Chocolate and Cherry Dump Cake

Looking down on a full Dutch oven of cooked chocolate cherry dump cake.

Dump cakes are a very popular and easy dessert to make in a Dutch oven while camping and seem synonymous with American Boy Scouts camp cooking. There is a wide range of flavor combinations, this being one of the more popular.

The basic premise of a dump cake is you ‘dump’ a few processed ingredients in a Dutch oven and, often to people’s surprise, a cake is created. Although it is actually more like a cobbler with a cake top and a rich layer of warm fruit on the bottom.

This particular version uses a combination of chocolate and cherry. It combines canned pie cherries and chocolate cake mix to create a rich cake sitting on a gooey cherry base. It is surprisingly easy and tasty.

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A Dutch oven lined with paper, filled with the powdery cake mix topped with chocolate chips.
Although the cake isn’t stirred, it still needs to be slightly blended and flattened to cook evenly.
Cooked chocolate dump cake partly served, exposing the cherry mixture below.
The paper liner in dump cakes helps a lot with cleaning and stopping acidic fruits from reacting with the seasoning.
A white plate with a serving of cherry chocolate dump cake topped with whipped cream.
The chocolate cherry dump cake can be eaten alone or topped with cream or ice cream.
Looking down on a full Dutch oven of cooked chocolate cherry dump cake.
When baked the chocolate cherry dump cake is more like a cobbler, with a cake top and fruity cherry base.

Chocolate and Cherry Dump Cake Recipe

Looking down on a full Dutch oven of cooked chocolate cherry dump cake.
Dump cakes are a very popular and easy Dutch oven dessert to make while camping. This version creates an addictive combination of cherries and chocolate.
Preparation 5 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Ready in 35 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
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  • 1 can (29 oz) cherry pie filling
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • 10 inch Dutch oven
  • baking paper


  • Add a layer of baking paper to the Dutch oven as neatly as possible.
  • Pour the cherry pie filling on top of the baking paper to create an even layer over the base of the Dutch oven.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate cake mix over the cherry base.
  • Gently pour the soda over the cake mix.
  • Lightly drag a spoon over the top of the cake and soda mixture to slightly combine.
  • Lightly scatter the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.
  • Set the Dutch oven up to an approximate temperature of 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 620mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 2gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 204IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 3mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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  1. 5 stars
    I have a 14″ dutch oven. Do you think I could double the recipe to serve a bigger group and it would work the same?

    1. Doubling and cooking in a 14 will work fine for a larger group. The extra 2 inches creates a surprising increase in volume that will allow the doubling.

    1. The portion size can be reduced to serve 7/8 people or the recipe can be doubled and cooked in a 12-inch Dutch oven.

  2. 5 stars
    It would probably spill over in a cake pan. I use dutch oven parchment liners and they work great. I have made this cake a few times and gets better each time. No muss no fuss with the liners. And the crowd loves the dessert.

    1. It can be made in a cake pan in a Dutch oven however it will need a cake pan the size of a 10-inch Dutch oven and then cooked in a 12-inch Dutch oven. Anything smaller and it will overflow.

  3. 5 stars
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