3-Ingredient Apple Dump Cake

updated Oct 24, 2023

For the easiest fall dessert, just dump apple pie filling, cake mix, and butter into a dish and bake!

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour

Jump to Recipe
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While nothing says fall better than a slice of warm apple pie, three-ingredient apple dump cake dishes up the same warm fall flavors with a fraction of the work. Layer — or, rather, dump — canned apple pie filling, box cake mix, and thinly sliced butter in a baking dish and bake. Then, dig into the crisp, golden crust and warm cinnamon-spiced apple filling. This simple dessert will be your fall go-to. 

What Is the Difference Between a Dump Cake and a Crumble?

Dump cakes and crumbles are both baked desserts with a bottom layer of fruit and a pastry topping. The topping is where these desserts diverge. 

  • Crumbles are made with fresh fruit and a streusel topping of flour, sugar, butter, and sometimes baking powder. 
  • Dump cakes are made by layering canned fruit pie filling, dry box cake mix, and butter.  
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

What Ingredients Are in Apple Dump Cake?

You can make this super-simple dessert with just three ingredients.

  • Apple pie filling: Apple pie filling is one of the smartest shortcuts in the grocery store, with sliced apples, sweetener, spices, and a thickener in every can. Make sure to pick up two cans of apple pie filling for this dump cake. 
  • Yellow or spice cake mix: Ignore the back of the box instructions. In this recipe, you sprinkle the dry cake mix over the apple filling.
  • Unsalted butter: Cut unsalted butter into thin slices, rather than melting it, to completely cover the cake mix and avoid any dry pockets of cake mix. The pats of butter melt into the cake mix and give the topping a sweet, buttery crunch.

How to Serve Apple Dump Cake

This recipe makes enough to serve six to eight people. Scoop servings of warm, cinnamony apple dump cake into bowls and top with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Store Apple Dump Cake

Cover the dump cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days (the top of the cake may soften upon storage).

Apple Dump Cake Recipe

For the easiest fall dessert, just dump apple pie filling, cake mix, and butter into a dish and bake!

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 (about 21-ounce) cans

    apple pie filling

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box

    yellow or spice cake mix

  • 1 1/2 sticks

    (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.

  2. Layer in the baking dish in the following order (do not stir together): Spread 2 (about 21-ounce) cans apple pie filling into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1 (15.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix. Cut 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter into thin slices and arrange over the cake mix in an even layer, covering the entire surface.

  3. Bake until golden brown, bubbling, and a crispy crust begins to form, about 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.