Chocolate Dump Cake, how to make a dump cake with a chocolate cake mix and pudding mix, and no mixing bowls. This easy dump cake recipe only has 5 ingredients and ready in less than an hour. The best!
Wow, this Chocolate Dump Cake only has 5 ingredients. Yep, I’m not kidding. And did I mention you don’t need any mixing bowls? You just “dump” everything right in the pan. After my recent Pumpkin Dump Cake, I knew I had to try another, so an easy chocolate dump cake recipe it was.
I may be addicted to creating easy dump cake recipes. Crazy, I know.
I looked around the internet to see what else was out there for easy chocolate dump cakes. Yeah, there are a lot of chocolate dump cake recipes out there, but I didn’t see any recipes where you actually DUMP everything into the pan.
Everything I saw required mixing a cake mix, pudding mix, and milk in a mixing bowl or something along those lines. That’s all totally fine, but I wanted to test out what would happen if you did NOT mix it all together in a bowl and did things a little different.
I really was NOT expecting this to turn out. I’m so optimistic sometimes, haha! I really did not expect it to work so I did not even take pictures of anything before I baked this Chocolate Dump Cake.
But then it DID work. OMG I was shocked. It really did work and it actually tasted good and everyone loved it. What?!
This Chocolate Dum Cake is quite rich and brownie-like with a crispy bottom, soft center, and almost molten top. It’s NOT like a typical “cake” so if you’re looking for more of a traditional cake texture this is not it.
However, this is a super easy dump cake recipe for sure!
Chocolate not quite your thing? Be sure to also to check out my Caramel Apple Dump Cake, Pina Colada Dump Cake, and Blueberry Dump Cake.
What is a Dump Cake
If you’re just joining us and have NO idea what a dump cake is, let me first explain before you think I’m crazy.
Generally, a dump cake contains fruit “dumped” into a pan, topped with a dry cake mix, then drizzled with melted butter or slices of butter and then baked in the oven. The result is almost like a crisp/cobbler.
However, dump cakes have come a long way and can vary A LOT. Anything goes now.
Dump cakes are generally quick and easy and perfect for potlucks and feeding a lot of people since they are usually baked in a large baking dish. You can usually change dump cakes up with your favorite fruit, cake flavors, and mix-ins which is always nice.
How to Make a Chocolate Dump Cake
(For the full printable recipe card, scroll down. However, you may find these additional recipe notes helpful before starting.)
As I mentioned above, many other chocolate dump cakes require a mixing bowl and mixing everything together, so I wasn’t overly optimistic this was going to work when I chose NOT to mix things together.
Well it did work, wow!
So start off with a 13×9 inch baking dish. I just happened to use a glass one. Results may vary slightly though depending on the material of your baking dish. A nonstick or glass one is probably best though.
Place a stick of butter (1/2 cup) in your pan, then place the baking dish in the oven while you are preheating the oven. You really just want to melt the butter, so since you need to preheat your oven, this is just a quick and easy way to do it without dirtying anything else.
Check your butter periodically, and once melted, remove the pan from the oven. Make sure the butter is a nice even layer on the bottom, or use a fork (whisk or whatever…) to make sure it’s an even layer.
Sprinkle the DRY cake mix on top of the melted butter. I would suggest a cake mix that does NOT have a pudding mix in it. Check the label. (I used a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food 15.25 ounce cake mix.)
Do NOT make the cake according to the directions on the box. I repeat, do NOT mix the cake mix with any of the ingredients instructed on the box (such as oil and eggs). Using a fork or back of a spoon, carefully spread the DRY cake mix into a thin even layer over the melted butter.
Sprinkle the DRY instant pudding mix on top of the cake mix. Again, do NOT make the pudding according to the directions on the box. Just sprinkle the DRY mix on top of the cake mix into an even layer. Use a fork or back of a spoon if needed to spread the pudding mix into a thin even layer. (I used a 3.9 ounce box of JELL-O Instant Chocolate pudding.)
So at this point, make sure the cake mix and pudding mix is a flat thin even layer. Since there’s melted butter on the bottom of the pan, the cake mix may be a little wet. That’s ok!
Then drizzle the milk over the top of the pudding mix trying to get every area if possible. I just used skim milk but you could use 2% or whole milk. After your milk is in the pan, carefully tilt and swirl the pan just slightly to cover any dry spots.
You really want to make sure the top of the dump cake has milk all over it so that there aren’t any dry spots. Gently push down with a fork or back of a spoon to make sure the milk starts to absorb some of the cake and pudding mix. It should look like muddy chocolate milk at this point.
Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips in an even layer over the whole Chocolate Dump Cake. You can use your favorite mix-ins in addition to the chocolate chips or instead of.
Chopped candy (anyone have leftover Halloween candy?), nuts, toffee chips, and/or other types of baking chips (peanut butter chips) would also be great.
Just don’t OVERLOAD the top with mix-ins.
Bake the Chocolate Dump Cake for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. You’ll know it’s done when the milk and top appears just about “set”. BUT be careful to NOT overbake or it will get hard quick! You want the top to look not so jiggly but not hard so check on it on the earlier side.
I liked this dump cake warm right out of the oven, but room temperature and cold is also good.
The result is almost like a rich brownie but with a slightly crispy bottom (because of the melted butter) and a soft almost ooey-gooey top (because of the milk and pudding mix). It’s kind of like a hot fudge type cake, cookie, and brownie all together.
