Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 50-60 minutes
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple
- 21 oz can cherry pie filling
- Box of yellow cake mix
- 1 stick butter, cold
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Open the cans of crushed pineapple and cherry pie filling.
- Drain the juice out of the can of crushed pineapple. *There will still be some left at the bottom of the can, but that is alright.
- Pour the crushed pineapple and cherry pie filling into a 9” x 13” pan, and give a quick stir to mix it all together.
- Pour the dry boxed cake mix evenly over the pineapple and cherry mixture.
- Cut the butter into 10-12 slices and set a few inches apart on the top of the cake.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the edges are golden and cake appears to be done.
- Remove cake from the oven and set on a cooling rack.
- Serve warm, or allow to cool completely before serving – up to you!
Here are 15 of the most frequently asked questions about Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake:
What type of pineapple is best to use – canned, fresh, or frozen?
The best type of pineapple to use in this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe is ultimately based on personal preference, but here is a helpful comparison of options along with their benefits:
– Convenience factor makes this most popular choice, available year-round
– Offers tender ready-to-use chunks packed in juice perfect for dumping simplicity
– Sweeter flavor from being picked ripe then processed at peak sweetness level
– Provides superior flavor complexity with bright, floral notes at optimum maturity
– Juicier texture when baking contributes lots of natural sweetness
– Requires more effort trimming, peeling and chopping pineapple yourself
– Good middle ground getting ripe-frozen fruit often less processed than canned
– Smaller moisture beads when thawed lend nice saucy quality basting cake during bake
– Locks in ripe flavor at peak sweetness similarly to canned methods
– Easy to portion exact amount needed from bag
While fresh pineapple ultimately provides best layered essence, the convenience of ready-to-use canned chunks swimming in sweet juice ready for cake layering makes dump cake construction fast and simple. Frozen also blends nicely when fresh aren’t readily available!
What kind of cherries work best – maraschino, sweet, or sour?
The best type of cherries to use in a Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake depends on your flavor preferences. Here’s how the options compare:
Maraschino Cherries – These candied cherries offer bold, syrupy sweetness and vibrant red color. Their pronounced flavor works well combined with sweet pineapple and buttery cake. Just drain any excess liquid before using.
Sweet Cherries – Varieties like Bing or Lambert cherries provide a milder, more floral cherry essence. They lend lots of natural juice for basting the cake too. Fresh or frozen both work nicely.
Sour Cherries – Tart cherry varieties like Montmorency offer a bright, citrusy cherry punch. They cut through and balance out the sweetness. Use more cherry juice and less added sugar to compensate when using extra sour fruit.
Dried Cherries – These chewy dried cherries reconstitute when baked giving nice texture contrast. Soak in juice or liquor first for extra flavor dimension before mixing into cake layers if going the dried fruit route.
Any which cherry you love can be baking into this summery cake successfully. Just consider sweetness levels based on fruit variety and adjust added sugar accordingly. The pineapple, buttery cake and juices marrying everything together allow lots of flexibility!
Does the cake need to be made in a cast iron skillet or can any baking pan be used?
You definitely don’t need a cast iron skillet to make this delicious Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe. While the cast iron does provide even heating and a pretty presentation option, any oven-safe baking dish or pan works wonderfully as well. Here are some great options:
Ceramic Baking Dishes – Such as a 8×8 or 9×9 inch ceramic baking dish which conveniently matches ingredient proportions called for in most dump cake recipes.
Glass Baking Dishes – Clear glass baking pans allow easy visibility to monitor doneness. An 8 inch square pan would be perfectly sized.
Metal Cake Pans – Standard round 8 or 9 inch cake pans, or an 8×8 metal baking pan all would offer enough surface area for prepouring layers nicely.
Pie Plates – Shallow glass or metal pie dishes around 9-10 inches across make a great dump cake vessel, especially if desiring a higher ratio of fruit to cakey layers on bottom.
Sheet Pans – For thinner, wider cake versions a sheet cake pan works wonderfully to spread ingredients out evenly and feed a crowd!
Any oven-safe baking dish from metal and ceramic to glass and stoneware works wonderfully when constructing easy dump cake recipes. So if you don’t have a cast iron skillet handy, fear not! Your favorite baking vessel will bake up delicious cake results no matter what.
How long does the cake need to bake for?
