Christmas Dump Cake Recipe

Apple crumble
Takako Kawai / Getty Images
  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings holiday dump cake
Ratings (7)

The addition of apple pie filling and cranberry sauce, flavors so evocative of the holidays, gives this dump cake its name -- Christmas dump cake. It could just as well be called Thanksgiving dump cake.

It's easy to prepare because it starts with a yellow cake mix and all the ingredients are mixed right in the baking pan. That's right, no bowls to wash.

This recipe lends itself to many different variations. Start here and let your creativity take wing.

What You'll Need

  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1 box yellow cake mix, 2-layer size
  • 4 ounces softened butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Dump cranberry sauce into an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.
  3. Dump apple pie filling into the pan.
  4. Spread mixture evenly and sprinkle dry cake mix on top. Cut up butter and dot top of cake.
  5. Sprinkle walnuts or pecans over the cake batter. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

History of Dump Cakes

One of the oldest-known recipes for dump cakes appeared in 1912 instructing the baker to dump butter, sugar, eggs, flour, raisins, cream of tartar, baking soda, and water into a dish and bake them.

During World War II, a version of dump cake, known as wacky cake, was made with vinegar and water in place of eggs which were highly rationed and mostly unavailable to the home cook.

Today's dump cake makes use of boxed cake mixes and some type of fruit or pie filling. What remains the same throughout the years is how they can be prepared with minimum effort for maximum impact.