Christmas Dump Cake Recipe

Christmas Dump Cake

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
380 Calories
12g Fat
67g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 404mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 74mg 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 and instructed 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

  • 4 ounces butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, or pecans, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Christmas Dump Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Dump cranberry sauce into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

    Whole cranberry sauce in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Dump apple pie filling into pan.

    Apple pie filling on top of the cranberry sauce in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Spread mixture evenly and sprinkle dry cake mix on top. Cut up butter and sprinkle on top of cake.

    Cake mix and butter on top of the fruit in the baking dish

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Sprinkle walnuts or pecans over cake batter.

    Nuts on top of the cake mix in the baking dish

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  6. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

    Christmas Dump Cake

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram