Easy 3-Ingredient Apple Dump Cake

Homemade dessert doesn't have to be arduous or complicated, especially when you can implement some boxed items into your baking (and there is no shame in that game — a little homemade and a little pre-made never hurt anybody). This easy apple dump cake recipe requires just three ingredients and minimal work on your end. 

Brought to you by recipe developer, food blogger, and dessert lover Liz Capozzoli of OwlbBaking, we promise you'll want to make this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake again and again. Capozzoli says, "I really like this dessert because it was just so darn easy! This is a great weeknight treat but is also excellent for potlucks and big dinners." This recipe yields eight to ten servings, so there will be plenty to grub on when it's all said and done. 

Don't forget to also pickup some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an added side item that'll really take this apple dump cake to on-another-level comfort food. Read on for details on how to bake it to perfection.

Gather the ingredients for this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake

As previously mentioned, you only need three ingredients to make this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake (plus ice cream or whipped cream if you want to add that when serving the cake). We suggest getting everything prepped and ready before you start the actual baking process. That way, everything is at your disposal when it's time to go into the baking dish. This apple dump cake recipe calls for one box of vanilla cake mix, one cup of salted butter (melted), and two 21-ounce cans of apple pie filling. 

Once all of the ingredients are ready to go, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. As far as the baking dish goes, Capozzoli uses an enamel dish but ensures us that "a glass dish would work great as well," if that's all you have in your kitchen.

Add apple pie filling to the baking dish

The first step in this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake recipe is creating the layer of apple pie filling. Pour both cans of filling into the baking dish, then use a spoon or spatula to spread the ingredient evenly across the bottom of the dish.

We asked Capozzoli about options for this filling. If you are feeling ambitious and creative, she confirms, "homemade pie filling would be great here!" So yes, if you've got an apple pie recipe you know you love but want to try that pie's filling with this apple dump cake instead, it might be really tasty. "If you want to fancy it up a bit more, I also recommend adding some additional spices such as apple pie spice, cinnamon, clove, or even some lemon zest to brighten the dish," adds Capozzoli.

Cover the apple pie filling with cake mix for your easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake

Now onto the second layer for this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake: the cake mix. You'll basically cover every inch of the apple pie filling with the vanilla cake mix. Spread it as evenly as possible over that first layer of filling.

You've also got creative license in this step in terms of which cake mix you choose. Capozzili prefers but Pillsbury but says you "could use Duncan Hines/Comstock," with the caveat that it "tends to be a bit more expensive." She also admits, "I used generic store brand, and it was great!" You might want to experiment to see which cake mix you like the best.

Pour melted butter over the cake mix to make your easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake

The final step before putting this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake in the oven is simply adding the third ingredient and layer, the salted butter. Melt the cup (which equates to two sticks) of butter if you haven't already, and slowly pour it over the layer of vanilla cake mix. Try to cover the entire surface when you do this. The butter is what's going to create the golden brown hue across the surface of the cake. Covering every inch ensures your cake mix gets an even browning.

Warning: This step is going to make you so ready to eat this dessert. Capozzoli told us, "I'm a baker and enjoy all things homemade, but this dish is serious comfort food!"

Bake the easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake

Once all the ingredients have been properly layered, the easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake can go into the oven. The recipe calls for you to bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, "until the top is golden brown." 

If it all seems too easy, don't worry, we promise the end result will be fantastic. "There's something magical that happens when the pie filling and cake mix come together," says Capozzoli. "The top crust becomes almost pastry-like. When you're adding the dry cake mix to the top of the pie filling, it seems like it's not going to bake up right, but it does! I don't think there's any wrong way to make this recipe!"

Serve your easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake

After the apple dump cake is out of the oven, the recipe suggests allowing it to cool for 15 minutes. Take it from us: You do not want to burn the roof of your mouth with hot apple pie filling shoved in too soon. Once it's cooled for 15 minutes, it'll be warm (not scalding hot), so that's the best time to serve it. 

Scoop the apple dump cake into a bowl or onto a plate, and serve alongside a mound of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It's also delicious as a stand-alone treat.

Easy 3-Ingredient Apple Dump Cake
5 from 29 ratings
Brought to you by recipe developer and dessert lover Liz Capozzoli, we promise you'll want to make this easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake again and again.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
10
servings
easy 3-ingredient apple dump cake with ice cream on top
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix
  • 2 (21-ounce) cans of apple pie filling
  • 1 cup salted butter (melted)
Optional Ingredients
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Add the apple pie filling and spread evenly.
  4. Cover the top with the dry cake mix.
  5. Pour the melted butter on top of the cake mix, covering the entire surface.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 494
Total Fat 21.4 g
Saturated Fat 12.4 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 48.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 75.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 16.4 g
Sodium 518.4 mg
Protein 2.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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