The baking time for Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake can vary slightly based on the pan size and dimensions used, ingredient temperature going in the oven, and precise oven calibration. However, standard range guidelines are:
– 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round: 35-45 minutes
– 9 x 13-inch rectangular pan: 30-35 minutes
– Cast iron skillet 8 or 10-inches: 40-50 minutes
To precisely determine doneness, check the internal temperature in center of cake at the oven time ranges above using an instant-read thermometer for:
– 210 ̊F = center still slightly wet looking but cake pull away from sides done
– 220-225 ̊F = cake springy to the touch and golden brown with slightly sticky middles perfect for dump cakes
Visually, the cake will become golden brown across top and pull away slightly from edges of the pan once fully baked through. Inserting a toothpick and ensuring just crumbs cling without wet batter confirms ready for serving!
With an ambient awareness through handy kitchen tools, you can master perfectly gooey pineapple cherry dump cake doneness tailored to your specific bakeware every time no guess work required!
What texture differences happen with or without the cake mix layer?
Adding a layer of dry cake mix over the fruit fills a Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake with nice textural contrast compared to simply fruit baked straight under the crumb topping. Here’s how the two approaches differ bite for bite:
Without Cake Mix:
– More pudding-like fruit casserole consistency
– Thick fruit juices remain freed to bubble up directly through crumbs
– Tendency for heavier, denser overall mouthfeel
– Can get overly mushy and wet without the cake batter to soak up juices
With Cake Mix Layer:
– Creates fluffy, cakey crumb layered over fruit
– Allows for structural lift soaking up moisture
– Prevents bottom layer saturation so textures don’t disintegrate
– Provides lighter, airier component against rich compote base
– Echoes actual cake textural elements with lovely crumb distribution
While both certainly taste great thanks to amazing ingredients, lots of satisfaction comes from contrasting pleasant fruit and crumble softness against fluffy vanilla cake bites in well balanced construction. The extra addition takes it to bakery level brilliance!
How should you adjust the amount of ingredients for a smaller or larger cake?
When adjusting the size of this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe to feed more or less people, it’s important to note how scaling ingredients properly allows successfully maintaining ideal flavor, texture and bake times. Here’s a helpful guide:
Half Batch Adjustments:
– Halve all ingredient amounts evenly across fruit, cake mix, liquids and toppings
– Use baking dish scaled down proportionately too like 8×8 pan
– Reduce bake time by 5 minutes minimum to account for thinner layers
Double Batch Adjustments:
– With double volume you also need bigger bakeware – approximately 12×15 size pan
– Double all ingredients evenly, including liquids which prevent dryness
– Extend bake time 10-15 minutes allowing extra time for heat penetration, testing doneness as recipe indicates
– If pan size is maxed out at 9×13, split into two batches baked in succession
Triple Batch Adjustments:
– Requires very large roasting pan or sheet pan around 15×20 inches
– Yes you can triple recipe if feeding huge crowds! Just ensure pan size accommodates.
– Add 20 minutes minimum bake time for super thick results testing doneness before removing
– Rotate pan position halfway through bake for improved heat circulation
– If pan can’t accommodate triple layers easily, separate into multiple bakeware pans/batches
For crowd-pleasing results every occasion, properly scaling ingredients AND equipment is imperative when modifying tried and true dump cake recipes. Balance both elements evenly for continued wonderful outcome no matter the batch yield!
Which juices work if you don’t have both pineapple and cherry juice?
If you don’t have both pineapple and cherry juice on hand for this dump cake recipe, you have lots of tasty fruit juice options that would work nicely as substitutes. Here are some great alternatives:
Pineapple Juice Only – Use 100% pineapple juice exclusively. The fruitiness will still shine without added cherry flavor. Could also spike it with dark rum for a tropical vibe.
Cherry Juice Only – Cherry juice on its own provides plenty of vibrant sweet-tart flavor as well. Could enhance with almond extract or amaretto liqueur.
Cranberry Juice – For a different direction, try cranberry juice concentrate or an all fruit juice blend containing cranberry for pleasant tartness interplaying with the sweet fruits.
Orange Juice – Citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, or even lemon would lend a nice bright acidity to cut through the sugariness of the cake and fruits beautifully.
Apple Juice or Cider – For cozy autumnal essence, apple cider or juice complements baked fruit desserts wonderfully. Could also use apricot, pear or mango juices.
Don’t feel limited by juice options called for. Part of the versatility of dump cakes is designing your own flavor profile through whatever fruit juices you have on hand! Get creative mixing and matching based on preference.
