Chocolate Dump Cake Recipe

Scrap the fancy dessert presentation for this super simple, gooey fun, chocolate dump cake. It's an overloaded recipe that'll delight your kids.

You won’t score any presentation points for making a chocolate dump cake. But what it lacks in showiness, it makes up in easy prep time – and, most important, gooey chocolatey flavor!

I have a handwritten version of this recipe from my mother, even though I don’t ever recall her making it. I wish I did. This would have been my birthday cake request, hands down!

The recipe involves only a few extra steps than when you’re making a regular boxed cake mix. Before you pour the batter into the pan, you melt butter with water and add in a little brown sugar. This goes into the bottom of a greased baking pan – along with nuts, coconut, chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows. OK: This cake won’t score any health points, either – which is one reason I don’t make it very often.

After the butter and the mixin’s are on the bottom of the baking dish, it’s time to add the chocolate cake batter. That’s it. Well, almost. There’s still a little trick or two after you’ve baked it.

The first time I made this cake, I really wasn’t expecting much. I mean, it was way too easy and had “dump” in the title! But the cake has quickly become a favorite of my crew. Are you ready for the next reason it’s called “dump”? Once you’ve let the cake cool for 10-20 minutes, you put a serving platter on top and then flip the entire cake over so that the chocolate chip-butter-coconut combination becomes a crust on top of the cake.

Yeah – your mouth is watering now, huh?

If you still haven’t planned a treat for your next party, this cake is perfect to put together and then impressing guests (with the taste, that is).

Prep Time: 15 minutes + baking time

Number of servings: 12-plus


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts (pecan or walnut)
  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Grease a 9″ by 13″ baking pan.
  3. Prepare the chocolate cake batter according to the package directions.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat together the water and butter until the butter has completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Add the brown sugar into the butter mixture.
  6. Pour the sugar-butter mixture into the baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (except the cake batter) onto the bottom of the baking pan.
  8. Now pour the cake batter over the sprinkled ingredients.
  9. Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes.
  10. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes, but not more than 30.
  11. Place a serving dish or cooking pan over the top of the baking pan. Carefully flip the entire cake over.
  12. Remove the baking pan. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Note: The marshmallows melt into the cake.

This article was originally published in 2010 and has been updated.


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