Looking for a mouthwatering dessert that’s easy to make? This strawberry rhubarb dump cake recipe is just what you need – filled with fresh juicy fruit, a tender cake mix layer, and a crumbly topping without jello that’s sure to impress. It’s so easy, even the kids can do it!
This Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake recipe was originally published on May 31, 2013, but has been updated and relaunched for your convenience. 🙂
We are rhubarb enthusiasts! I look forward to rhubarb season every year! Some of my fondest memories of childhood are plucking a fresh rhubarb stalk, washing it, and then dipping it in a bowl of sugar and eating it raw! Ahh, the good simple life of living on a farm.
One of my favorite rhubarb desserts is a strawberry rhubarb pie! However, I don’t always have the gumption to go through the process of making a pie. That’s when I turn to this rhubarb dump cake recipe. It lets me indulge in the delicious flavors of a rhubarb pie but without all the work and time.
This recipe involves layering the same sweet and tangy filling, but it’s much quicker and easier to make. All you have to do is dump the ingredients in a baking dish, bake it, and then savor the deliciousness!
🧐 Why Is It Called A Dump Cake?
A dump cake is an American dessert similar to a cobbler but with a cake-like topping. The name comes from the method of “dumping” the ingredients directly into a cake pan without mixing them. Typically, the topping of the dump cake is made from a pre-packaged cake mix and is often combined with butter and sugar for added flavor.
🍮 With Or Without Jello, Which Is Better?
Recently I discovered that many people add strawberry jello to their rhubarb dump cake, but I found that is not needed. The purpose of the jello is to add color, add the flavor of strawberries, and thicken the filling.
But if you use ripe fruit and a little cornstarch (which you probably already have in your pantry) you don’t need the extra artificial flavors, colors, or thickeners at all. So save yourself the money and try this rhubarb cake without jello!
Mind you, I’m not anti-jello. I’m just not for adding an extra ingredient/step that isn’t needed in a recipe.
Dump cakes are a favorite of mine due to their incredible versatility, allowing for an endless array of flavor combinations. Here are just a few examples of how to switch up this strawberry rhubarb dump cake recipe.
- Mix up the fruit. Rhubarb goes well with all kinds of fruit not just strawberries. You can try a combination of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pears, apples, apricots, nectarines, and peaches! Or just make it with only Rhubarb!
- Different Cake Mixes – you don’t have to use just a white cake mix. Try a yellow cake mix, or spice cake mix, birthday cake mix, or even Chocolate!
- Different Sodas! We’ve made this recipe using various sodas like cream soda, orange cream soda, sprite, 7up, red cream soda, Sunkiss or Crush orange, and my favorite Dr Pepper.
🥣 How To Make A Dump Cake
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The first thing you have to do is prep the strawberries and rhubarb. This is the part that takes the longest of the entire recipe. But it is also the most crucial. It really gets the flavors blended and provides a soft and juicy fruit filling.
Wash the strawberries and rhubarb. Discard the greens of the rhubarb and the stems of the strawberries.
Slice the Strawberries into thin slices. You can use an egg slicer or a strawberry slicer. This makes it go faster and makes the slices uniform. Plus the kids love to do this part!
Dice the rhubarb into thin slices.
Combine the fresh strawberries and cut rhubarb in a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar. Stir until all the fruit is coated. Marinate the fruit for 30 minutes up to an hour.
This allows the rhubarb juices to flow and softens the fruit. So you aren’t left with crisp chunks of rhubarb after baking.
After soaking the fruit, Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.
Drain all but 1/2 cup of the juice from the strawberries and rhubarb.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup juice with the corn starch, pure vanilla extract, salt, and fruit.
Lightly spray a 9X13 pan with a nonstick cooking spray like Pam.
Spread the fruit filling evenly in the baking dish.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the fruit. Make sure to break up any chunks of the mixture.
Drizzle the top with the melted butter and 7up or Sprite soda.
Do not stir!
Bake the strawberry rhubarb dump cake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cook until the cake is golden, the filling is bubbling, and the rhubarb is soft.
🍰 Serving Suggestions
You can serve this dump cake hot or cold. Although if served warm the filling will run all over, so a bowl is advised.
We recommend adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top or a dollop of whipped cream.
You can also drizzle with a nice homemade rhubarb syrup.
After allowing the dump cake to cool to room temperature, cover the pan with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.
When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, a strawberry rhubarb dump cake can last for up to 4-5 days. However, it’s best to consume it within the first 2-3 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
💡 Pro Tips
✅ I find it helpful to use strawberry huller tweezers for removing the stems and a strawberry slicer for slicing the strawberries when preparing them for this recipe. Doing so not only makes the process faster, but also easier.
✅ When slicing a large amount of rhubarb, I recommend a quality food processor. It goes so much faster! I sliced over 10 pounds of Rhubarb into perfectly even slices in less than 10 minutes.
✅ You can use either fresh or frozen fruit in this strawberry-rhubarb cake recipe. If using frozen fruit, do not thaw it before using it. The fruit will thaw as the cake bakes, and it will add a nice, juicy flavor to the cake.
✅ Evenly distribute the cake mix over the fruit so that there are no large clumps.
✅ It can be tricky to tell when a dump cake is done. It’s normal to see some wet spots, some dry cake mix, and a crispy top. To make sure your rhubarb-strawberry cake is done, check that the fruit mixture is bubbling around the edges of the pan.
✅ Typically, I prepare this dump cake using a 9×13 inch pan. However, on occasion when this size is unavailable, I experimented with using a deep 10.5 inch pie pan and found that it worked well.
✅ To keep the oven clean, you can place an empty cookie sheet on the rack below the dump cake in the oven. This way, if it bubbles over, the cookie sheet will catch it and prevent it from sticking to the oven.
Dump cakes typically have a cake-like topping made from a boxed cake mix that is sprinkled on top of the fruit, while cobblers have a biscuit or pastry-like dough that is either dropped or rolled out on top of the fruit. Dump cakes involve layering the ingredients without mixing them, whereas cobblers usually involve mixing the topping first before layering it together. Finally, cobblers tend to have a thicker, more substantial topping, while dump cakes have a thinner, crumbly topping that is more cake-like in texture.
Once set, the fruit filling should be gooey and thick but definitely not runny
For the best texture, the topping should be golden brown. I like to cook mine for about 50-60 minutes, but it really depends on your personal preference. Some people like their dump cake a little more gooey, while others like it more cake-like. There is no right or wrong answer, so just cook it until it tastes the way you like it.
For this recipe, I typically use a 9×13 inch baking dish. While the butter and juices from the fruit can seep into the flour, I haven’t encountered any issues with uneven baking as a result. However, if you prefer, you can experiment with using a smaller pan. I have also made this in a large and deep pie dish and it worked well as well.
You can use both fresh and frozen rhubarb and strawberries when making this recipe and maintain the same ratios for the other ingredients without any adjustments.
I suggest using the conventional baking setting instead of the convection setting when preparing this recipe. The convection setting, which utilizes a fan to circulate hot air, can result in uneven rising and baking of baked goods, while also pulling moisture out of the oven and potentially drying out the baked goods. If you do decide to use the convection setting, it’s best to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and note that the baking time may be shorter.
👩🏻🍳 Cooking with Kids
For those who are familiar with Busy Creating Memories, you’ll know that we have a strong passion for creating lasting memories with our children. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by getting them involved in the kitchen. Cooking and baking together not only fosters stronger bonds, but also provides an opportunity to learn new skills and make unforgettable memories. As a result, we always strive to include ways to incorporate kids into our recipes.
Here are several ways that kids can be involved in making this strawberry rhubarb dump cake!
- Gather the kitchen utensils
- Gather the ingredients
- Help wash the strawberries and rhubarb
- Measure ingredients with help
- Stir strawberries and rhubarb into the sugar mixture
- Dump each ingredient into the baking pan
- Help spread out the cake mix on top
- With direction drizzle the soda on top of the cake mix
- With direction pour melted butter over top
- Under direction from an adult – pushing the buttons to preheat the oven
Ages 6+ Any of the above tasks, PLUS…
- Slicing the rhubarb and strawberries. We start our kids off with a knife designed for kids like the Joie Crinkle Cutter. And a lot of supervision until they show competence using the tool.
