apple caramel dump cake
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What is the first thing you typically want to do after Thanksgiving dinner? Chances are, you’re probably thinking about taking a nap…or having just a little bit more to eat before calling it quits. But after such extensive dinner preparation, sometimes you don’t have the strength to muster up a fancy dessert spread, and understandably so.

Behold the power of the dump. Yes, you read that correctly: a dump cake. This easy dessert with the most unappealing name—yet ironically, the best taste—is a must-have, especially if you’re too wiped out to channel your inner Betty Crocker.

The best part about this option? Your time in the kitchen is minimal. The prep process for one of these bad boys is exactly what you’d imagine: dump the pre-made ingredients (according to a particular order that the recipe calls for) and bake. Viola! All you need to do is grab a base of cake mix and a few fillings—that’s all it takes. And if you are in need of a good pan to make the magic happen, here’s a great option:

Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 9 x 13-Inch Pan, $12.96 on Amazon

Comes complete with a lid to protect your creations.
See It

Of course, now that Thanksgiving is getting closer and closer, you have to start thinking about every little detail. Here’s how you can embrace the season and provide a swoon-worthy autumn dump (most importantly, with minimal effort).

Use your Thanksgiving side dishes as inspiration:

Apple Cranberry Dump Cake

apple cranberry dump cake

Happy Go Lucky

Whether you prefer your cranberry sauce from the can or whipped up from scratch (Team Can all the way, in case you were wondering), it is the perfect fall flavor to put in your dump. Kara, the brains behind the blog Happy Go Lucky, decided to provide her readers with an excellent example of a Thanksgiving dump: Apple Cranberry—two fall favorites in one. You’ll be in business with ½ cup of chopped walnuts, yellow cake mix, cranberry sauce and apple pie filling, and a stick of butter. Get the recipe.

Channel one of your favorite fall activities:

Apple Spice Dump Cake

apple spice dump cake

Never Ending Journeys

What October and November is complete without bobbing for apples? After an apple picking excursion with friends and family, set a few pieces of fruit aside for an Apple Spice Dump Cake. Never Ending Journeys gives readers a little bit of spice and everything nice with Betty Crocker spice mix, apple pie filling, ground cinnamon, and melted butter. Much on one of the apples you picked while making this delightful dish. Get the recipe.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the pumpkin:

Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

pumpkin pie dump cake

The Country Cook

Look, you might have been sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes since August, but you cannot escape the orange goodness this time year, no matter how hard you try. And let’s be honest: It is pretty tasty, so the more pumpkin desserts, the merrier. The Country Cook’s Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake—spice cake mix, pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon—basically screams “Happy Thanksgiving.” Get the recipe.

Put a new spin on classic desserts:

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Dump Cake

pumpkin pecan pie dump cake

My Incredible Recipes

The Pecan Pie is no stranger to holiday tables, but you can turn the typical dish on its head thanks to Pumpkin Pecan Dump Cake from the blog Incredible Recipes From Heaven. You’ll be treated to the best of both worlds with the pecan and pumpkin taste. No need to tell me twice. Get the recipe.

Go decadent:

Crock Pot Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake

crock pot chocolate caramel dump cake, or slow cooker chocolate caramel dump cake

Tammi Lee Tips

It’s cold outside and you’re more than entitled to a dish of comfort food. Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake from Tammilee Tips drives the coziness factor into full effect. With the combination of devil’s food cake mix, caramels, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and chocolate pudding, who could resist? Get the recipe.

Let the finishing touch make a statement:

Caramel Apple Dump Cake

caramel apple dump cake

Wine and Glue

When desserts are gifted with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, it really puts the icing on the cake… well, you know what I mean. Might I suggest a bit of vanilla ice cream to accompany Wine and Glue’s Caramel Apple Dump Cake? Really indulge and add some whipped cream, too. Why not? It’s Thanksgiving. Get the recipe.

Find some seasonal drinks to go with your cake:

trader joe's apple cranberry herbal tea


You can have regular ‘ol tea and coffee any time of the year, but get into the festivities this Thanksgiving with options such as the Mocha Nut Latte or Apple Cranberry Tea from Trader Joe’s.

For more Thanksgiving tips, hacks, and recipes, check out our Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide.​

Related video: How to Make Thanksgiving Leftovers Lasagna

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Header image courtesy of Wine and Glue.

Danielle is a trending news writer at Elite Daily and a freelance contributor for Chowhound and Domino. When she's not working, she's probably reading a book or eating a bowl of gnocchi at Frankie's. Find her @dvwrites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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