Pineapple dump cake is perfect when you need a fast and easy treat.
If you can work a can opener, you have all the baking skills needed for this tropical dessert.
The inside is fluffy and tender, and the topping creates a crispy, crunchy crust.
Think of it like an upside-down pie that feeds a large group.
And you likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now.
So, let’s take a look at how to make this fantastic pineapple dump cake.
Pineapple Dump Cake
I love a good dump cake. It’s a great way to create mouth-watering desserts with minimal effort.
This pineapple dump cake checks all the boxes. It uses simple ingredients and comes together in under an hour.
A box of cake is mixed with canned pineapple and brown sugar. But it doesn’t stop there. The buttery, caramelized topping is the real star of the show.
You only need to dump it in a baking pan and let your oven work its magic.
It’s the perfect recipe when you need to feed a big group, and it’s sure to impress.
You only need four simple (and affordable) ingredients to create this tropical sweet treat.
Crushed pineapple – Canned pineapple tidbits make your life so much easier. And don’t drain that precious pineapple juice. It adds so much flavor to this recipe!
Brown sugar – Brown sugar adds a layer of buttery caramel sweetness to the middle of this cake. It’s a quick and easy way to add something extra to this deliciously sweet dessert.
Yellow cake mix – There’s no need to get super fancy. A boxed cake mix works just as well as homemade. Opt for yellow or white cake mix.
Butter – Everything is better with butter! Ensure your butter is frozen and shredded for the perfect crispy crust.
Crystallized ginger (optional) – While it’s not required, crystalized ginger adds something extra to this recipe. Add it to the brown sugar crumble for a pop of spice if you have it on hand. If you don’t have it, that’s fine, too!
How to Make Pineapple Dump Cake
The recipe is easy enough for baking newbies.
- Prepare to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and liberally grease a 13×9 baking pan.
- Create the pineapple base layer. Dump the pineapple tidbits in an even layer in your prepared baking pan. Then, spread the brown sugar on top.
- Add the cake mix and butter. Sprinkle the cake mix over the pineapple and brown sugar, and spread it out so it’s nice and even. Top it with shredded butter.
- Bake the cake. Bake it in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Cool it on a wire rack, and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
While this recipe is super simple, there are a few areas where things can go wrong. Check out these quick tips to ensure your party treats comes out perfectly.
Don’t toss the pineapple juice! For even more pineapple flavor, be sure to save your pineapple juice. After adding the butter on top, drizzle some of the excess pineapple juice. It’ll ooze into the dry cake mix for an extra punch of pineapple flavor.
Resist the urge to mix. It seems strange to place dry cake mix in the oven, but make sure you don’t mix it! The pineapple tidbits, juice, and butter create enough moisture in the oven to cook that dry cake mix.
Fresh isn’t always best. Fresh pineapple is great, but it doesn’t deliver the same flavorful punch in this recipe. Canned pineapple is exceptionally juicy, while fresh pineapple will make your cake dry.
Be liberal when greasing your pan. Canned pineapple loves to stick to the bottom of a pan, so grease it liberally. You can use butter or generously spray the bottom of the pan with Pam.
These recipe variations are a great way to switch things up.
Can’t get enough pineapple? If your love of pineapple runs deep, there are a few ways to dial up the tropical factor. A great way to infuse pineapple flavor throughout is by adding more pineapple and using a pineapple-flavored boxed cake mix.
Make it nutty. Yes, you can add nuts! Add chopped pecans to make the topping even more crunchy and nutty. Pecans add a sweet, buttery finish, but you can use whatever nuts you like.
Get fruity with it. Pineapple is the perfect tropical treat, but other fruits work great in this recipe. Use an apple pie filling instead of canned pineapple for an autumn-inspired dessert. Or, use canned fruits like pears and peaches. The possibilities are endless!
The great thing about this pineapple dump cake recipe is you can get creative with toppings. Here are some great serving suggestions to take this delicious cake over the top.
Pair it with vanilla ice cream. Is there anything more heavenly than warm cake and ice cream? When it comes out of the oven, serve it immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s amazing.
Add nuts and whipped cream. A generous dollop of whipped cream is perfect for a simple dessert. And for an added crunch, top it with nuts.
Try maraschino cherries. Top your masterpiece with maraschino cherries for some serious pineapple upside-down cake vibes. Not only does it add a pop of sweetness, it looks so pretty!
How to Store Leftovers
There will be leftovers when this massive cake is on the menu! The good news? They’re a cinch to store.
To Store: Place leftover cake in an air-tight container. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge.
To Freeze: Wrap leftovers in foil and place them in freezer-safe containers. Frozen leftovers will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
To Thaw and Reheat: When you’re ready to dive in, let leftovers thaw in the fridge overnight, then serve. Before serving, I like to nuke them in the microwave for 30 seconds until they’re warm.
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