This delicious quick and easy pineapple dump cake is the perfect no-fuss dessert your entire family will love!
Canned pineapple, brown sugar, cake mix, and butter come together for an unbelievably easy dessert that is perfect for an easy weeknight dessert, pot-luck dinners, or family gatherings.
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I am always looking for quick and easy seasonal dessert recipes and this pineapple dump cake is one of my favorites for summertime flavor, any time of year!
This pineapple dump cake is one of the easiest dessert recipes you will ever make. I love serving it at summertime gatherings like BBQs or potlucks because you can make it ahead and it tastes amazing served at any temperature.
Just dump, bake and enjoy!
If you love this easy pineapple cake, you might also enjoy the flavors of this chocolate dipped pineapple or this easy peach dump cake.
To make this quick and easy pineapple cake recipe, you will need:
- Canned Pineapple: I love the combination of one can of crushed pineapple combined with one can of pineapple chunks. Not only does it add textural interest to the cake but it also eliminates having too much moisture in the cake.
- Boxed Cake Mix: Vanilla is ideal for this recipe as it compliments the pineapple and brown sugar amazingly.
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar adds a nice, slow-baked caramelized flavor to the pineapple.
- Butter: Use melted unsalted butter. I have tested many pineapple dump cake recipes and prefer the results of melting the butter before topping the cake mix.
- Optional Serving Garnishes: Vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, and extra brown sugar take this easy pineapple dessert to the next level!
See the recipe card for quantities of each ingredient.
Substitutions and Variations
Need to switch things up a bit? The following substitutions will work:
- Pineapple: The directions are strictly for canned pineapple. However, you can use different cuts of canned pineapple if desired. Try using all varieties including crushed, tidbits, chunks, or even slices if you prefer.
- Boxed Cake Mix: Swap the vanilla cake mix with yellow, white, or french vanilla cake mix.
- Light Brown Sugar: If you don't have light brown sugar, dark brown sugar is the next best alternative. You can also use your favorite brown sugar alternative if preferred.
- Add Cinnamon: If you like the flavor of cinnamon spiced pineapple, add a pinch of cinnamon to the brown sugar layer.
One of my favorite things about this pineapple cake recipe is that it is literally dump-and-go! All you need to make it is:
- Cooking Spray: To prevent the dump cake from sticking.
- 9x13 pan: This is the best size pan for this recipe.
- Small bowl: For melting the butter.
- Strainer: For straining the pineapple or you can also use the lid from the can.
- Measuring cups and spoons: For the brown sugar.
How to Make Pineapple Dump Cake
Now that you have all your ingredients and the equipment gathered, it's time to get started!
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F, the ideal temperature for making this pineapple cake recipe. It allows everything to bake nice and slowly without over-browning the top.
Once the oven is preheated, prepare your 9x13 baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray. You can also use a bit of butter to grease it up if preferred.
Be sure to get the sides, too. I have never had any issues with the bottom sticking but occasionally have trouble with the corners.
Next, drain the pineapple chunks and distribute them evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Then open the crushed pineapple and pour the entire thing, including juice, around the pineapple chunks.
PRO TIP: Make sure you spread the chunks and crushed pineapple evenly distributed across the bottom so that you don't get one half with chunks and the other half crushed.
Next, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the pineapple. I like to use my fingers or a small spoon. As the dump cake cooks, the brown sugar will melt and distribute evenly in the juices.
Next, sprinkle the cake mix over the sugared pineapples. I like to use a small measuring cup to do this, but if you are a pro... you can just dump it right from the bag.
Try to spread it out as evenly as possible to prevent dry mounds from forming.
PRO TIP: Shake the pan a bit after spreading the cake mix so any extra fall into any open spaces.
Finally, pour the melted butter over the top. I like to use a liquid measuring cup to do this because it gives me more control. Drizzle across the cake mix layer, distributing as evenly as possible.
Place the cake into the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pineapple juices are nice and bubbly.
You will know when the dump cake is done when the top is evenly browned. At this point, the cake mix should be mostly absorbed.
PRO TIP: If you have any small dry areas, you can use a spoon to distribute juice from the corners over the dry areas.
Remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes. You can enjoy this easy pineapple dessert with cake mix, room temperature, or cold!
How to Serve Pineapple Cake
I like to serve this pineapple dessert cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and then a sprinkle of brown sugar on top.
I personally love it warm from the oven. But this easy pineapple cake also tastes great served at room temperature and is even delicious when it is cold.
This crushed pineapple cake recipe contains fruit, so although it can be stored at room temperature on the first day, it should be covered and stored in the fridge overnight.
When properly covered and stored, this recipe will stay fresh for up to four days.
Expert Tips and FAQS
Ready to make your own easy pineapple cake? Remember these tips:
- Spray the 9x13-inch dish before baking, paying special attention to the corners.
- Evenly distribute the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple across the bottom of the pan.
- Shake the dish once the cake mix is added to help the excess cake mix fall into open spaces.
- Use a liquid measuring cup to evenly distribute the butter.
YES! I like to serve it warm with ice cream or whipped cream but you can make it ahead of time and store room temperature until ready to serve.
They call it a dump cake because the ingredients can simply be "dumped" into the baking dish before baking.
Following my tips above, your dump cake should not be powdery. The liquid from the crushed pineapple and butter should be enough to cook through the dry cake mix. If your dump cake turned out powdery, that likely means the cake mix or the butter wasn't distributed very carefully.
If you notice this is an issue while baking, you can spoon juice from the corners over the dry areas and pop it back into the oven.
More Amazing Dessert Recipes
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below! You can also write a review in the comment section further down the page I always appreciate your feedback. And don’t forget to tag me @freshcoasteats in your photos on social media, I'd love to see your results!
Pineapple Dump Cake
- Mesh Strainer
- Cooking Spray
- Small saucepan or Cup for melting butter
- Serving Utensil
- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks drained
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple un-drained
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 1 cup butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 pan with a light coating of cooking spray.
- Spread both cans of the pineapple evenly in the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the pineapple.
- Use a small measuring cup to distribute the cake mix over the peaches in an even layer.
- Pour the melted butter over the cake mix.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.