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Black Forest Dump Cake (Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake)

Black Forest dump cake is a quick and easy dessert with just 3 ingredients.  This chocolate cherry cake uses cans of cherry pie filling, chocolate cake mix, and butter to create a delicious take on the traditional Black Forest cake.  Much like a cobbler, this easy recipe combines a sweet cherry filling with a rich, gooey cake with a crunchy crust.  It is perfect with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate cherry dump cake in a small bowl topped with vanilla ice cream and a cherry.

Dump cakes are one of the easiest desserts to make.  They take only 5 minutes to prep and use simple ingredients; you need pie filling, chocolate cake mix, and butter. They come together quickly with little cleanup.

With this 3-ingredient chocolate cherry dump cake, you only need to dump the ingredients in a baking dish, pop it in the oven, and bake.  

If you like the flavors of Black Forest, you may also like a simple Black Forest Poke Cake or try a batch of Chocolate Cherry Pancakes for your next weekend breakfast.

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What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Quick – This dessert comes together in just five minutes and takes less than an hour to bake, making it perfect when you need a quick dessert.
  • Easy clean up – This one-pan dessert makes clean up a breeze. No mixing bowls are needed!
  • Inexpensive – With just three ingredients, this easy dump cake is an inexpensive way to feed a crowd.

We love simple desserts, and this Black Forest Dump Cake is perfect for the chocolate lover.

It is called a dump cake because you dump the fruit filling into the pan, add the dry cake mix, drizzle with melted butter, and bake. 

This Black Forest dump cake recipe is a rich, decadent dessert without all the work of creating a layer cake.  

This cake is very similar to a cobbler. The fruit filling is baked, giving it a crunchy cake layer outside and a soft and gooey fruit layer in the middle. It is delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream. To make it extra special, add a dusting of chocolate shavings and top it with maraschino cherries. 

The recipe uses cherry pie filling, but if cherries are in season, you may want to add a handful of fresh cherries as well.  

It is easy to change the flavors by changing the type of cake.  Instead of devil’s food cake, you can use a milk chocolate cake, marble cake, or brownie mix.  It is also delicious with some almond extract mixed into the cherry filling. 

Black Forest dump cake in a baking dish with a serving spoon.

This cake is delicious, hot or cold, and can be served on its own or topped with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream. To up the chocolate flavor, add some chocolate chips or chunks before baking, or drizzle it with chocolate sauce and a dusting of chocolate sprinkles before serving. 

It makes about 8 servings, so it is great for a special occasion, small gatherings, parties, and backyard BBQs. 

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a few days and are great for breakfast, too!

Ingredients & Substitutions

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Cherry pie filling—You will need 2 cans of cherry pie filling for this recipe. You can also add a few cups of fresh, pitted cherries.

Cake mix – You will need one box of cake mix to make this recipe. We like using devil’s food cake mix with our black forest dump cake recipe, which has a rich chocolate flavor.  But you can make this dessert with any chocolate cake mix.  It also works well with brownie mix.  If you dislike chocolate, you can use a white or yellow cake mix instead.

Butter – Butter is needed to combine with the cake mix, make it moist, and give it flavor. Do not substitute this with oil; it will not taste or have the same texture.

Ingredients for chocolate cherry dump cake.

Step by Step Instructions

Prepare a 9×13 baking dish or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray or a thin coating of butter, paying attention to the corners.

Pour the the pie filling and spread it out in an even layer.

Cherry pie filling spread in a nine by thirteen pan.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the fruit filling layer and gently shake the pan to help evenly distribute it.  

Then, carefully pour the melted butter over the top of the dry mix.  

Pro Tip -The recipe works best with melted butter as it ensures the cake mix will bake without any dry spots, but you can slice cold butter into thin slices and distribute them over the top of the cake if you like.  The butter slices will melt as the cake bakes, however this method sometimes produces a few drier spots.

Chocolate cake mix sprinkled in a nine by thirteen pan drizzled with melted butter.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown.

Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before serving, as this will help the warm fruit filling set, making it easier to serve.

Baked chocolate cherry dump cake in a nine by thirteen baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

We like to keep things simple and serve this simple dessert recipe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It is especially delicious when the cake is served warm, and the ice cream can melt into the warm, gooey fruit filling.

You could also add a dollop of Cool Whip or some fresh homemade whipped cream.

You may also want to serve it with fresh, juicy cherries or a few maraschino cherries.

You can add a drizzle of chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings.

A spoonful of black forest dump cake with vanilla ice cream.

Top Tips & Tricks

  • Before baking, gently shake the baking dish. This will help distribute the cake mix and butter, helping it cook evenly and with less chance of dry spots.
  • Let the cake cool for ten minutes before serving. This will help the fruit filling set, making it easier to serve.


Does dump cake need to be refrigerated?

Due to the fruit in the cake, leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about three days.

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Printable Recipe

Chocolate cherry dump cake in a small bowl topped with vanilla ice cream and a cherry.

Black Forest Dump Cake

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Deanna



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or coating with a thin layer of butter.
  • Dump the pie filling into the baking dish and spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle the cake mix over the fruit filling and give the pan a gentle shake to help distribute the cake mix and fill in any holes.
  • Pour the melted butter over the top of the cake.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


If you still have the slightly larger (15.25 oz) boxes of cake mix, they will work just fine for this recipe, no adjustments necessary.


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Black Forest Dump Cake
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Food Safety and Storage

This cake can be stored in the baking dish covered in aluminum foil or plastic wrap or portioned and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about three days.

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