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Easy Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe

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Gooey and scrumptious! This Caramel Apple Dump Cake recipe has all the fall flavors and is so easy to prepare. Such an easy recipe, only 5 main ingredients! The fruit mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, topped with dry cake mix is the perfect fall desserts.

Easy apple dump cake is the easiest dessert and when you’re in the mood for a classic American dessert, this apple pie dump cake combines familiar flavors with a twist that makes it brand new! My family loves to eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Try these other easy dump cake recipes; pumpkin dump cake, Rhubarb Dump Cake Recipe {without Jello}, chocolate cherry dump cake and this luscious lemon dump cake.

Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe in pretty bowl topped with ice cream with apples and cinnamon on the plate.

Why you will love this Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe

  • With only 5 main ingredients you will love this easy dump cake recipe.
  • Perfect dessert for busy times! Simply dump, bake and go — the best desserts!
  • Easily adapt for a slow cooker (see below for instructions)

What is a Dump Cake?

Dump cake usually consists of one or two fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned) placed in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Dry cake mix is sprinkled over the fruit layer, and melted butter is drizzled on top or in my case, pats of butter laid on top that slowly melt into the dry cake mix.

Simple Ingredients

For the full list of ingredients and instructions see the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

Labeled Ingredients for caramel apple dump cake in pan.
  • Apples | I use Duncan Hines Simply Filling for a more natural pie filling. You can also simmer chopped, fresh apples with water, sugar, and cinnamon. Or try using my friend Julie’s homemade apple pie filling, make sure to cool to room temperature.
  • Vanilla Cake | Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake Mix is my go-to for this dessert because of its natural flavors. Try other cake mixes too; yellow cake mix, white cake mix, or a different cake mix.
  • Caramels | My favorites are Werthers because they melt beautifully and are easy to find. You could certainly use another brand if you’d like. Warm a knife under hot water, wipe and cut in half.
  • Butter |  Always use real butter in your baking for superior flavor and texture!
  • Spices |  A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves enhance the fruit flavor and pair nicely with the caramel! You can also use apple pie spice mix or Pumpkin pie spice mix.
  • Pecans | The nuts are optional, but I love their flavor and added crunch in this recipe!

How to Make Apple Pie Dump Cake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 casserole baking dish.

Mix apple pie filling and spices in a medium bowl. Pour apple filling it into the prepared casserole dish and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

Unwrap and cut the caramels in half, then place in a single layer on top of the filling.

Then, sprinkle the cake mix evenly over everything! If you would like to add nuts, add them here.

Add pats of butter over the top of the cake mix, keeping them evenly dispersed.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown, then cool for a few minutes before serving.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream with each slice. (I won’t tell if you add a little whipped cream too!)

Variations

  • This caramel apple dump cake is also delicious with a spice cake mix or butter pecan mix.
  • Walnuts or almonds are a great substitute for the pecans. Or better yet, use a mixture!
  • Instead of individual caramels, drizzle about ½ cup of salted caramel sauce over the top. My Salted Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce would be equally as scrumptious.
  • Top with different ice creams; caramel ice cream and cinnamon ice cream would be fabulous.
Caramel Apple Dump Cake in pretty white pan with apple slices nearby.

Fresh Tips

  • Serve warm or cold, either way it’s a delicious apple dessert.
  • To keep your dessert fresh, after the dump cake is cooled completely, wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Make ahead: Make this gooey caramel apple dump cake ahead of time, cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up 7 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Lighter Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe

  • Reduce butter by half, most of my recipes only use one stick, but this one I wanted to be extra buttery, caramel-y and rich!
  • Omit the caramels, or use only half.
  • Instead of pie filling, slice 3-4 fresh apples thinly or chop small and toss with 2 tablespoons cake mix, the spices, then lay in pan and proceed. Bake until apples are tender.
Pan of caramel apple dump cake on board with sliced apples nearby.

Crock Pot Dump Cake

  • Place first 4 ingredients in order listed in the regular recipe into a sprayed 4-6 quart crockpot. Stir gently to mix, add caramels to top.
  • If desired, melt the butter (easily reduce by half) and stir together with cake mix, spoon buttered cake mix evenly over the top of the caramel apple mixture.
  • Place a clean tea towel over the top of the crock to absorb any steam, then cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours.

How do you store apple dump cake?

After cooling completely, this delicious dessert can be stored on the counter, covered up to 3 days. Refrigerated up to 7 days and frozen up to 3 months.

REHEAT | If frozen, thaw overnight in refrigerator, then place desired amount or entire casserole dish in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. You may also heat individual slices in the microwave in short 20-30 second bursts until warmed.

Gooey caramel apple dump cake topped with vanilla ice cream melting into the hot cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do they call it a dump cake?

Because you literally toss or “dump” in your ingredients. Easy and delicious — a bit like a cake and cobbler combined.

Does apple pie dump cake need to be refrigerated?

It can sit on the counter for a couple of days. If you need it to last longer, then go ahead and keep it in the fridge.

Can caramel apple dump cake be frozen?

Yes, and this is a great way to extend your holiday dessert! It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer when wrapped tightly in a layer of plastic and foil.
Let it defrost in the refrigerator the night before, then serve cold or warm individual slices in the microwave.

Can you make dump cake in advance?

Yes! This easily becomes a make-ahead dessert, make ahead and cool completely storing on the counter (covered) or refrigerated up to 7 days. If you want it warm, see my reheating instructions above

Caramel apple dump cake in pretty bowl topped with scoop of vanilla ice cream a sprinkle of cinnamon and three fresh sliced apples on top.

How to Make Gluten-Free Dump Cake

Choose your favorite gluten-free cake mix and dump away! Make sure your apple pie filling is gluten-free and you are all set!

Dairy-Free Dump Cake

Ensure sure your cake mix and apple pie filling and caramels are all vegan, replace the butter with vegan butter or melted coconut oil and bake away.

Caramel Apple Dump Cake slice on a plate with a spoon ready to dig in, scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and pan of dump cake mixture behind.

I love this delicious cake, you will too! A cozy dessert, that assembles in less than 15 minutes! If you tried it be sure to give it a 5 star rating and comment below the recipe.

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This apple dump cake was so delicious and I loved all the warm flavors from the apples. The caramel and cake mix combined were perfect. Such and easy and quick dessert, we all loved it! I’ll be making this dessert again soon!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so delicious and easy to make! My whole family devoured it. My only complaint is that there were no leftovers! Definitely a keeper!

  3. 5 stars
    omg, I have to make this. It looks absolutely irresistible, and would be perfect when the kids come to visit. I love all the ways I can make it – thanks so much for all the options.

  4. 5 stars
    I’m a caramel apple fanatic so couldn’t wait to try this cake. It was so easy and absolutely delicious. I served it warm with vanilla ice cream and it disappeared in a jiffy!