What types of cake or topping mixes can you substitute besides vanilla?
Beyond classic yellow or vanilla cake mix, this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe beautifully allows for plenty of alternate cake and crumb topping ideas that provide their own scrumptious essence. Get creative with these substitutions:
Spice Cake Mix – For warming cinnamon spice flavor, use a spice cake flavor base lending nice autumnal aromatic contrast against the berries and pineapple tang.
Funfetti Cake Mix – Kids will love the rainbow chip flecks and sweetness intensified vanilla profile zig-zagging throughout fruity layers for extra fun and decorative delight.
Red Velvet Cake Mix – Using red velvet offers vibrant crimson hued cake streaks weaving gorgeously through golden fruits crowned with traditional brown sugar crumble. Talk about color blocked beauty!
Carrot Cake Mix- This underrated choice provides lovely carrot nuance with touches of cinnamon and nutmeg spice sparkle playing off pineapple and cherry elements for balanced bliss.
Mango or Lemon Bar Mix – DIY crumb toppings can reflect components within fruit filling using mango or lemon muffin/loaf mixes. Even cheesecake or sugar cookie mixes make quick custom crumb work.
The cake layer possibilities prove endless like pistachio, pumpkin spice, or strawberry mixes too. And customizable crumble combos open up creative riffing for unique flavor and texture adventures all summer long!
Does the topping get crisp like a crumble or stay soft?
The streusel topping layered over this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake emerges from the oven beautifully crispy with lovely texture contrast against softer fruit and cakey underlayers. Here’s why it crisps up so nicely:
Sugar Crystalizes- Granulated white or brown sugar sprinkled as part of crumb topping ingredients caramelizes during baking which enables crisp texture once cooled.
Butter Browning – Melted butter drizzled over sugar mixture also undergoes lovely Maillard reactions turning solids browned and brittle to add overall crunch factor.
Flour Toastiness – Hint of flour or oats within crumble recipe also achieve gentle toastiness during bake further developing delicious crackly crust.
Low Moisture –Unlike cake center which stays moist from fruit juices and wet ingredients, the topping remains bound together drier through sugars and fats alone allowing crisp structural transformation.
Quick Cooling – Unlike dense cake layers retaining ambient heat longer after baking, thin streusel layer rapidly cools emerging from oven to set sugars and butter into hardened layer faster.
So while gooey underneath, the streusel topping crown achieves wonderful crispy quality post-bake to finish this fruity, saucy cake with nice contrasting bite through every delicious forkful!
Can you substitute the butter for a dairy-free option?
Definitely! This Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe allows flexibly swapping in dairy-free butter options beautifully with no other conversion steps required. Some excellent plant-based butter alternatives include:
Coconut Oil – melted coconut oil mimics richness of butter well with subtle added tropical essence perfect pairing with pineapple and cherries. Refined oil recommended for neutral flavors.
Vegan Buttery Sticks – Major brands offer plant-based butter sticks made from oils or nut-based fats, providing wonderfully similar performance to traditional dairy butter. Easy substitute!
Margarine – Many traditional margarine sticks lack dairy components like butter fat or milk now anyway. Just verify vegan certification on any particular margarine product to guarantee dairy-free confirmation before baking.
Nut/Seed Butters – For extra nutrition! Melted creamy cashew, sunflower seed, or almond nut butters provide luscious consistency and pleasant flavor complexity lending buttery essence sans actual butter.
With so many quality plant-based butter options now conveniently available, transforming this sensational Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake into equally decadent yet dairy-free glory comes deliciously easy by simply swapping your preference!
How do you store and serve leftovers?
Storing and serving leftovers of this amazing Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake is easy thanks to the dense cakey construction and fruit juiciness retaining moisture beautifully for enjoyed days beyond initial baking. Here are some serving suggestions:
– Allow cake to completely cool before sealing in airtight container. Wrap plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent drying out.
– Refrigerate up to 5 days stored properly. Freeze cut slab pieces wrapped well up to 2 months, thawing overnight in fridge before serving.
– Mighty fine enjoyed cold straight from fridge! Spoon à la mode adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream over chilled cake slice.
– Warm 10-15 seconds to take chill off for a briefly melted icing cream sensation.
– Toast wedge in skillet with pat of butter for created almost crispy edges contrasting soft fruited center.
– Incorporate slices crumbled over yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal for a quick berry parfait style breakfast.
