Applesauce Dump Cake Experiment

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I noticed that my Peach and Blueberry Dump Cake with Pecans and Pecan Dump Cakes recipes were getting a lot of views lately. It seems that Pop Sugar posted an article a last week that contained both recipes. Thanks, Pop Sugar!!! Their article led me to this Applesauce Dump Cake Experiment. I received a few comments with both recipes but found myself having a conversation with one person in particular about whether or not you could use applesauce instead of butter. To be honest, I wasn’t sure. I know a lot of folks use applesauce as a butter/oil substitute and suggested that she try it. Well, she wrote back and said that it didn’t work at all. The applesauce just sat on the top of the dry cake mix. I’m so glad she wasn’t super upset with me!

I needed to try this for myself to see if it would really work. After thinking about it a bit, applesauce is pretty dense and doesn’t have a lot of water content so I think that could contribute to cake mix not absorbing it. I guess. So I decided to try two versions. One with applesauce mixed with a little apple juice and one with only apple juice. Since this was more of a test for me, I didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel and create another type of dump cake, so I used my grandma’s recipe.

Side note: The first time I had dump cake is when I was a little girl. I thought it was the most delicious thing in the world and that my grandma was a genius for creating it. She passed away when I was 9, so it would be many years before I would have it again. When I was pregnant with Miles I had a craving for it and called my mom for the recipe. She emailed me a newspaper clipping. It turns out that my grandma didn’t invent it at all! She found it in the paper. I still it loved it and her anyway.

Now back to the dump cakes. Let’s take a look at the applesauce + juice cake. Let’s be honest. It doesn’t look very appetizing. The applesauce+juice cake seems to have formed a crust.


The apple juice cake just cake looks nice and pretty. You can even see juices from the cherries bubbling to the top.  Now let’s dig in.


The cake mix didn’t seem to absorb the juice at all.  It must have sunk to the bottom from the sides because this cake was nothing more than dry mix on top of fruit.  I had to taste it anyway.  It tasted like dry cake mix with fruit.  Not great.


The applesauce/juice cake: The cake mix absorbed the sauce/juice mix! The cake even looked a bit like baked cake even more so than with just butter. But how did it taste? Good! The cake was moist and there was barely a hint of apple, so no worries about adding another fruit flavor to your dump cake.

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So the verdict? I think the applesauce + juice mixture wins! I hope you try this and let me know what you think 🙂


Applesauce Dump Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 8 oz applesauce
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts ((I used pecans))
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Use 9x13x2 inch pan, ungreased.
  2. Dump 1 can crushed pineapple into pan. Spread evenly. Do not drain.
  3. Dump 1 can cherry pie filling over pineapple. Spread evenly.
  4. Dump 1 box yelp cake mix (dry) over pie filling. Spread evenly.
  5. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped nuts over cake mixture.
  6. Combine applesauce with apple juice and pour/spread on top of cake.
  7. Bake 1 hour.
This is almost exactly how the recipe appeared in the paper. You have to love old recipes with such simple directions!

Adapted from "Favorite Recipes" St. Joseph's Parish Council of Women

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Bananas sound really yummy!

  2. tim winn says:

    Tried this with bananas and canned mandarin oranges in a bundt pan. Use a bit of orange juice added to 10x sugar to make a glaze.

  3. Of course! When you told me what happened, I knew I had to try it 🙂

  4. lanette says:

    thank you so so much for trying this out!! I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks for mentioning me 😉

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