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The perfect easy dessert recipe for fall! This Apple Dump Cake comes together in minutes — no mixing bowls required! The combination of a warm spice cake mix, fresh fruit and toasted pecans is a delicious vehicle for creamy vanilla ice cream.

Front shot of apple dump cake made with spice cake mix on a plate with spoon

If you’re not familiar with “dump cakes,” then get on board! These easy dessert recipes only require about 5-10 minutes of hands-on prep time, while the oven does the rest of the work. There are minimal dishes necessary, with maximum flavor in the end!

What is Apple Dump Cake?

It’s got a funny name, so let’s first explain what I mean by “dump cake.” While it starts with a box of cake mix, this dessert is really more like an Apple Cobbler with cake mix or an Apple Crisp with cake mix, because the cake batter and nuts form a buttery crumb topping over the apple pie filling.

The name of the dessert probably gives it away, but basically you are just dumping the ingredients into a cake pan and baking them together in the oven. That’s it! You don’t have to pull out a single mixing bowl, spatula, or whisk!

Long overhead shot of apple dump cake with pecans and vanilla ice cream

How to make Apple Dump Cake:

This is one of those recipes that is perfect for busy moms like myself who want to share comforting recipes with their families, but who don’t always have the luxury of time. And believe me — you’re not sacrificing quality or taste in this easy recipe!

Ingredients for Apple Dump Cake:

  • Peeled, sliced fresh apples (no canned pie filling for this recipe)
  • Sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  • 1 box of yellow or spice cake mix
  • Butter
  • And optional chopped pecans (only if you want them!)
Sliced apples with cinnamon in a Ziploc bag

What kind of apples are best for an apple cake?

I like to use a combination of Honey Crisp and Granny Smith apples — both of which have a firm flesh that won’t break down too easily during baking. The sweet-tart combination is delicious! Other nice apples for this cake include:

  • Braeburn
  • Winesap
  • Pink Lady
  • Jonagold

First, start by tossing the peeled, sliced apples with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. You can do this in a large Ziploc bag, or you can do so directly in the baking dish. Then arrange the spiced apples in an even layer in the pan.

Sliced apples with spices in a white baking dish

Next, you’ll need to grab a box of cake mix, butter and chopped pecans (if using).

Box of spice cake mix, pecans and butter

Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the apples.

Process shot of assembling dump cake

Pour melted butter over top, doing your best to cover as much of the top with butter as possible.

Pouring butter over apple dump cake

Bake the cake in a 350 degree F oven for a total of about 42-45 minutes. If you’d like to add pecans to the cake, gently press them into the top of your cake during the final 10 minutes of baking. This will give the nuts a chance to get toasted and flavorful without burning.

Easy apple dump cake in white baking dish with toasted pecans on top

The end result is like a perfect cross between an apple cake, an apple crisp, and an apple cobbler!

Apple dump cake on a plate with cake in pan in background

How to serve Apple Dump Cake:

This cake is definitely best when served warm! Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top. The cool creamy contrast with the warm cake is to-die-for!

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • For a smaller, thicker cake, bake the ingredients in an 11 x 7-inch dish.
  • I’ve shown a spice cake mix in this post, but you can also use a box of yellow cake mix.
  • The pecans add a nice crunch to the top of the cake, but you can omit them entirely if you prefer. You can also swap out the pecans and use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • I like to wait to add the pecans at the end of the baking time because I find that they burn and get too dark if you put them on top of the cake at the beginning.
  • How to make Apple Dump Cake in the Crock Pot: If you prefer to use a slow cooker to “bake” your cake, follow the same instructions but cook the cake on HIGH for 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Since the lid of a Crock Pot causes condensation to drop back down onto the cake, I recommend placing a few layers of paper towels just under the lid in order to absorb that additional liquid.
  • Does dump cake have to be refrigerated? If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate the extra dump cake for a few days or you can leave a baked dump cake on the counter at room temperature for about 1-2 days. Refrigerating the cake extends the life of the leftovers!
  • Can you freeze apple cake? Yes! To preserve the leftover cake for even longer, you can freeze the dump cake for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen dump cake in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the refrigerated dump cake in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the cake reaches your desired temperature.
  • Make a Caramel Apple Dump Cake by mixing about 1/2 cup caramel sauce (from a jar, such as the kind you would serve over ice cream) into the apples before adding the cake mix on top. Alternatively, you could drizzle with caramel sauce on top just before serving.
Close up shot of apple dump cake on a plate with vanilla ice cream on top

More easy apple dessert recipes that you might enjoy:

Front shot of apple dump cake made with spice cake mix on a plate with spoon

Apple Dump Cake

4 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 332.1 kcal
The perfect easy dessert recipe for fall! This fresh Apple Dump Cake comes together in minutes — no mixing bowls required!

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 cups peeled and sliced apples (I like a combination of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp; about 5-6 medium apples)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow or spice cake mix
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans
  • For serving: vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray (or, for a smaller, thicker cake, use an 11 x 7-inch dish).
  • In prepared dish or in a large Ziploc bag, toss together apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Spread in an even layer in the dish.
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix over top of the apples. Gently shake the pan to distribute evenly.
  • Pour melted butter over top, tilting pan to cover as much of the top with butter as possible.
  • Bake for 42-45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top and bubbly around the edges. If using the optional pecans, gently press them into the top of the cake during the final 10 minutes of baking. Allow cake to rest and cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
  • Scoop into individual bowls or plates and top with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

  • I’ve shown a spice cake mix in this post, but you can also use a box of yellow cake mix instead.
  • The pecans add a nice crunch to the top of the cake, but you can omit them entirely if you prefer. You can also swap out the pecans and use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • I like to wait to add the pecans at the end of the baking time because I find that they burn and get too dark if you put them on top of the cake at the beginning.
  • How to make Apple Dump Cake in the Crock Pot: If you prefer to use a slow cooker to “bake” your cake, follow the same instructions but cook the cake on HIGH for 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Since the lid of a Crock Pot causes condensation to drop back down onto the cake, I recommend placing a few layers of paper towels just under the lid in order to absorb that additional liquid.
  • Does dump cake have to be refrigerated? If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate the extra dump cake for a few days or you can leave a baked dump cake on the counter at room temperature for about 1-2 days. Refrigerating the cake extends the life of the leftovers!
  • Can you freeze apple cake? Yes! To preserve the leftover cake for even longer, you can freeze the dump cake for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen dump cake in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the refrigerated dump cake in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the cake reaches your desired temperature.
  • Make a Caramel Apple Dump Cake by mixing about 1/2 cup caramel sauce (from a jar, such as the kind you would serve over ice cream) into the apples before adding the cake mix on top. Alternatively, you could drizzle with caramel sauce on top just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/10 of the cake (not including optional pecans or ice cream)Calories: 332.1kcalCarbohydrates: 43.3gProtein: 1.8gFat: 17.6gSaturated Fat: 9.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 37.2mgSodium: 374.7mgPotassium: 89.1mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 27.5g
Keyword: apple dump cake, easy apple dessert, fresh apple dump cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks delicious… and easy to make!! My kind of recipe! Thank you so much for all of your recipes and website…your website is my favorite… 🙂