Christmas Dump Cake

Christmas dump cake recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
192 Calories
12g Fat
20g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 192
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 4g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the oldest-known recipes for dump cakes appeared in 1912 instructing the baker to "dump" butter, sugar, eggs, flour, raisins, cream of tartar, baking soda, and water into a dish and bake them.

During World War II, a version of dump cake—known as wacky cake—was made with vinegar and water in place of eggs, which were highly rationed and mostly unavailable to the home cook.

Today's dump cake makes use of boxed cake mixes and some type of fruit or pie filling. What remains the same throughout the years is how they can be prepared with minimum effort for maximum impact.

The addition of apple pie filling and cranberry sauce—flavors so evocative of the holidays—gives this easy dessert its name: Christmas dump cake. But it could just as well be called Thanksgiving dump cake and works for both holidays.

It's easy to prepare because it starts with a yellow cake mix and all the ingredients are mixed right in the baking pan. That's right—no bowls to wash!

This recipe lends itself to many different variations. Start here and let your creativity take wing.


  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (for two layers)
  • 4 ounces butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat oven to 325 F.

    Gather the ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Dump cranberry sauce into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

    Dump cranberry in
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Dump apple pie filling into the pan.

    Dump apples in
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Spread mixture evenly and sprinkle dry cake mix on top. Cut up the butter and dot the top of cake.

    Spread mixture
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Sprinkle walnuts or pecans over the cake batter.

    Sprinkle walnuts
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Serve and enjoy!

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga