Cherry Dump Cake


When you need a dessert, but you don't have a lot of effort to give.

two plates of cherry dump cake and a casserole pan
Photo: Emily Laurae/Southern Living

Taking only minutes to come together, this Cherry Dump Cake avoids the cloying sweetness of canned cherry pie filling by instead using whole pitted cherries canned in heavy syrup for their fresh juicy flavor. The dark cherries also give the cake a deep color, making it look like a berry cobbler, but the flavor is unmistakable—nostalgic yellow cake and dark cherries with the subtle complement of almond.


  • 2 (15-oz.) cans whole pitted cherries in heavy syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

  • 1 (15.25-oz.) pckg. yellow cake mix


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Take a glass 13- x 9-inch baking dish and grease the bottom and sides evenly with butter.

  2. Empty the contents of one can of cherries into a bowl. Drain the syrup from the other can and add the drained cherries to the bowl with cherries still in syrup. Stir in almond extract to combine. Pour contents into prepared baking dish.

  3. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring halfway through, until completely melted. Evenly sprinkle cake mix over cherries and syrup. Pour melted butter evenly over cake mix. (Note: The butter will naturally pool in certain areas, so use a spoon to spread butter evenly onto all of the cake mix.)

  4. Transfer dish to the center rack of preheat oven and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Chef's Notes

Serve this easy cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Chopped pecans or slivered almonds can also make a delicious crunchy topping to contrast the soft texture of the cake. You can also substitute one can of cherries for a can of peaches to make a Cherry and Peach Dump Cake.

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