was younger so in order to make this pineapple cherry dump cake so he could have it, we had to swap out the butter and use margarine. It's not as delicious but a good option if you need it!
Instead of spreading melted butter before baking, you can lay out slices of butter evenly, over the top of the dry yellow cake mix layer. The butter melts in the oven and it will evenly cover the cake mix so it can create its pretty golden crust.
A reader shared that she grates the butter over the top and that helps it spread a little evenly as it melts once it's in the oven!
If you find you have areas of dry cake mix once you've baked it, you can spritz a little water over it to moisten it. I personally don't mind the powder because it mixes in as you eat it.
Add some chopped pecans or macadamia nuts on top next time for an added crunch.
- You can make this a cherry dump cake with pecans by sprinkling some chopped nuts (almonds are delicious too) on top of the melted butter before baking.
- Make this a cherry pineapple coconut dump cake by sprinkling on coconut before baking.
- White I used yellow cake mix, you can try it also with pineapple cake mix for even more flavor.
- If you have time, this post has tons of comments and many other variations that you can browse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nothing really needs to cook on this cake, mostly you care heating the dump cake ingredients through. The melted butter mixes with the dry cake mix to create a crust. When there are no pools of butter and the crust looks golden brown, the dump cake is ready.
Dump cakes can come in all kinds of flavor combination. But I love this classic Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake so much! The pineapple adds texture and sweetness but I wouldn't say that the pineapple flavor is very strong. The cherry pie filling is a dominate flavor and when paired with that buttery, cake mix crust, it's like the most amazing fruit cobbler you're ever tasted.
Per this article, dump cakes were first mentioned in 1980. Obviously, the name comes from dumping the ingredients into a dish, no stirring required!
Dump Cakes will keep for several days in the refrigerator. I like to store them in their baking dish, covered in plastic wrap if I'm not ready to serve it.
If it's already been served, I'll transfer the fruity cake to an airtight container, like Tupperware, for storage.
It's a pretty hearty dessert so if you aren't planning to serve this cherry and pineapple dump cake for a few hours, you can leave it out on the counter until it's time.
Is This Really the Best Recipe
I know my desserts. And this one is SO sweet and wonderful. I think this is the best-ever recipe for Cherry Dump Cake with Pineapple specifically. The balance of flavors is spot on.
The tart cherry pie filling mixes perfectly with the sweet, crushed pineapple. Topped with a cake-batter-tasting crust, this buttery treat is everything a dessert should be.
Full disclosure, I can eat a whole pan in two days. Pretty much by myself. It's awesome warm out of the oven and, in my opinion, even better served cold.
And although it is technically a dessert, it also works well for breakfast. And lunch. And snack time...Don't judge me.
More easy dump cake recipes
I'm kind of a dump cake connoisseur.
- Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake
- Peach Dump Cake, Blueberry Dump Cake
- Strawberry Short Cake Dump Cake
- Pumpkin Dump Cake by Live Love Texas. (I have a more traditional Pumpkin Dump Cake you should check out too!)
- Eggnog Dump Cake
- Sweet Potato Dump Cake
- Strawberry Pineapple Dump Cake
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with Pam or other spray oil.
- Pour in the crushed pineapple and juice and spread out on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the cherry pie filling on top (it will not spread out evenly but you can use a spatula to spread it out).
- Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix over the cherries.
- Melt butter and spoon over mixture, as evenly as possible.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.
Originally posted March 20, 2013. I've updated the post to include more tips since dump cakes are my favorite recipes and I've made them more than any other simple dessert recipe over the years.