Caramel Apple Dump Cake – This classic recipe uses fresh apples and a boxed cake mix. Add a decadent caramel sauce topping for a cozy and delicious dessert!
What exactly is a Dump Cake?
Before we get to the delicious Caramel Apple Dump Cake recipe, let’s talk about what we’re making: Dump cakes were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and those of a certain age may recall them. On any given occasion, one could grab a box cake mix, some fresh fruit (or even canned pie filling), and whip up a delectable quickie dessert in no time.
A dump cake is a simple American dessert that combines a fruit filling that is sprinkled with a boxed cake mix on top and drizzled with butter. The moisture from the fruit filling and the butter on top absorbs into the cake mix, resulting in a crispy topping that resembles a crumble or crisp. Traditional dump cakes are frequently made with cherry pie filling or canned pineapples.
Today, however, we’re making a simpler version with a homemade fruit filling.
(Yes, you can use canned apple pie filling in a pinch, but homemade is much better.)
When the cake mix and buttery spiced apple are baked together, the crumb is tender, slightly chewy, and perfectly moist. It resembles a cobbler but has a softer texture.
Drizzle thick caramel sauce on top and you have a fantastic caramel apple dump cake to serve to anyone. It’s the ideal autumn dessert!
Checklist of Ingredients
- Peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar is used to achieve a deep, warm sweetness.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt are the spices used.
- Yellow cake mix – your preferred brand from a box
- Salted caramel sauce, either store-bought or homemade
Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe
Make the rustic apple filling first. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Apples should be peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
Preheat a large 12 to 14-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Combine the apples, 1/2 cup of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a mixing bowl.
To soften the apples, sauté for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add 1 cup of water and remove from the heat.
To make a crispy crumble layer, sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the top of the apple mixture.
Get the full (printable) Caramel Apple Dump Cake recipe + VIDEO right here. Enjoy!
Microwave the remaining 1/2 cup butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 to 60 seconds to melt.
Drizzle the melted butter over the cake batter. Do not combine!
Place the skillet in the oven for 40 minutes.
Remove the dump cake from the oven when the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbly.
Pro Tip: If the top begins to darken too quickly, cover it loosely with foil and continue baking.
Allow the dump cake to cool for at least 10 minutes before slathering it with thick caramel sauce and serving it warm.
Variations on a Recipe
- Instead of making your own filling, you can use two 20-ounce cans of apple pie filling in a pinch. However, I recommend beginning with fresh apples.
- What if you don’t have an oven-safe cast iron skillet? Cook the apples in any nonstick pan of your choice, then transfer to a round casserole dish or 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
- Granny Smith apples are traditional baking apples and their tartness pairs well with brown sugar. However, feel free to experiment with different apple varieties. Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and other popular varieties.
- This caramel dump cake is also available with a spiced peach or pear filling! Peel, slice and cook in the same manner as apples.
- We use a traditional yellow cake mix, but other boxed cake mixes can be used.
Warm Carmel apple dump cake should be topped with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll adore our delectable Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!
If you make a vegan version, you can serve it with delicious dairy-free toppings! Try these delicious Magic All-Purpose Cashew Cream and Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipes.
Questions and Answers
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A DUMP CAKE IS READY?
Typically, you can check the doneness of a cake by inserting a knife (or toothpick) into it and seeing if it comes out clean. Carmel apple dump cake, on the other hand, is moist and gooey all the way through. So you want an even, golden-bubbled top with set and browned edges.
DO I NEED TO REFRIGERATE THE APPLE DUMP CAKE?
It does not need to be refrigerated right away, but it should be if you intend to keep it for more than a day or so.
HOW LONG WILL THE DUMP CAKE LAST?
In a sealed container, it will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature. Transfer the cake to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Are you looking for more simple dessert recipes? Make certain to also try:
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
- Easy Mini Cherry Tarts Recipe
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Caramel Apple Dump Cake
This simple dessert uses fresh apples and your favorite boxed cake mix. Add a decadent caramel sauce for a cozy and delicious apple dump cake!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2-inch wedges.
- Set a large 12 to 14-inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, over medium heat. Add the apples, 1/2 cup of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sauté the apples, stirring regularly, for 7-10 minutes to soften. Then stir in 1 cup of water and turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the apple filling.
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds to melt.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the top of the cake mix. Move the skillet to the oven, and bake for 40 minutes.
- Once the top of the dump cake is golden and the edges are bubbly, removed it from the oven. (If the top starts turning dark too early, place a piece of foil loosely over the top and continue baking.)
- Allow the dump cake to cool for at least 10 minutes, then drizzle the top with thick caramel sauce and serve warm. Top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Instead of making your own, you can use two 20-ounce cans of apple pie filling in a pinch. However, I recommend beginning with fresh apples.
- In a sealed container, Caramel Apple Dump Cake will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature. Transfer the cake to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.