- Read out & identify the recipe ingredients
- Opening a can of soda
- Opening the cake mix
- Measuring out the butter
- Melting the butter in the microwave
- Be involved in cleaning up: putting ingredients away, wiping the counter, sweeping the floor, loading the dishwasher, or washing dishes by hand.
Ages 10+ Any of the above tasks, PLUS…
- Placing the dump cake into the oven under supervision
- With supervision, removing the cake from the oven.
- Dish up servings for others
Please note: Every child is different, so it is important to use your own judgment when deciding which tasks are appropriate for your child. These are just suggestions, and you may need to adjust them based on your child’s individual abilities and needs. It is also important to remember that younger children will require more direct supervision than older children.
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Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake
This easy strawberry rhubarb dump cake is a perfect combination of sweet and tart, and the best part is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare! So easy even the kids can do it!
- 4 cups sliced Rhubarb
- 4 cups quartered strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 box yellow or white cake mix
- 1 can (12 ft oz) Sprite or 7Up Soda
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- Wash and slice fresh strawberries and rhubarb
- Combine Strawberries, Rhubarb, and sugar in a bowl.
- Mix and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
- Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.
- Drain all but ½ cup of the fruit juice from the strawberry and rhubarb mixture
- Combine the ½ cup fruit juice, strawberry, and rhubarb filling mixture, corn starch, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and stir until evenly coated.
- Lightly spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread the fruit filling evenly in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the cake mix
- Drizzle the top with the melted butter and a cup of soda.
- Do not stir
- Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Cook until the cake is golden, the filling is bubbling, and the rhubarb is soft.
You can use either fresh or frozen fruit in this strawberry-rhubarb cake recipe. If using frozen fruit, do not thaw it before using. The fruit will thaw as the cake bakes, and it will add a nice, juicy flavor to the cake.
Evenly distribute the cake mix over the fruit so that there are no large clumps.
It can be tricky to tell when a dump cake is done. It's normal to see some wet spots, some dry cake mix, and a crispy top. To make sure your rhubarb-strawberry cake is done, check that the fruit mixture is bubbling around the edges of the pan.
- Mix up the fruit: you can use many kinds of fruit pairings with rhubarb
- Mix up the cake mix: you can use white cake, yellow cake, spice cake mix, birthday sprinkles cake mix, and chocolate cake mix
- Mix up the Soda: you can change out the Sprite for any of your favorite sodas. I love using Dr. Pepper.
After allowing the dump cake to cool to room temperature, cover the pan with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.
When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, a strawberry rhubarb dump cake can last for up to 4-5 days. However, it's best to consume it within the first 2-3 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
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Glad Press'n Seal Plastic Food Wrap - 70 Square Foot Roll (Package May Vary)
Chef'n Hand-Held Slicer Strawberry Slicester, Cherry/Meringue
Strawberry Huller Stem Remover Tomato Corer Potato Pineapple Carrot Cutter Tool Kitchen Gadget Tweezers Peeler Utensil Clip for Fruit and Vegetable (Blue)
Emile Henry 13" x 9" Large Rectangular Baker - Modern Classics Collection | Sugar
Emile Henry 9" Pie Dish - Modern Classics Collection | Sugar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although Busy Creating Memories attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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Tuesday 25th of July 2017
What!! I take less than 10 minutes to hand chop a pound of rhubarb. It does take a very sharp chef's knife. I just make a lengthwise cut if it's too thick, then line three or four stalks along side each other and zip right through them. This recipe looks great and I can't wait to try it.
Karen L Mitchell
Wednesday 28th of June 2017
Has anyone tried this yet?
Monday 26th of June 2017
Love the dump cake recipe.. I've made strawberry n rhubarb sauce. Try it. Just add some sugar n tapioca to thicken.cook on med heat.