Whip up the BEST gluten free cherry dump cake in a pinch with 5 simple ingredients and in only 4 basic steps. This is a quick and easy, no fail cherry dessert that'll feed a crowd, and it's the perfect last-minute dessert for those busy weeknights where you just don't have the time to bake.
My friend Linda, from Life on Summerhill, shared this cherry dump cake recipe with me while we were on a retreat in Florida together. It was delicious, and I knew I had to share the recipe with y'all.
Since then, I've enjoyed switching it up, making peach dump cake, caramel apple dump cake, Crock Pot apple dump cake, and more. The possibilities for dump cake are endless, but there is something pretty special about this particular cherry pineapple dump cake.
Did I say pineapple? Yes, I did, because not only does it have cherry in it, it also has crushed pineapple.
And if you're wondering what a dump cake is, it's essentially just that. It's a cake in which you basically dump all of the ingredients in a baking dish and bake.
There's no mixing, no stirring, no work to it at all really, besides layering your ingredients in a baking dish. It's like cherry cobbler, but without all the work!
And you can make this cake gluten-free or chock full of gluten, whichever is your preference… I'll explain below.
Why You'll Love This Gluten Free Dump Cake Recipe
- This recipe is so quick and easy that anyone can make it! It uses only 5 simple ingredients that you basically dump in the pan and bake; there's no mixing, no stirring, and really no work at all!
- It's the perfect cure for a sweet tooth craving. Seriously this cake is so good!! It's like cherry cobbler, but without all the work!
- Dump cake is perfect for a crowd. It's not at all hard to make a larger batch to feed more people, and it can be made and even frozen ahead of time as a last-minute potluck dessert that'll have everyone coming back for more!
- This is a gluten free cherry dump cake recipe, and you can't even tell. Of course, you don't have to make it gluten-free if you don't want to– Your choice!
- You don't have to make this a cherry dump cake. In fact, you can make it any flavor you want by simply changing out the cherry pie filling for another flavor.
Ingredients & Substitutions Notes
The great thing about this recipe is that it only uses 5 simple ingredients…
- Crushed Pineapples – It's important that you use canned crushed pineapples with the juice for this recipe. If you don't care for the pineapple, you can just use an extra can of cherry pie filling instead.
- Gluten-Free Cherry Pie Filling – You can make homemade cherry pie filling, but for the sake of ease I usually just use gluten-free cherry pie filling from the store. No peeling, no coring, no slicing, etc….It is a dump cake, after all. Just make sure, and I can't stress this enough, that it is truly gluten-free; but if you don't care about gluten-free, any canned cherry pie filling will still work just fine.
- Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix – Again, make sure to buy a gluten-free yellow cake mix for this recipe. And again, if you don't care about gluten, a regular yellow cake mix will also work just fine.
- Chopped Pecans – Although I prefer chopped pecans, you can use chopped walnuts, black walnuts, or even sliced almonds too. If you don't like nuts, feel free to leave them out altogether!
- Salted Butter – I use salted butter, but if you only have unsalted butter, that's fine too. When substituting unsalted butter for salted, I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 1/2 cup of unsalted butter.
As always, be sure to check all of your ingredient labels to ensure that they are truly gluten-free. All of the amounts you'll need are in the printable recipe card below.
How to Make Gluten Free Cherry Dump Cake
How to Layer and Bake Your Dump Cake
- In the bottom of your greased baking dish, layer a full undrained can of crushed pineapple with juice (juice, not syrup).
- Next add a layer of gluten-free cherry pie filling on top of the pineapple, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Dump a box of gluten-free yellow cake mix (just the dry cake mix) all over the pie filling, spreading it out evenly with your fingers if need be.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans all over the cake mix; then thinly slice the butter over every inch of the top of the cake with a paring knife.
Finally, bake your dump cake at 350°F for about 1 hour, or until the cake turns a deep golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbly all around the edges.
How to Serve Cherry Dump Cake
This is the perfect dessert to serve at a potluck or holiday get together. If you need to feed more people, just double the recipe! If you need to feed even more people, just triple the recipe. You get the idea.
Speaking of get togethers, Linda (my friend who shared her recipe with me) has the most beautiful 4th of July tablescape that will fill your holiday with gorgeous shades of red, white, and blue.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's
You don't have to make a gluten free dump cake if you don't want or need it. You can still make a dump cake with regular, gluten-filled yellow cake mix. Just switch out the gluten-free cake mix for a regular cake mix, and you're good to go. The same goes for any other gluten-free ingredients.
While it's best served warm, I do recommend you place any remaining leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored this way, it should stay good for up to 4-5 days.
Yes, you can freeze this dessert. Stored in an airtight container, it should keep in the freezer for at least 3 months. When you're ready to serve it, just pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Yes, you can! In fact, you'd follow the same instructions for layering. As for cooking, it will need to cook longer in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. It will likely need to cook around 3 to 4 hours on low, or just a couple of hours on high.
Alternative Dump Cake Toppings & Variations
There are a few things you can do to switch this recipe up.
- As I mentioned earlier, you can use any flavor pie filling you want, like blueberry, blackberry, peach or even apple pie filling. The sky is the limit!
- Try switching up the cake mix. I'll bet butter pecan, French vanilla or even a chocolate cake mix would be absolutely delicious with this cherry dump cake.
- Throw in a pinch of cinnamon or even nutmeg. That's one super underrated tip that'll make this cherry dump cake 10x more delicious than it already was (if that's even possible)!
- I love to dowse mine with maple syrup or even caramel syrup. In fact, sometimes I dust mine with a little powdered sugar.
- Although I mentioned topping this off with vanilla ice cream in the instructions, you can use any flavor ice cream you want. I personally think this homemade chocolate ice cream would be perfect for cherry dump cake.
More Yummy Gluten-Free Desserts
- Although it's not quite as easy as dump cake, this gluten-free peach crisp is hands down my favorite gluten-free dessert. And it's still pretty darn easy to make!
- This gluten free apple crisp is chock full of bubbly apples and warm autumn spices. The scrumptious gluten-free oatmeal topping makes this recipe the family-favorite dessert it's sure to be!
- Although not naturally gluten-free, you can make this yummy no bake cherry delight gluten-free by using a cup for cup gluten-free flour to make the crust. So worth it!
- Finally, make the best gluten free strawberry rhubarb crisp just like Grandma did. Seriously, it's the best of both worlds with sweet and tart flavors, and the buttery brown sugar topping just tops the cake!
If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And subscribe to my email list too!
Gluten-Free Cherry Dump Cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F, and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
- Dump the crushed pineapple into the pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Dump the pie filling, spreading it evenly over the pineapple.
- Dump the dry cake mix over the pie filling, making sure it's spread evenly all around the pan.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans over the cake mix.
- Thinly slice 2 sticks of butter over the entire top of the cake.
- Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour, or until the cake turns a golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbly all around the edges.
- Serve while warm or at room temperature. This dessert pairs deliciously well with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.