Everything that goes into this pineapple upside down dump cake is added straight to the slow cooker to do all the work! It’s a fun twist on classic upside down cake, including the pineapple and cherries coated in caramelized brown sugar topped with a moist cake cooked until golden brown. Made with just 5 ingredients and very little effort, this is the easiest, most delicious summer dessert to feed your crowd!
A slow cooker pineapple upside down dump cake is a cross between an easy dump cake recipe and the more classic pineapple upside down cake. We’re using all of the original flavors in a dump-and-set cake recipe letting the crockpot do all the work!
Pineapple dump cake should not be flipped right side up before serving. After all, it is a dump cake and wouldn’t be so pretty.
There are no pineapple rings, but instead chunks of juicy pineapple and maraschino cherries at the bottom of a fluffy, moist, and buttery cake. What it lacks in presentation, it makes up for in taste!
It’s easy to see why this family favorite makes an appearance at any sort of family gathering. I serve this delicious dessert at potlucks, cookouts, summer BBQs, and anytime I need an effortless dessert to serve a crowd.
A helping or two with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream is always a treat!
Why is it called a dump cake?
Not the most flattering name, right? A dump cake is called such because you basically “dump” ingredients (usually pie filling or canned fruit, boxed cake mix, and butter) into a cake pan (or a slow cooker in this case) without mixing it up.
Think cobbler but with a cake topping instead of crumb.
Why you’ll love this easy Pineapple Dump Cake recipe 🍍🍒
Easiest Desserts – Dump cake recipes are so easy. With just 5 simple ingredients and a crockpot, and no need to worry about cleaning up mixing bowls, this pineapple dump cake couldn’t be easier or more fuss-free to make.
Leftovers for days – If you’re lucky enough to have any leftover cake, consider yourself all set for dessert (or breakfast if you like living it up) for the next few days.
Taste and Texture – A moist cake, candied cherries, juicy pineapple chunks, and the option of adding crunchy nuts is like a party in your mouth.
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Unsalted Butter, Divided – Some of the melted butter gets mixed with brown sugar to create the caramelized, brown sugary, sweetness at the bottom of the cake (you know, what would normally be seen at the top!).
- Brown Sugar – Gives extra caramel flavor that regular granulated sugar wouldn’t give. It also adds a bit of extra color.
- Maraschino Cherries, Drained – A signature part of a pineapple upside down dump cake. These candied cherries are quite sweet and add a beautiful pop of red to the mixture.
- Unsweetened Pineapple Tidbits, Undrained – With the brown sugar and sweet cherries, we don’t want to overdo it. So, we use unsweetened pineapple along with the juices. The liquid will absorb into the cake giving it moisture and pineapple flavor.
- Yellow Cake Mix – That’s right, we’re all about quick and easy shortcuts. We’re sprinkling the cake mix right into the slow cooker.
How to make an easy Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
There are no strategically placed rings with cherries in the center with this deconstruction! We’re playing it fast and loose with the fruit and throwing caution to the wind 😉
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar. Spread this mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared slow cooker basin.
- Step Two: Top with cherries and pineapple dispersing them evenly so they are spread out enough. That way each serving will have equal amounts of both.
- Step Three: Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the cherries and pineapple and drizzle the remaining melted butter overtop.
- Step Four: Cover and cook on high for 2 hours until the fruit mixture is bubbly. Keep an eye on your slow cooker and watch for burning, as each model is made differently. Yours may be done in under 2 hours.
- Step Five: Turn off the slow cooker, remove the lid, and let it set for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to serve your pineapple upside down dump cake, enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
What to serve with Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
I’m a sucker for warm cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. You can also serve it with homemade cool whip or a drizzle of caramel sauce if you’d like.
If you like the pineapple coconut combination you’ve got to try my skinny pineapple coconut cake too.
Tips & Suggestions 🍍
- Make sure to spray the bottom of the basin with nonstick cooking spray or grease it with butter. The sugars are bound to stick otherwise.
- Remove any stems from the maraschino cherries if you see any.
- Use fresh pineapple if you have it. You’ll need to add a bit of pineapple juice in this case.
- Add 1/2 cup of toasted pecans to the brown sugar layer for added crunch.
- You can also use crushed pineapple instead of the tidbits if preferred.
- If you only have salted butter, go ahead and use it. It’ll be a nice balance to the sweetness of the cake. Just be mindful that not all salted butter is created equal. You don’t want it too salty!
- Serve this pineapple cherry dump cake warm or at room temperature. Some people say it’s even better the next day.
How to reheat and store Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
Do you have to refrigerate dump cake?
Yes, once completely cooled to room temperature, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze it?
You can! It might be a bit too messy to wrap in plastic wrap, although you can try.
If not, use a freezer-safe container to store it for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat it
This is an easy one to just throw in the microwave to heat up. It’s already plenty moist so there’s no concern it’ll get soggy.
What else can I add to my dump cake?
So much! Sprinkle in a little cinnamon for a warm flavor in the fall and winter months. It’s also sometimes nice to add a bit of nutmeg or even apple pie spice.
Come summertime, for a tropical flare, sprinkle some coconut flakes on the cake mix.
Can I make it in the oven?
Certainly. Follow the same directions using a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes in a preheated 350° oven.
Can I use this recipe with other kinds of fruit?
You can use any canned fruit or pie filling you’d like! This versatile recipe works well with so many different flavors and types of fruit. Keep it handy, you’ll never run out of ways to make this quick and easy cake!
More classic dump cake recipes to try include: apple pie dump cake, blueberry dump cake, peach dump cake, pumpkin dump cake,…they’re basically the easiest cake recipe so switch up the fillings & go to town.
Crockpot Pineapple Cake
Need more fruity cake recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of cake recipes.