However you choose to enjoy leftovers – warmed, chilled, toasted or crumbled – this summery sweet cake offers flexible options putting decadent fruit-filled breakfasts and desserts on the table anytime!
How do you make this cake gluten-free?
Making this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake recipe gluten-free is a breeze requiring only a couple simple ingredient swaps:
Use gluten-free cake mix – There are pre-made gluten-free cake mix options on shelves from brands like King Arthur, Betty Crocker and more that contain rice or almond flour instead of wheat.
Check fruit cocktail ingredients – Verify canned pineapple and maraschino cherries don’t contain thickening additives with gluten. Look for 100% fruit juices only with no starches.
Swap butter topping for oil – Instead of butter based crumble, simply sprinkle same dry mix over oil drizzled atop fruit layers before baking. Most still use wheat in production so oil prevents gluten there.
Use gluten-free oats – If adding rolled oats to crumb topping, ensure packaging indicates certified gluten-free purity. Some oat supply chains risk cross contamination from wheat so check labels.
With so many quality gluten-free baking products abundantly available now like cake mixes and grain-free rolled oats, preparing wonderfully fruity dump cakes sans gluten comes deliciously easy! Get creative mixing flavors to your diet’s specialized needs.
Do you serve it with ice cream or whipped cream?
Serving this Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake warm out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream or clouds of fresh whipped cream makes for a beautiful flavor and texture contrast dessert presentation. Here’s how the two dressings compare:
Ice Cream Scoop
– Lovely temperature balance of chilled ice cream against hot pastry
– Creaminess cuts through sweetness
– Variety of ice cream flavors complement fruitiness – vanilla, coconut, cherry chip, pineapple swirl
– Melting factor makes it best for individual dessert servicing
– Light, billowy texture avoids feeling too heavy after sweet cake
– Can flavor simply with vanilla, citrus zest, cinnamon etc to align with topping profile
– Easy to pipe or stencil for gorgeous aesthetics
– Holds up for buffet-style presentation at room temp better
While the cake bakes up wonderfully all on its own with no topping needed thanks to ample fruit and crumb layers infused throughout, offering a small scoop of frozen fun or puffy whipped cream on the side gives a nice textural contrast and ties together dessert perfectly for any summertime celebrations!
Can other fruits be used for variations on the theme?
Absolutely! While pineapple and cherry prove a classic summery fruit pairing, this cake base recipe allows plenty of flexibility swapping in alternate fresh fruit options for seasonal flavor variations all year long. Get inspired mixing and matching…
Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, diced strawberries all pop beautifully against pineapple slices keeping things vibrant.
Stone Fruit – Slice peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots combining with tropical essence of pineapple for bright medley.
Apples – For fall flavors, mix diced apples or apple pie filling with pineapple and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
Citrus – Mandarin oranges, clementines or drained canned grapefruit segments lend nice acidity and aesthetic next to the golden pineapple rings baked underneath.
Tropical Fruit – Go all tropical incorporating mango chunks, passionfruit pulp, crushed pineapple, papaya or wild card jackfruit intimidating other assertive fruits.
Don’t feel restricted to the fruit pairing foundations suggested in basic recipe templates. Embrace seasonal market offerings by freely flowing fruits and flavors together in endless riffable combos all year long keeping this cake sensation freshly exciting for years!
Does the cake freeze well or is it better fresh?
This Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake actually holds up wonderfully to freezing for prolonged enjoyment weeks or months down the road! Proper freezing and thawing methods deliver near freshly baked results. Here are some tips:
Prepare – Allow cake to completely cool first after baking before wrapping airtight. This prevents unwanted condensation compromising texture from residual heat still releasing.
Package – Use durable freezer wrap plastic to cover entire cake pan or if storing cut slab pieces individually wrap each serving size chunk securely with added layer of foil for protection.
Label – Note preparation date and contents to track duration. Consume cake within 2-3 months optimally for best flavor and texture quality retentionfrozen over extensive durations.
Thaw – Transfer frozen cake from freezer directly to fridge overnight, allowing gradual thawing all the way through evenly over 8-12 hours. Microwaving risks uneven hot spots.
Serve – Whether thawed cuts or whole cake, refresh quickly using microwave 10 second bursts or popping back into oven at 325oF just until warmed through for ideal serving temperature and renewed crumb texture.
With thoughtful freeze and thaw safeguards, the flavorful fruits nestled between buttery streusel and cakey base emerge tender and luscious weeks later for effortless dessert even on your busiest nights the whole family will adore!