Apple Crisp Using Cake Mix For Topping


Apple Crisp Using Cake Mix For Topping is a very tasty dessert. This recipe is ridiculously easy and very good. If you’re trying to bake some desserts, but you haven’t got time to twist up some homemade brown sugar or maple syrup for a topping, don’t worry. You can still use a cake mix as a topping. It may not be as good, but it’ll do the trick and taste good in the process.

Easy Apple Cobbler Recipe

PREP TIME 5 minutes

COOK TIME 40 minutes

TOTAL TIME 45 minutes


  •  2 – 21oz cans of apple pie filling
  •  1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  •  1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  •  3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  a pinch of ginger
  •  1 butter cake mix (any would work, I used Duncan Hines)
  •  1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour the 2 cans of pie filling, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Mix until combined, then spread out to an even layer across the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Pour the cake mix all over the top of the filling evenly.
  4. Use a fork or a spatula to lightly push the cake mix around, poking it down into the pie filling, but not fully mixing it into the pie filling.
  5. Arrange the sliced butter cubes all over the top of the cake mix.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. About halfway through, check on the cobbler; if the top is looking too dry, take it out of the oven and use a fork to press the dry bits down into the filling a little bit, then place it back into the oven.
  7. Remove from the oven when the top is golden brown.
  8. Serve while warm and gooey with whipped cream, ice cream, or as-is! Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 


  • I used Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix (it was insanely good!) The mix was 15.25oz however, this recipe is very flexible; as long as it is close-ish to that size, any cake mix will work, yellow, white, butter, vanilla, etc. 
  • Use any pie filling you like! Mix it up with peach, blueberry, or cherry!
  • It is OK to substitute Margarine for the Butter.


Learn how to make this easy Apple Dump Cake with pie filling and a spice cake mix! Warm apple pie topped with a buttery brown sugar and oat crisp topping. Serve this easy dump cake recipe topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. The perfect cozy dessert that mixes up in the same dish it is cooked in. 

A white plate with apple desert on top of it and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


I absolutely love easy dessert recipes, like this apple dump cake, that are prepared in minutes with convenient store bought ingredients like a cake mix and canned pie filling. 

This apple dessert mixes up in the same dish that it cooks in! Simple to prepare with only a few ingredients that are easy to keep in your pantry for when you need dessert quickly, without having to run to the store. 

The warm apple pie filling pairs perfectly with the golden brown spice cake mix and the buttery brown sugar & oatmeal crisp topping. Top it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and it’s amazing!

A baking pan of a dump cake with pie filling and a cake mix and oat topping.


Here is the short list of ingredients that you will need to make this apple dump cake with apple pie filling. I also share some tips for the ingredients, so that you can have success replicating this recipe exactly in your own kitchen. 

  • Apple Pie Filling : I actually don’t mind the store-bought pie fillings that come in the cans. I never go to the extra effort to make my own homemade apple pie filling, but you certainly can if you want to. I have noticed that the name brand pie fillings are so much better and have a much better, more homemade taste to them. It’s worth it for that extra money to buy the name brand apple pie filling and not the generic. 
  • Spice Cake Mix : Use any spice cake mix you can find. It doesn’t matter if it says ‘has pudding in the mix’ or not. 
  • Salted Butter : This recipe has been tested with salted butter, but if you substitute with unsalted butter, you will want to add about ½ teaspoon of salt in with the oats + brown sugar mix.
  • Old-Fashioned Oats : These are not quick oats. Make sure you are using the whole old-fashioned oats. It gives the best texture to the crisp topping and looks better with the larger oat flakes. 
  • Brown Sugar : This will caramelize in the oven and make the crispy topping so buttery and golden crispy. 
Ingredients needed on a white background with each one labeled in white text, with a green background, with what it is.


It’s simple to make this apple dessert recipe with the easy steps below.  Be sure and read to the bottom of the post where there is a handy printable recipe card, a pin it button so you can save it to Pinterest, and all the details with the ingredients and instructions. 

