Dumped Apple Cake: My Family's Recipe for Apple Dump Cake

by DerdriuMarriner

Canned apple pie filling makes quick deserts other than pies. Mixed with simple cake-making ingredients and dumped into a baking pan, it helps make a quick apple cake.

Commitments to healthy living and nutritious eating are among the legacies of my parents and grandparents. For example, Grandfather Charles began each day with an early morning family swim. Grandmother Laura afterwards incorporated homemade breads, cheeses and fruits into family breakfasts with my mother. Grandfather August likewise practiced and passed on to my father the athletics which he learned from his ancestors' involvement in Turnverein gymnastics. Grandmother Rose afterwards sang arias while making the best, freshest and most attractive berry and fruit pies.

As a result, I became a kindergartener who swam as well as she jumped, ran, skipped and walked. Also, I began a lifelong preference for fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables. But exception was made for homemade breads, pasta and pastries.

Fortunately for me, my mother and grandmothers considered apple cake a dessert made of fresh apples. They also knew that busy lifestyles sometimes demand quick culinary fixes. This easy-to-follow recipe therefore makes up an apple cake "on the run" by dumping into a pan and baking canned pie filling together with other cake-yielding ingredients.

The list of ingredients is adjusted to include store-bought pie filling even though home-canned pie filling is what my grandmothers excelled at.

Cinnamon is essential to the aroma of apple dump cake.
Cinnamon is essential to the aroma of apple dump cake.

My Family's Recipe for Apple Dump Cake

Prep time: 5 minutes -- Total time: 65 minutes

Ingredients for 12 servings

This recipe succeeds with either home-canned or store-bought apple pie filling.



1 can Comstock apple pie filling

  • Note: personally canned apple pie filling substitutes perfectly.

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup walnuts, chopped




Note: Some bakers combine pie filling with other ingredients. Others, keeping the filling separate, make it the first (bottom) layer; in this method dump cakes are synonymous with cobblers.

Because a different effect is achieved with the two choices, my family tradition includes both methods.

For this particular version, the filling is layered first.


1. Empty apple pie filling into a 9-inch by 13-inch greased baking pan.

  • Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl and then pour over pie filling.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 325 °C (162.78 °C or Gas mark 3), or until the cake draws away from the sides of the pan. Let cool before cutting.

Serve as is or topped with frosting, ice cream, or whipped cream.


Freeze leftovers for subsequent thawing and still-delicious eating.


Apple dump cobbler, topped with melting ice cream, is lusciously delicious.
Apple dump cobbler, topped with melting ice cream, is lusciously delicious.



A popular variation, which provides additional color and flavor, calls for substituting yellow cake mix for flour in this recipe.

The culinary history of this recipe in my family also includes other cake mix flavors, such as:

  • Classic White;
  • Confetti;
  • Lemon or Lemon Supreme;
  • Spice.

The possibilities for subtle variations in apple dump cake are endless and account for the popularity of this simple, enjoyable recipe.


Easy variation in Apple Dump Cake recipe is achieved by selecting from wide range of flavors available in boxed cake mixes.
French Vanilla cake mix:  flavorful, fragrant substitute for Apple Dump Cake
French Vanilla cake mix: flavorful, fragrant substitute for Apple Dump Cake



My special thanks to Grandmothers Laura and Rose; my brother, Charles; my sister, Stessily; and my parents, Edward and Norway, for being such excellent chefs; and to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Image Credits


Cinnamon is essential to the aroma of apple dump cake: Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canelle_Cinnamomum_burmannii_Luc_Viatour.jpg

Apple dump cobbler, topped with melting ice cream, is lusciously delicious: Ambernectar 13, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/ambernectar/4036909229/

French Vanilla cake mix: flavorful, fragrant substitute for Apple Dump Cake: Wendy (The Recipe Drawer), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/30309750@N08/5657770950/

The baking pan can be part of the mystique; campfire cherry dump cake: Virginia State Parks (vastateparksstaff), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/vastateparksstaff/29011550081/


The baking pan can be part of the mystique; campfire cherry dump cake
The baking pan can be part of the mystique; campfire cherry dump cake
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Dump Cake Recipes: Quick, Easy And Really Tasty Dump Cake Recipes Including Cherry, Strawberry, Peach, Apple, Pumpkin ~ cookbook by Alexandra Gauthier

If you’re looking for a simple dessert to whip up, Dump Cakes are just the ticket They’re not only easy to make, they can be quite frugal too (most use just a handful of ingredients).
dump cake cookbooks

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Advice: Be well-rounded ~ Let your plans ripen ~ Hold on to core values ~ Savor variety ~ Eat healthy ~ Know when to let go ~ Take a bite out of life!
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Mariposa Apple Label - San Francisco, CA: black t-shirt

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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 09/05/2023, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 11/13/2018

katiem2, You're so lucky to have an orchard! There's a commercial apple orchard down the road, and I love the looks and smells and tastes.
Apple dump cake is always a crowd-pleaser in my neck of the woods.

katiem2 on 11/09/2018

I have a bumper crop of apples left over from our visits to the orchard. Apple Dump Cake sounds like a very pleasant solution.

Veronica on 09/02/2017

How lovely that you think of your relatives when you cook. This shows what a loving relationship families have with food.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/02/2017

Veronica, Thank for liking this recipe -- particularly because I so enjoy and respect your sharing cookbooks and travelogues -- since it reminds me every time that I make it of my mother and of my grandmothers Laura and Rose.

Veronica on 09/01/2017

what a lovely recipe. The combination of spices in this is just perfect . I will definitely be making this. Thank you for posting it.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/01/2017

kimbesa, I'm honored that, with all your fruit cuisine-related knowledge, you like this easy, popular, tasty family recipe!

kimbesa on 08/29/2017

Adding this one to my list of easy apple recipes. The season is just getting started, and we have lots of apples to enjoy...thanks!

DerdriuMarriner on 08/26/2017

Margielynn, Apple dump cake, whether personally canned or the Comstock brand, is so easy to make and popular to serve.

Guest on 08/25/2017

We love apples, I have had a dump cake before and they are delicious!

DerdriuMarriner on 10/14/2013

MikeRobbers, This is a very cooperative recipe since it always turns out regardless of whether homemade or store-bought ingredients are used. It does not take that long to make, and it certainly does not take enthusiastic consumers long to eat (but never bolt).
Thank you for visiting and commenting.

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