Caramel Apple Dump Cake

Author: Rachel

Published Date: October 12, 2021

Caramel Apple Dump Cake is made of delectable layers of cinnamon-coated apples, gooey caramel, buttery cake mix, and crunchy pecans!

This impressive sweet treat is a deconstructed version of a classic apple pie made with all the warm and comforting fall flavors but with much less fuss and effort.

Caramel Apple Dump Cake in a 9X13 inch pan with apple slices and caramel drizzled on top
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After sharing my yummy Apple Fritters and Apple Cider Bundt Cake recipes, my quest to make delicious apple-flavored fall desserts continues with this easy caramel apple dump cake recipe!

This recipe is perfect if you are craving a piece of apple pie at home but cannot be bothered with the time and energy it will take to actually make one.

And despite its humble name, this tender, moist, and unbelievably delicious dessert is worthy of any occasion.

What is a Dump Cake?

The term itself says it all! It is a super easy cake recipe where all the ingredients are “dumped” together and baked.

It is similar to a cobbler; however, it skips the part where you have to make a batter since this recipe uses ready-mix cake boxes.

The beauty of a dump cake is that there is no beating, whipping, or mixing involved at all!

Just assemble all the ingredients in the order stated on the recipe, put it in the oven, and out comes a perfectly baked golden brown dessert. 

You’ll be amazed at how decadently rich and buttery it will turn out!

A spooned out portion of the dump cake in the baking dish
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Why This Recipe Works:

  • It’s a holiday dessert that you can make in a jiffy! It will be ready for baking in just 15 minutes with hardly any effort on your end.
  • A remarkably yummy treat for something made with simple ingredients dumped together in a baking pan, even your kids will ace it!
  • This easy apple dump cake is flexible too! You can make ingredient changes or substitutions without much adjustment needed.
  • It is the perfect dessert for making ahead of time, so you can make a big batch and not worry about what’s for dessert for the next few weeks! If it will last that long, that is!

Ingredients Needed:

  • Apple pie filling
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon juice
  • Yellow boxed cake mix 
  • Caramels (store-bought or even try your hand at homemade caramels!)
  • Butter
Caramel Apple Dump Cake ingredients
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Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

  • 9X13 baking dish
  • Medium bowl
  • Non-stick spray

Make the Caramel Apple Dump Cake


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.


  1. Mix apple pie filling, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a medium bowl, then transfer to the prepared pan.
  2. Layer the soft caramels, cake mix, and chopped pecans on top of the pie filling evenly.
  3. Cover the surface with the butter chunks as much as you can.
  4. Bake the cake for 45 minutes.
Caramel Apple Dump Cake Step by Step Process
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Tips When Making Caramel Apple Dump Cake

  • The baking time is dependent on the size of the baking pan and the type of oven used.

    To check if your dump cake is cooked through, you can do a toothpick test. Simply insert one in the center of the cake. If it is clean when you pull it out, your cake is done.
  • Make sure that you spread the ingredients evenly in layers for the best results.

    When placing the butter on top of the cake mix, make sure you cover all surfaces and add more butter if necessary. Missing spots can result in a dry and lumpy crust.
  • Keep the butter chilled right before layering them on top. It will be challenging to get them in place if they have softened or melted

Possible Variations:

  • You can also use fresh apples instead of apple pie filling.
    Just toss them first in apple pie spice, brown sugar, and a bit of flour, then heat for a few minutes until the apples soften a bit and the sugar caramelizes.
  • If you want some variations, you can also use other fruit fillings aside from apples!

    Turn this recipe easily into a peach dump cake or cherry dump cake by switching the fruit to whatever you like.
  • Keep it nut-free by omitting the pecans and using sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.
  • Serve it “a la mode” by placing a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top drizzled with caramel sauce.

    You can also use other garnishes like fresh fruits and berries or Chocolate Buttercream.

Storing Caramel Apple Dump Cake

Leftover Apple dump cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days, in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap. 

Then it should go into the fridge and will stay goo for an additional 3 days.

It is delicious reheated in the microwave. 

If you want to freeze the leftovers, be sure to cool the cake first and wrap it really well. It should freeze well for at least 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find Kraft caramels – how will I know how many to use?

You want to use about 1 ½ cups of caramels. And if you use a little more, it will still work – I’ve tried it that way too.

I don’t have yellow cake mix – is there a different cake mix that will work?

Yes, box spice cake mix works really well, or you could use a white cake mix or vanilla cake mix.

I don’t care for pecans – what else could I use?

You could either substitute walnuts or just leave the nuts out altogether.

Do I need to stir the layers before baking?

No, the beauty of this cake is you just dump in each of the layers, and the cake bakes just like that!

I don’t have any lemon juice – what else could I use?

The best substitute would be the same amount of lime juice, orange juice, or apple cider. Or, if you have it, you could use 1 teaspoon of lemon zest or ½ teaspoon lemon extract. You may also substitute 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It is good to use something to balance the sweetness of the apples and caramel.

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Caramel Apple Dump Cake

3.78 from 48 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
This Caramel Apple Dump Cake is made of delectable layers ofcinnamon-coated apples, gooey caramel, buttery cake, and crunchy pecans! Thisimpressive sweet treat is a deconstructed version of a classic apple pie madewith all the warm and comforting fall flavors but with less fuss and effort.


  • 3 – 20 ounce cans apple pie filling
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 – 11 ounce package Kraft caramels, about 35, unwrapped and cup in half
  • 1 Box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup salted butter, cut into small chunks

Optional garnishes:

  • ice cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • whipped cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.
  • Combine apple pie filling, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a medium size bowl. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Arrange the caramels evenly over the apple pie filling.
  • Spread the cake mix over top, evenly.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Place the chunks of butter evenly over the top.
  • Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until starting to turn golden.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles

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Recipe Rating

  1. This looks so good. I love apples and pecans but don’t always want to make a pie. This is perfect. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Question, do you prepare the cake mix as directed or do you just sprinkle it over the fruit mix?

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