  • Preparation : Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with cooking spray. 
  • Apple Pie Filling : Dump both cans of apple pie filling into the prepared dish and spread it out evenly over the bottom of the pan. 
  • Spice Cake Mix : Sprinkle the dry spice cake mix (do not prepare!) over top the apples and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. 
  • Butter : Thinly slice the butter and lay them in rows over top of the cake mix. 
  • Crisp Topping : Mix together the oats and brown sugar. Sprinkle it over the butter slices. 
  • Bake : Cook for 45-50 minutes or until the oats are golden brown and the apple pie filling is bubbling. 
  • Serve : Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, or whipped cream, and a caramel drizzle. 
How to make an apple pie dump cake with step by step instructions with pictures in these picture collages.
How to make an apple pie dump cake with step by step instructions with pictures in these picture collages.
How to make an apple pie dump cake with step by step instructions with pictures in these picture collages.
How to make an apple pie dump cake with step by step instructions with pictures in these picture collages.


Here are a few of my tips for this recipe so that you can have success making it for your own family. 

  • Thinly Slice The Butter : It’s important to take the extra few minutes and make sure that you are slicing the butter into thin slices. Doing this, will allow all of the dry cake mix to be covered in butter, this way you won’t end up with dry cake areas after the cook time. 
  • Serve Warm : This dessert is best served warm within a few hours of making it. I let the dump cake rest in the hot pan for about 5-10 minutes and then scoop it up into bowls and top each serving with vanilla bean ice cream, caramel drizzle (optional), and chopped pecans or walnuts (also optional).
  • Use Whole Old-Fashioned Oats : I do not recommend using quick oats if that’s all you have. The bigger texture works better in this recipe and looks prettier on top of the dump cake. If you absolutely must use quick oats, that’s fine, but I recommend sticking with what the recipe calls for. 
Apple crisp dump cake on a white plate with ice cream on top.
A pan of apple dump cake with a wooden spoon inside of the pan.


  • Serving Suggestions
    • This best way to serve this dump cake is topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. 
    • You can also top it with whipped cream (homemade or store bought) instead of ice cream if wanted. 
    • It’s best served warm from the oven. Let the dump cake rest for about 10 minutes before serving it topped with ice cream. The best part is when that cold ice cream melts into the warm apple dessert. 
    • You can also sprinkle some chopped walnuts or pecans on top of each serving if wanted. 
  • What If I Don’t Have a Spice Cake Mix?
    • If you don’t have a spice cake you can substitute with a yellow cake mix, white or vanilla cake mix, or a butter cake mix and add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon cloves in with the cake mix and stir to combine. Proceed with the recipe as directed but use your doctored up spice cake mix instead. 
  • How To Store Leftovers
    • Leftovers of this apple dump cake can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days. 
    • It’s important to remember that the cake topping with the oats & brown sugar will soften up as it sits in the fridge. This dessert is much better eaten the same day it’s made, and even better when eaten within a few hours of making it. 
    • When reheating leftovers, warm it up in the microwave first (about 1 minute) and then top with ice cream or whipped cream. 
  • Variation & Substitution Ideas
    • Add Nuts : Add some chopped pecans or chopped walnuts into the oatmeal and brown sugar mixture OR you can sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of each serving of apple dump cake. 
    • Cake Mix : This recipe has been tested with a spice cake mix so that is what is recommended. If you don’t have one you can use a yellow, white, or vanilla cake mix and add some dried seasonings to make it a spice cake mix. You can also forgo the extra spices and just use a vanilla cake mix or golden butter cake mix instead. 
    • Switch Out The Canned Pie Filling : This recipe can easily be made with any pie filling you want. 
  • Should I Use Salted Butter or Unsalted Butter?
    • You can use either salted butter or unsalted butter. 
    • This recipe has been tested and created using salted butter. If using unsalted butter, you will want to add about ½ teaspoon (or less to preference) in with the brown sugar and oats mixture. 
    • If I am adding salt to baking recipe I normally prefer using kosher salt or regular iodized table salt. 
  • Can I Use Homemade Apple Pie Filling Instead?
    • Yes, of course! This is an easy version which uses store-bought apple pie filling in the can. If you prefer to make your own apple pie filling then that will work just fine. Make sure you make enough to equal the 2 cans of it that are called for in this recipe. 


