Why is it called a dump cake?


A dump cake is a classic American dessert known for its simple preparation method. Ingredients are “dumped” into a cake pan without mixing. Its origins are a bit murky, but it gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, with some attributing its name to a recipe by Duncan Hines in 1980. However, references to “dump cake” appear in cookbooks and magazines from the 1970s and earlier. Its rise coincided with the popularity of prepared cake mixes in the 1950s. Typically, it involves layering canned fruit or pie filling with cake mix in a baking dish, though homemade mixes and fresh/frozen fruit can be used. The result? A delectable, cobbler-like dessert.

Key Takeaways:

  • The name “dump cake” comes from the method of “dumping” ingredients into a cake pan without mixing.
  • The origins of the dump cake are unclear, but it gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • The recipe typically involves adding canned fruit or pie filling followed by a boxed cake mix to a baking dish.
  • Various substitutions and combinations can be made with the ingredients to create different flavors and textures.
  • Dump cakes are a beloved American dessert known for their simplicity and delicious results.

The History of Dump Cakes

The history of dump cakes is not entirely clear. While some sources suggest that the name originated from a recipe published by Duncan Hines in 1980, there are mentions of dump cakes in American community cookbooks and periodicals dating back to the 1960s and earlier.

Dump cakes may have become popular in the 1950s with the rise of prepared cake mixes after World War II. The earliest published recipe for a dump cake dates back to September 1964.

Dump cakes gained widespread popularity in the late 1960s, particularly in the Midwest states. They were described as a quick and easy dessert that had good flavor and an interesting texture.

Despite the somewhat unclear origins, dump cakes have remained a beloved dessert over the years.

The Ingredients in a Dump Cake

Dump cakes require just a few simple ingredients. The basic recipe typically includes:

  • A can of fruit or pie filling
  • A boxed cake mix
  • Butter or margarine
  • Optional toppings such as nuts or shredded coconut

The most common flavor for the canned fruit or pie filling is cherry, but other flavors can be used as well. The cake mix can be any flavor, and some variations of dump cakes replace the cake mix with a homemade combination of dry ingredients. The butter or margarine is either melted or cut into small pieces and spread over the cake mix before baking. These simple ingredients come together to create a delicious and easy dessert.

The Popularity of Dump Cakes

Dump cakes gained popularity in the late 1960s and continue to be a beloved dessert today. The simplicity of the recipe, combined with the delicious results, has made dump cakes a favorite among home bakers. In the late 1960s, dump cakes were making the rounds in the Midwest states and were often described as a special dessert that was quick and easy to make. The popularity of dump cakes resulted in various recipe variations, with bakers swapping out different flavors of pie filling and adding their own creative touches. Dump cakes have stood the test of time and remain a popular dessert choice for their simplicity and great taste.

Making a Dump Cake

Making a dump cake is incredibly easy and requires minimal effort. Follow these simple steps to create this delicious dessert:

  1. Preheat your oven to the specified temperature and grease a baking dish to prevent sticking.
  2. Start layering the ingredients in the baking dish in a specific order.
  • Begin with a can of your desired fruit or pie filling, spreading it evenly in the dish.
  • Next, add the boxed cake mix on top of the fruit or pie filling, ensuring even coverage.
  • You can get creative by adding optional toppings like nuts or shredded coconut at this point.
  • To enhance the flavors, spread thin slices of butter or melted butter over the top of the cake mix.
  • Bake the dump cake in the preheated oven for the specified amount of time. Be sure to check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center, which should come out clean.

Once the dump cake is baked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Serve it warm on its own, or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a delightful finishing touch.

Variations of Dump Cakes

Dump cakes offer endless possibilities for customization. While the classic dumpcake recipe calls for a can of cherry pie filling and a boxed cake mix, there are numerous variations to explore.

Flavors of Pie Filling

Bakers can experiment with different flavors of pie filling to add a unique twist to their dump cake. Try apple, blueberry, or peach for a fruity burst of flavor. These variations can provide a delightful change to the classic cherry dump cake.

Cake Mix Flavors

The cake mix in a dump cake can be easily customized with different flavors. For a rich and indulgent dessert, swap the original cake mix with chocolate or add a bright citrusy flavor with lemon. Spice cake mix can also enhance the warm, comforting taste of a dump cake.

Use Fresh or Frozen Fruit

Instead of using canned fruit or pie filling, consider incorporating fresh or frozen fruit into your dump cake. This adds a burst of freshness and allows for more creative flavor combinations. Mix and match different fruits like strawberries, peaches, or raspberries to create a personalized dump cake experience.

Toppings for Flavor and Texture

Take your dump cake to the next level by adding delicious toppings. Nuts like walnuts or almonds provide a satisfying crunch, while shredded coconut adds a tropical flair. For the chocolate lovers, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top for an irresistible treat.

The versatility of dump cakes allows for endless creativity in the kitchen. With different flavors of pie filling, cake mix, and toppings, there is a delicious variation to suit every taste. Explore the possibilities and let your imagination run wild to create your own unique and delicious dump cake.

Why Make a Dump Cake?

There are several reasons why making a dump cake is worth it. Firstly, dump cakes are incredibly easy to make. The simple preparation method involves layering ingredients and baking them. This makes dump cakes a great option for beginner bakers or those looking for a quick and effortless dessert.

Additionally, dump cakes are delicious. The combination of fruit or pie filling, cake mix, and butter creates a cobbler-like dessert with a tender and moist texture. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, a cake is a comforting and satisfying treat.

Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a sweet treat, making a dump cake is a great choice.

How to Make a Dump Cake – Recipe and Directions

Follow this simple dump cake recipe to make your own delicious dessert:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Open a can of fruit or pie filling of your choice (such as cherry, apple, or blueberry) and spread it evenly on the bottom of the greased baking dish.
  3. Evenly distribute a boxed cake mix (any flavor you prefer) over the fruit or pie filling. Spread it out with a spoon, ensuring it covers the entire dish.
  4. Optional: Add toppings such as chopped nuts or shredded coconut to enhance the flavor and texture.
  5. Thinly slice 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons) or melt it and pour it evenly over the cake mix.
  6. Bake the dump cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

“A dump cake is the ultimate easy dessert. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious treat that will impress your family and friends. The best part? There’s no mixing required! Just layer the ingredients, bake, and enjoy.” – Chef Sarah Johnson

Whether you’re a novice baker or an experienced pro, making a dump cake is a breeze. The combination of flavors and textures creates a warm and comforting dessert that is perfect for any occasion. So, why not give it a try and indulge in a slice of this effortless and scrumptious treat?


The dump cake is a beloved American dessert that has stood the test of time. Its name originates from the simple method of “dumping” ingredients into a cake pan without mixing. While the exact origin of the dump cake remains unclear, it gained popularity in the late 1960s and continues to be enjoyed by people of all ages today.

What makes the dump cake so appealing is its simplicity. With just a few ingredients and minimal effort, anyone can create a delicious dessert with a cobbler-like texture and comforting flavors. Whether you choose to stick with the classic recipe or explore various creative variations, making a dump cake is sure to bring joy and satisfaction to your baking endeavors.

From its humble beginnings, thi cake has become a classic American dessert that never fails to impress. Its effortless preparation, combined with its delectable results, make it a favorite among home bakers. So why not give it a try? Whip up a dump cake today and treat yourself to a delightful dessert that embodies the essence of American comfort food.

Cjeck Out This Caramel Apple Dump Cake, Recipe From Here

Leave a Comment