Tasty cherry chocolate dump cake combines sweet and tangy cherry pie filling with chocolate cake mix for a fudge brownie-like topping! It's a classic combination of chocolate and cherry that is sure to be a new family favorite dessert!
The Richest, Easy-to-Make Cherry Chocolate Dump Cake
This is an impressive cake for just 5 minutes of prep time. The indulgent combination of rich chocolate cake, tart cherries, and almond extract creates a complex flavor that will leave you sneaking bites all day long!
Dump cakes originally get their name from the idea that you dump all of the ingredients into a 9x13-inch pan and skip the mixing bowl altogether. It’s easy to make and even easier to clean up!
Having a picnic? Packing a school lunch? This isn’t a delicate cake whose precise layers need to be carefully preserved. It’s called a dump cake for a reason! Dump it in a container and take it anywhere.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- It’s family-friendly! If you have a child who likes to cook, this is a great one to get their help on.
- It’s simple. There are only four ingredients! Really there's only three that are needed, but there are also a bunch of ways to mix-in more flavor!
- It creates minimal cleanup! By mixing layers in the pan you bake it in, you won’t even dirty an extra bowl!
With only a small handful of items, you're unlikely to need to make a special trip to the store. The almond extract makes this a real standout in my book, however, it is optional - which would then make this an easy 3-ingredient cake!
- Cherry Pie Filling - You’ll need 2 21-ounce cans of your favorite brand of pie filling.
- Almond Extract - I can’t get enough of the taste of almond extract. Even if you love almond extract as much as I do, remember that a little goes a long way! Too much, and you can overpower all of the other flavors.
- Chocolate Cake Mix - Pick your favorite brand and flavor. You can use any variety of chocolate cake mix including Devil's Food, Fudge, Moist Supreme, Chocolate Fudge, even brownie mix will work. Any gluten-free boxed cake mix works just as well, too!
- Butter - You'll need 1 stick (or ½ cup), but you can use up to ¾ cup of butter if desired for a delightfully rich and fudgy topping.
In just a few steps, you can easily create the layers of this cake. With no eggs in the batter, you can even lick the spoon!
- Preheat the oven. Set your oven to 350℉ (175℃). Use butter or cooking spray to coat a 9x13 pan or baking dish.
- Distribute the pie filling. Dump 42 ounces of cherry pie filling (2 21-ounce cans) into the prepared baking dish. Now, add a teaspoon of almond extract and carefully combine with the filling. Spread the mixture across the entire bottom of your baking pan.
- Layer the cake mix and butter. Use a 15.25-ounce chocolate cake mix to make a layer over the pie filling mix. It should cover the bottom layer entirely. Melt ½ cup of butter and drizzle it over the cake mix. Try to moisten as much of the mix as you can.
- Bake the cake. Put the cake in the center of your oven's middle rack and cook for 55-60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling. The cake layer should be chocolate brown with no patches of dry cake mix left.
- Once cooked, remove and cool. Take the cake out of the oven and let your dump cake cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The pie filling gets exceptionally hot, so resist tasting before your timer goes off!
Serve this chocolate cherry dump cake while it’s still hot - topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a hefty dollop of whipped cream.
If you want to emphasize the almond flavor in your cake, try making your own Chantilly Cream! You can easily swap out the vanilla for almond to match the cake. Enjoy!
Up your cherry game!
- To really emphasize the cherry flavor, replace the butter in this recipe with 1 cup of your favorite brand of cherry cola. The cake will be fine without the butter, and the extra pop of cherry is fantastic!
Make it a chocoholics delight!
- For that extra bit of chocolate indulgence, sprinkle 2 cups of chocolate chips over the top before putting the cake in the oven. The rich, chocolatey cherries are out of this world! And what chocolate fanatic is going to say no to that?
Give it some crunch!
- Try adding some crushed, ground, or slivered nuts in with the fruit or even over the top of the cake mix topping. Choose whatever kind you like, but almonds are exceptionally suitable with this cake. Toast them first for even more flavor!
Swap out your extract flavors!
- You can also substitute ½ tablespoon of vanilla for the almond extract in the recipe. Both are fantastic. The former tastes less marzipan-like and more like traditional chocolate.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Make sure to let it cool completely before covering your baked chocolate cherry dump cake tightly in foil or plastic cling wrap. If properly refrigerated, it will last for up to 5 days.
Dump cakes can also be frozen in an airtight container. They will be good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you’re pulling it out of the freezer, let it thaw in the fridge the night before you want to serve it. To reheat, bake at 325℉ (163℃) for 10-20 minutes until the leftovers reach your desired temperature.
A dump cake is named so because it requires that you dump all of your ingredients directly into the pan you bake it in. No mixing bowl. No beaters. The earliest reference to them was in a Duncan Hines holiday baking brochure in 1980. Not much else is known about its origins.
Yes. Flavors like strawberry and raspberry would also be delicious with this recipe! I’d steer clear of apple, peach, and anything else you wouldn’t normally eat with a chocolate cake.
Yes. Using a slow cooker is fantastic for those of you who are on the go. Just exchange the 9x13 pan for a crockpot and leave it on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
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📖 Recipe Card
Cherry Chocolate Dump Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and generously butter or spray a 9x13 pan or baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour both cans of the cherry pie filling into the prepared baking dish, add the almond extract, and gently mix to combine. Spread the filling evenly throughout the pan.42 oz cherry pie filling, 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the cherry pie filling so that all of the filling is covered. Pour the melted butter over the chocolate cake mix, trying to moisten as much of the cake mix as possible.15.25 oz chocolate cake mix, ½ cup butter
- Bake in the center of the middle oven rack at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour or until the filling is bubbling and the cake layer is chocolate brown in color (no patches of dry cake mix left).
- Remove the baked cherry chocolate dump cake when done and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- You can replace the butter in this recipe with cherry cola to increase the cherry flavor! Use 1 cup of your favorite brand.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!