Apple desserts and the fall season seem to go hand in hand. This apple cobbler made with cake mix is the perfect fall dessert. This dump cake recipe includes a homemade apple filling, and is equal parts easy & delicious!

White pan of Cake Mix Apple Cobbler with a black serving spoon

September is here! For many people, this marks the unofficial end of summer and start of the fall season.

In addition to the weather, ⅔ of my kiddos are back in school at least part-time making my house quieter (and a little cleaner). *insert happy mom dance*

I’m one of the those people who isn’t quite ready to fill my house with pumpkins, but am starting to embrace the cooler temperatures and fall flavors.


  • Store-bought shortcut – the topping for this cobbler is made using dry cake mix combined with melted butter for an easy, yet irresistible topping that pairs perfectly with the baked apples.
  • Quintessential fall flavors – nothing says fall quite like an apple dessert. Pair the apples with spices like cinnamon & nutmeg and this cobbler becomes the ultimate fall dessert
  • Perfect for entertaining- make the cobbler ahead of time and either reheat the whole pan or individual servings
Pan of apple cobbler with black spoon


This cobbler is made with a homemade apple filling, much like you’d use for an apple pie or crisp. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Sliced apples – see F.A.Q. below for info on the best baking apples! 
  • White sugar & brown sugar – for the perfect mix of sweetness
  • Cinnamon & nutmeg – as any apple dessert recipe should have!
  • Lemon juice – prevents the apples from turning brown
  • Cornstarch – thickens the filling

The topping for the cobbler only requires 2 ingredients:

  • Yellow cake mix – just the dry mix, don’t pay any attention to the instructions on the box
  • Melted butter – I prefer salted for this recipe
Peeled apples on countertop with peeler


  1. Prep the pan – Grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8 baking dish with softened butter.
  2. Prep the apples – Peel, core and slice apples into ¼ inch slices.
  3. Make the filling – In a mixing bowl, combine apple slices with the other filling ingredients. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Place the apples in greased baking dish.
  4. Make the topping – In a small bowl, combine dry cake mix and melted butter. The mixture will be fairly crumbly and thick. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and gently press down. 
  5. Bake! – Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Before placing in the oven, I like to place a baking sheet under the baking dish to catch any juice that can bubble over the edge while baking. I hate cleaning my oven.
Cake mix mixed with melted butter
Cobbler topping on top of apples in white square pan


I think this goes for most apple desserts, but this apple cobbler is best served warm. If you are able to time it right to serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven, that’s perfect! If not, don’t worry! You can easily reheat it to enjoy it later. 

Reheating whole pan – 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Reheating individual servings – place a scoop on a microwave safe plate and microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through

Top each serving of cobbler with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (or both!). You can also drizzle with some caramel sauce for an extra treat!

Gold plate of cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream


What apples are best for cobbler?

There are a handful of apples that are considered best to hold up to baking, but beyond that it’s mostly just personal preference. For the most part, you want an apple that is a little more tart & crisp to hold up to baking and to pair well with the other filling ingredients. Here’s some that work best for pies, crisps and cobblers:
– Honeycrisp – developed by the University of Minnesota and generally one of my favorites!
– Granny Smith
– Braeburn
– Golden Delicious
– Fuji
– Gala
It’s fun to play around with using different varieties and even combining 2 different kinds of apples. You really can’t go wrong using any of these on the list.

What’s the difference between a cobbler and a crisp?

All apple desserts may be delicious, but not all are created equal. While both include a sweet, spiced apple filling, there are some distinct differences in the toppings of a cobbler & crisp. This applies no matter what fruit is used. 
Cobblers – topped with a biscuit or cake-like topping 
Crisps – topped with a streusel topping often made with butter, flour, sugar and oats. The oats crisp up when baked, hence the name. Crumbles are a dessert similar to crisps, but usually do not include oats. 
One thing they all have in common: I want them all. 

How long does apple cobbler stay fresh?

Covered with plastic wrap, cobbler will last about 2-3 days at room temperature. If kept in the refrigerator, it will last a couple extra, about 4-5 days.

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