Caramel Apple Dump Cake

Caramel Apple Dump Cake is a tasty and easy-to-make dessert that blends sweet caramel with apple pie filling, all topped off with a golden, crunchy cake layer. This straightforward recipe is perfect for quick weekday desserts or for adding a little something special to gatherings, making it a great go-to for any dessert lineup.

Ice cream on apple dump cake with caramel sauce.

If you’ve never tried a caramel apple dump cake, you are missing out on one of the simplest desserts out there. Our version only requires 6 ingredients, and takes about 15 minutes to prep. The rest of the time is all hands off.

And, don’t be fooled by the flavors. Yes, caramel and apple are traditional fall flavors, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy this cake all year round. In my book, sweet, gooey caramel is always a good idea! I can find plenty of reasons to pair cake, apple pie filling, and rich caramel sauce with a healthy scoop of ice cream. There’s no reason to wait until cool weather arrives.

So, get ready to make some buttery, gooey cake, y’all! Don’t forget to bring the vanilla ice cream!

Plates of dump cake with apples.

Why you may want to adjust or omit the apple pie spice:

Canned apple pie filling usually has a little bit of seasoning, like cinnamon and nutmeg, mixed into its syrup. That’s plenty for some people while others prefer a stronger flavor. If you want a more pronounced flavor, add the apple pie spice or sprinkle in a little extra cinnamon, nutmeg, or even some allspice or ground cloves. If you like pie filling as-is, simply skip the added apple pie spice.

What’s a good substitute for caramel bits?

If you can’t find caramel bits, try caramel squares instead. I’ve had the best luck mixing bits or squares with heavy cream to make caramel sauce then drizzling it over the apple pie filling. Adding the bits or squares without making it into a sauce seems to form solid chunks once cooled. They get really chewy and hard to eat.

Some other options include a jar of caramel sauce that you’d add to an ice cream sundae or a can or two of dulce de leche (yum!). And while not exactly the same, toffee bits add flavor and a crunchy texture and sweetened condensed milk adds a creamy, sweetness similar to caramel sauce.

Yes! That’s the great thing about our caramel apple dump, and dump cakes in general, they’re pretty versatile when it comes to the cake mix part. You actually have several options:

White Cake Mix: This is going to be kind of like a blank slate. It will let the apple and caramel flavors shine!

Vanilla Cake Mix: Super similar to white cake mix only it has some vanilla undertones. 

Spice Cake Mix: My personal favorite! I love spice cakes, and the flavor pairs perfectly with caramel, apple, and apple pie spice. This flavor of cake mix is great if you want to stay true to fall flavors.

Butter Cake Mix: This may be a good option for some. Others may think the butter flavor is overly synthetic or that it’s overkill when used alongside the butter already in the recipe. Just something to consider, but butter cake mix is definitely an option.

Top down view of a plate of dump cake with caramel.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: You’ll want to refrigerate any leftover caramel apple dump cake in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Warm it slightly in the microwave before serving.

Freezer: You can also freeze leftover cake. Let it cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or wrap it in aluminum foil and freezer paper. Store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. The texture may change slightly after the cake thaws.

Vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce over apple dump cake.

Caramel Apple Dump Cake

4.6 from 14 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 40 ounces apple pie filling, 2 (20 ounce) cans
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice, adjust to taste
  • 11 ounces caramel bits
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 13.25 ounce box yellow cake mix, unprepared
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the apple pie filling and apple pie spice. Transfer the filling to the pan, and spread into an even layer.
    40 ounces apple pie filling
    2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • In a separate small bowl, microwave the caramel bits and heavy cream for 15-20 seconds at a time until smooth. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pie filling.
    11 ounces caramel bits
    3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the caramel sauce. Then, arrange the pats of butter in an even layer over the top of the cake mix.
    13.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and the filling bubbles around the edges.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce!

Suggested Equipment

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of cake without ice cream. Actual calories will vary.
*Use sweetened or unsweetened apple pie filling or 1 can of each.
*Make sure to get really good coverage with the butter; otherwise, you’ll end up with dry cake mix patches that won’t bake properly.
*Cinnamon makes a great substitute for apple pie spice. Adjust the amount if desired. Skip to more info and substitutions for apple pie spice.
*Caramel bits are Kraft caramel bits located in the baking aisle. Kraft caramel squares may also be used. Skip to substitutes for caramel bits.
*Do not prepare the cake mix. Sprinkle it straight out of the bag/box. Skip to substitutes for yellow cake mix.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 550kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 3gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 407mgPotassium: 148mgFiber: 2gSugar: 53gVitamin A: 675IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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