Who says caramel apple flavors can only be found on a stick? This easy recipe for Caramel Apple Dump Cake comes together in just 5 minutes and will be an easy dessert your whole family will enjoy. A blend between apple cobbler, caramel apples, caramel apple bark and even a bit gooey like caramel apple dip.
This delicious dessert uses four layers to create a scrumptious fall dessert with warm fall flavors. First, apple pie filling, next gooey caramel sauce, next a dusting of buttery yellow cake mix and lastly, a melted butter and vanilla blend that ties it all together.
Why You’ll Love It
Yes, it has attributes other than just being easy to make!
- Semi-Homemade- I have a sweet tooth, but I’m a lazy baker. I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, so making something that is semi-homemade, but elevated is right up my alley.
- Fall Flavors- Many recipes simply use ground cinnamon. I take it up a notch with nutmeg, which is basically cinnamons best friend. This can be omitted or even increased based on personal preference.
- Gooey Caramel Layer– Instead of just drizzling the final product with caramel, we bake a layer right on and drizzle.
- Versatile- This recipe for caramel apple dump cake can be made ahead of time and even frozen whole. It can be served at room temperature, chilled or warm, making it the ultimate in unfussy cakes.
- Ease– Have I told you this is the easiest dessert? And when it comes to dump cake recipes, this one tops my list of the best tasting too.
What You’ll Need
The ingredient list is short and sweet for this easy cake. You might already have everything you need on hand!
- Apple Pie Filling– The name of the game is ease, so I used canned apple pie filling which means it is already sweetened and spiced. Feel free to make homemade apple pie filling too if you happen to have a ton left for an apple picking adventure.
- Caramel Sauce- Again, grab a jar at the grocery store (it is generally near the frozen food/ice cream aisle) or whip up a quick batch of homemade caramel sauce. Dulce de leche is another good option, which is a deeper caramelized version of caramel made from sweetened condensed milk.
- Cake Mix – Yellow cake mix made for the deepest flavor, but you can honestly use any type you wish. You can also use a different cake mix, see some of my suggestions below.
- Spices– Cinnamon and nutmeg are all you need.
- Salted Butter– I use salted in this recipe because the salt helps to balance all the sugar and also takes one less ingredient making it even faster to assemble. If you only have unsalted, just add a pinch of fine sea salt or coarse kosher salt to the melted butter.
- Vanilla Extract– Also helps to create a rich and warm cake blend.
How to Make Caramel Apple Dump Cake
Do you have 5 minutes? Then you have enough time to make this cake! Get started!
- Preheat the oven and prep a 9×13 baking dish or large casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Pour both cans of apple filling into the bottom of the baking dish and then drizzle with caramel sauce.
- Blend together the dry cake mix and spices in the cake mix bag so you don’t dirty anymore dishes. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just give it a few quick stirs. Evenly sprinkle the cake mix on top of the apples and caramel.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter and then whisk in the vanilla and pour over the top of the cake mix, getting as much moistened as possible.
- Bake the cake until bubbly and golden brown. Remove and let is cool for at least 20 minutes, this helps the whole cake thicken and marry. Do not rush this step.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings like vanilla or caramel ice cream and serve for your new family favorite.
This cake tastes great right out of the dish, but I also like toppings! Here are my favorites.
Even though this is a super easy cake recipe, there are plenty of ways to customize and make it your own.
- Add Bourbon– A match made in flavor heaven, caramel and apple flavors pair perfectly with bourbon. Use my bourbon caramel pecan sauce instead of standard caramel.
- Go nuts! Adding nuts is an easy way to make the texture more interesting. Add 1/2 cup of chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans to the apple layer or top with candied nuts before baking or while garnishing.
- Spices- We used a simple mix of cinnamon and nutmeg, but take it up a notch with using apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice instead.
- Cake Sponge– Rich and buttery, yellow cake mix is golden and delicious, but white cake mix, vanilla cake mix and even spice cake mix can alls be use. I’ve even wanted to experiment with chocolate cake mix.
- Fruit Fillings– The apple pie filling can also be pumpkin (pumpkin dump cake) or other types of fruit filling. We have a recipe for cherry dump cake and peach dump cake too!
Storage & Freezing
Easy apple dump cake can be stored covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer life, keep in the refrigerator.
This perfect fall dessert can also be frozen. Follow my steps for freezing whole cakes and casseroles or freeze in single servings.
More Easy Cake Recipes
We do love cake as long as they are easy cake recipes. And here are a few more.
Caramel Apple Dump Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread the apple pie filling into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
- Cut the top of the yellow cake mix bag open and add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir it around inside the bag. Evenly sprinkle the cake mix on top of the apples and caramel.
- Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk with vanilla extract. Pour the butter mixture on top of the dry cake mix, trying to moisten as much as possible.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
- Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream and more caramel sauce.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.