Top this easy dump cake with ice cream, whipped cream or whipped topping, chocolate sauce or your favorite ice cream sauce, and whatever mix-ins you used such as chocolate chips.
Can’t get enough of dump cakes? Check out my 17 Easy Dump Cake Recipes to try to get more ideas!
Did you make this dump cake? Would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Quick video my son Jordan made showing how to make a chocolate dump cake in no time…
Chocolate Dump Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 15.25 ounces chocolate cake mix (1 box) (do NOT make according to package directions)
- 3.9 ounces instant chocolate pudding mix (1 box) (do NOT make according to package directions)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- Toppings (optional): ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping, chocolate chips
- Place butter in a 13x9 inch baking dish (glass or nonstick is probably best). Place baking dish in oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Check on the butter every now and then and once melted, remove pan from oven. Give the butter a quick stir so that it's well mixed and cover the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle the DRY cake mix on top of melted butter in a flat even layer. Use a fork or the back of a spoon to spread the cake mix evenly over the butter.
- Sprinkle the DRY pudding mix on top of the cake mix in a flat even layer. Use a fork or the back of a spoon to spread the pudding mix evenly over the cake mix.
- Drizzle the milk on top of the pudding mix. Carefully tilt and swirl pan to cover as much of the pudding as possible with the milk. Using a spoon or back of a fork, gently press down on the milk so that it starts to absorb some of the cake and pudding mix and to cover any dry spots as much as possible. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
- Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes or until top looks "set" (still soft and jiggly, but not runny and not hard), being careful to not overbake. Serve with your favorite toppings.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)
This was a total failure. There is not enough liquid and the bottom ends up being a hard, powdery lump. It needs more liquid, perhaps cherry pie filling would help. I will never try it again although I would like a chocolate dump cake if it actually turned out as advertised.
Lisa Huff says
Unfortunately, it’s a tricky recipe and either works out great for people or fails. Sorry it was a fail for you.
Exactly what happened to mine….more like a hard crust on the bottom
Lisa Huff says
Sorry it didn’t work out for you Judy. The bottom layer should be crispy and almost cookie-like. This is not like a standard fruit dump cake.
Bud Duncan says
I started to make this delicious sounding cake and I noticed the recipe uses a 3.9 oz box of Jello brand pudding. I checked my supply and the boxes are 3.4 oz or 5.9 oz. Just wondered if the numbers got crossed? I would prefer the 5.9oz since I love pudding! Thank you
Lisa Huff says
It is 3.9 ounce, but the 3.4 would probably be close enough. 5.9 would probably be too much but you could measure it out to be a little less.
C Damon says
Followed your directions to a T and this turned out SCRUMPTIOUS! Reminds me of a hot fudge pudding cake my in-laws used to make. Would definitely make again.
Lisa Huff says
So happy to hear that! It can be a little tricky for some people.
I am not a baker, I followed all the directions and really didn’t think I would need to spray it before the melted butter was done, but when I tried to serve it it stuck to the bottom of the glass 9×13
Jason Caldwell says
Mine turned out really well. The texture was perfect. Some said it was too sweet but most loved it. It is very sweet and rich.
Donita Whitehead says
I tried it! But I have to tell ya that I decided to put cherry pie filling in the bottom so I didn’t get the cookie crispness that you mentioned. It was still amazing and I will definitely make it again using your recipe and instructions. Love what you’re doing so keep them coming. ❤️
Lisa Huff says
Donita, great idea to add cherries!
Karen M says
I made this today and it was easy and came out just great. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa Huff says
Great to hear, thank you! People tend to love it or hate it. :)
grace martinez says
while it was tasty the bottom layer was hard almost like packed dirt. If i make this again it will be with more liquid.
Lisa Huff says
Yes, The bottom layer should be crisp and almost cookie-like.
Can you make with regular butter
Lisa Huff says
You mean salted butter? That should be fine.
I love a dump cake as a good warm dessert. I’ll make this one soon and let you know my success. One thing I do in baking is I siff my dry ingredients..
Kristina Meyers says
I was concerned with the dry-looking texture of the bottom layer, however it turned out to be FANTASTIC! The combination of textures in this dessert are what make it so awesome. I threw a half bag of peanut butter chips on mine before baking, then ate the dessert with ice cream and whipped topping. It is definitely something I will make again and again!
Lisa Huff says
Thanks Kristina! So glad it turned out well for you. People seem to love it or hate it. :)
Lisa G says
Not enough liquid to blend the cake mix. Top cooked but bottom stayed powdery/uncooked. Not sure I will try this one again unless I modify the recipe. (add more milk, water, etc. and mix)
Had the same issue. Bottom layer was not mixed at all. Doubt I would make it again. Dry disappointed.
A textural adventure. The pudding texture doesn’t really mix with the texture of the cake mix and butter. It’s kind of grainy at the bottom and squishy and jiggly on top.
I have tried many recipes but was disappointed with this one. Hard texture despite not overbaking. The milk not mixed in was not a good idea.
Made this tonight and it was interesting. Texture turned out all right – about as hoped for. I used a Ghirardelli dark chocolate cake mix and sugar-free cheesecake-flavored instant pudding, along with unsweetened vanilla almond milk on top. Topped with random chocolate candies we had around. Took about 45 minutes to cook. Served with some vanilla ice cream.
Was worth trying, though I’m not sure I’d make this again. Was nice as something different.