This super simple 4-ingredient lemon dump cake recipe is a fresh and flavorful summer dessert idea your entire family will love.
Canned lemon pie filling, yellow cake mix, cream cheese, and melted butter come together for an unbelievably easy dessert that is perfect for weeknights, pot-luck dinners, or family gatherings.
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This fresh and zesty lemon dump cake with cream cheese is about to become one of your new favorite summertime recipes!
With just 4 ingredients, it is the ultimate no-fuss summertime dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is always my go-to when I need a fast, easy dessert that I know will turn out every time.
Not only are the ingredients easy to find and keep on hand, but the dessert itself is great served warm or cool which means you can make it ahead of time.
Top with whipped cream or ice cream and you have a simple but delicious dessert the entire family will love.
To make this quick and easy lemon cake recipe, you will need:
- Canned Lemon Pie Filling: Make sure you use a brand you love - this is the base of the recipe, so it's important you choose a high-quality filling.
- Boxed Cake Mix: Yellow is ideal for this dump cake recipe as it compliments the lemon really nicely.
- Cream Cheese: My FAVORITE part of the recipe, it adds an extra bit of cream indulgence and balances out the tart lemon.
- Butter: Use melted unsalted butter. I have tested many lemon dump cake recipes and prefer the results of melting the butter before topping the cake mix.
- Optional Garnishes for Serving: Whipped topping is AMAZING on top of this lemon cobbler dump cake and ice cream is also extra tasty.
See the recipe card for quantities of each ingredient.
Substitutions and Variations
Need to switch things up a bit? The following substitutions will work:
- Lemon Pie Filling: You may use homemade lemon pie filling or lemon curd in place of the canned lemon pie filling.
- Boxed Cake Mix: Swap the yellow cake mix with lemon, vanilla, white, or french vanilla cake mix.
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese should be sliced into small slices. If you don't have blocked cream cheese, you can use a tablespoon and add dollops of spreadable cream cheese instead. You could also use vanilla yogurt or skip it completely if you prefer.
- Melted Butter: You can use butter slices instead of melted butter if you want but I prefer melted butter as it prevents dry cake mix patches from forming.
You don't need much to make this lemon cream cheese dump cake. All you need to make it is:
- Cooking Spray: To prevent the dump cake from sticking.
- Knife and Cutting Board: To slice the cream cheese.
- 9x13 pan: This is the best size pan for this recipe.
- Liquid Measuring Cup: For melting and pouring butter
- Measuring cups and spoons: For the brown sugar.
How to Make Lemon 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 lemon dump 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.
- Next, distribute the lemon pie filling into the bottom of the pan and spread it out evenly reaching into every corner.
- Then take the cake mix and sprinkle half of it across the lemon pie filling.
- Place the sliced cream cheese evenly over the cake mix. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I try to imagine getting a small piece in each serving size as I am placing it.
- Next, sprinkle the remaining cake mix over the cream cheese covering it completely.
PRO TIP: At this point, I like to give the dish a little shake to help even out the cake mix topping. If you don't do this, sometimes higher mounds can form and make it hard for butter/moisture to reach while baking.
- Finally pour the butter over the cake mix. I like to use a liquid measuring cup for this step as it gives the most control over placement.
PRO TIP: Distribute the butter as even as possible but keep in mind that it will continue to spread as it bakes, so it doesn't have to be perfect!
- Place the cake into the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the lemon filling is nice and bubbly.
PRO TIP: You will know when the lemon cream cheese dump cake is done when the top is evenly browned. At this point, the cake mix should be mostly absorbed.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to set for a few minutes. You can enjoy this easy lemon dump cake with cream cheese at room temperature or cold!
How to Serve
I like to serve this lemon dessert with whipped cream. It is also great with ice cream, too!
I personally love it warm from the oven, but you can serve it at room temperature or even cold.
This lemon cobbler dump 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 lemon cobbler dump cake? Remember these tips:
- Spray the 9x13-inch dish before baking, paying special attention to the corners.
- Evenly distribute the lemon pie filling across 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 at 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 lemon 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 Easy 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!
- Cooking Spray
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- 2 21 ounce cans lemon pie filling
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 8 ounce block cream cheese sliced into small squares
- 1 cup butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 pan with a light coating of cooking spray.
- Spread the lemon pie filling evenly across the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Carefully distribute half of the cake mix over the lemon filling in an even layer.
- Place the sliced cream cheese evenly over the cake mix.
- Top the cream cheese with the remaining cake mix.
- Pour the melted butter evenly 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.