The best 3-ingredient peach cobbler recipe

Peach cobbler is the ideal way to savor the flavor of summer, even if it's not summertime. Peaches are generally harvested between June and August, but canned peaches are available year-round. They're packed and canned at the peak of their freshness, so they taste every bit as good as fresh peaches. A 2012 study also found that canned peaches are just as nutritious as fresh peaches — maybe more: They have almost four times as much vitamin C.

This 3-ingredient peach cobbler recipe is our favorite to take advantage of those canned peaches. It uses easy-to-find, shelf-stable ingredients, so you can store them in the pantry until you're ready to bake. It also happens to be a dump cake recipe, which means you'll mix the ingredients in the baking dish. No mixing bowls to clean? Sounds too good to be true, but we promise it's every bit as easy and delicious as it sounds. 

But don't take our word for it. Read on to learn how to make the easiest and best peach cobbler you've ever tried. We'll also tell you how to customize it using different types of fruit, so you can enjoy this recipe during every season.

Gather the ingredients for 3-ingredient peach cobbler

The ingredients list for this 3-ingredient peach cobbler is short and sweet: A box of yellow cake mix, two cans of peaches, and a stick of butter. That's it! If you want to add depth to the cobbler, feel free to sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top of the peaches. You could also add in your favorite dessert spices to the mix, like cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, or ground ginger.

You have some options when it comes to choosing canned peaches for this recipe. Almost all canned peaches are of the clingstone variety, which are firmer than freestone peaches and hold up better to baking. But you'll find that peaches are packed a few different ways, and that decision definitely impacts their nutritional value. Taste of Home explains that some peaches are packed in juice. This water-diluted juice concentrate adds about 60 calories to the can. Other peaches are packed in light syrup containing water and sugar, which adds around 85 calories. Heavy syrup canned peaches contain water, sugar, and corn syrup, and pack in a whopping extra 200 calories or so. Since the cake mix already contains sugar, we decided to go with the no-sugar-added juice-packed peaches, but a light syrup peach would work just fine for this recipe.

You'll find the full list of ingredients, including the step-by-step instructions, at the end of this article.

Do you have to use cake mix to make this 3-ingredient peach cobbler?

Cake mix makes this recipe undeniably easy. You don't need to pull out a bowl to mix together any dry ingredients, and storing an extra box in the pantry means you'll always have everything you need to make this recipe at the last minute. That said, if you don't have cake mix on hand, you can still make a great peach cobbler recipe. It just won't be made with only three ingredients.

To make a homemade version of yellow cake mix, you'll need 2-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl until they're well mixed and store them in a quart-sized mason jar until you're ready to bake. Making homemade yellow cake mix is a great way to make a gluten-free peach cobbler recipe, too. Simply swap-in any gluten-free all-purpose flour (like Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour).

Can you make this 3-ingredient peach cobbler with other types of fruit?

This 3-ingredient peach cobbler recipe is not only easy to make, but it's also easy to customize. Instead of using two cans of peaches, try using canned apple pie filling, crushed pineapple, cherry pie filling, or canned pears instead. You can also make it with fresh fruit, if that's what you have on hand. It works best if you macerate the fruit with sugar for a few hours before baking the cobbler, though. You need to create enough liquid to ensure that the cake mix gets hydrated as it bakes.

Try using three cups of fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, nectarines, cherries, plums, or any other juicy fruit you have available. You can also use a mixture of several varieties of fruit. Chop the fruit or mash it lightly with a fork to release some of the juices. Then, toss the fruit with 1/4 cup of white sugar. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes or as long as an hour before baking.

Depending on the fruit you're using, you may want to switch up the type of cake mix, too. We used a yellow cake mix for our 3-ingredient peach cobbler, and it turned out fantastic. Chocolate cake mix could be great with cherries, and French vanilla cake would be an excellent choice for blueberries.

Dump the ingredients for the 3-ingredient peach cobbler into a casserole dish

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish with butter or cooking spray. You don't need to use a lot here, just enough to keep the cake from sticking as it bakes. Then, pour the peaches — juice and all — into the baking dish. You can leave the peaches whole to keep things simple, or cut them in half or into 1-inch pieces if your prefer. If you decided to add the optional sugar-cinnamon seasoning, mix the two together in a small bowl and sprinkle it on top of the peaches.

Then, open the cake mix and dump it into the casserole dish. You'll want to smooth out the cake mix using the back of a spoon or a knife, but you don't need to mix it into the peaches. It will be very dry and powdery, but don't worry; it will rehydrate as the cobbler bakes.

Top the 3-ingredient peach cobbler with butter and bake it

Cut the butter into 12 pieces and distribute the slices over top of the cake mix. Some people prefer to melt the butter and pour it evenly over the cake mix, but we like using cold butter because it eliminates a step and keeps us from having to clean an extra dish. To be sure that it didn't make a difference in the quality of the cobbler, we tried it both ways. We didn't notice any difference between the batches, so we'll stick with the version that involves fewer dishes.

Bake the 3-ingredient peach cobbler for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown. Let the dish sit for five minutes after removing it from the oven. If you're serving it warm, it will be difficult to serve with a spatula. The cake is very gooey and moist, so a large spoon works best here. Once it's cooled to room temperature, it's much easier to scoop with a flat spatula.

Serve the cobbler warm or cold, with or without a scoop of ice cream. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.

How did our 3-ingredient peach cobbler turn out?

This recipe was an absolute hit. When it came to flavor, the 3-ingredient peach cobbler hit all the notes we were hoping for. The topping was lightly crispy and caramelized, but the cobbler itself was gooey and soft. We loved how the peaches held their texture and created a nice contrast to the soft cake mix. All in all, this cobbler had the perfect level of sweetness for our liking, but it wasn't too sweet that we couldn't drizzle some caramel sauce on top (something that we totally recommend!). Put it together with melty ice cream, and this dessert was almost too good to be true.

Between the incredible flavor, how easy this dessert was to make, and the fact that it's extremely affordable, we're going to call this recipe an absolute winner. As a bonus, it only dirtied up one dish. That makes it on the top of our list of go-to desserts to make for holiday dinners, backyard barbecues, and potluck events.

3-ingredient peach cobbler directions

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 12 to 15

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans peaches packed in 100 percent juice or light syrup
  • 1 (16.5-ounce) box yellow cake mix**
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices

**For a homemade version, use:

  • 2-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

(Optional ingredients)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar (if using peaches packed in 100 percent juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, or ground ginger
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Pour the peaches into the prepared baking dish, cutting them in half if desired. If you're adding the optional ingredients, mix together the sugar and cinnamon (or other spices) and sprinkle the mixture on top of the peaches.
  3. Sprinkle the cake mix on top, smoothing out the top with the back of a spoon or a butter knife. Do not mix the cake mix into the peaches. It will look dry and powdery, but that's okay.
  4. Distribute the sliced butter over top of the cake mix.
  5. Bake the peach cobbler until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if using.
  7. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.