This one-bowl Sweet Potato Dump Cake is the perfect easy dessert recipe for any fall occasion. With sweet potato pie flavors in the creamy filling and a buttery cake mix topping, this simple dessert will quickly become a seasonal favorite!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy to Make: As a one-bowl dump cake, you just dump all the ingredients in, mix, and bake. You don't even need an electric mixer!
- Fall Flavors: The sweet potato filling gives it a comforting flavor that would be great for Thanksgiving or other fall gatherings.
- A Twist on Classic Flavors: This is the perfect recipe for when you want the taste of pumpkin or sweet potato pie without messing with a pie crust.
Looking for more sweet potato recipes? This Sweet Potato Dump Cake Recipe is similar to one of my favorite Thanksgiving dinner side dishes, sweet potato casserole. The dump cake is a little sweeter and more dessert-like. It's essentially a crustless sweet potato pie with a streusel topping.
What is Dump Cake?
Dump cakes are an easy dessert that is similar to a cobbler but with a cake-like topping.
The basic formula is to combine your primary ingredients like fruit, sweeteners, and eggs in the bowl, then pour that batter into a baking dish. Top it off with a sprinkle of dry cake mix, a layer of nuts or spices if desired, and a drizzle of melted butter.
Dump cakes are the perfect hassle-free dessert for those short on time but wanting homemade flavor. Just mix, dump, and bake for hands-off magic the whole family will love.
Looking for the full recipe? See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements and instructions.
Sweet Potatoes: Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and free from major blemishes. 29 ounces of canned sweet potatoes can also be used. If you are using canned potatoes, rinse them and pat them dry before mashing.
Evaporated Milk: Evaporated milk helps make a creamy textured filling. Half and half can also be used.
Brown Sugar: Using light brown sugar adds a little bit of a molasses flavor along with sweetness. An equal amount of granulated sugar can be substituted.
Eggs: Eggs act as a binder for the ingredients and also create a fluffy souffle-like texture in the filling.
Cake Mix: This recipe uses just the boxed cake mix. It is not prepared into a batter. Some similar recipes call for spice cake but I much prefer the taste of yellow cake for this recipe.
Nuts: Use your favorite type of nuts! I usually make this recipe with pecan chips because I like their size. But chopped walnuts would be great too! If you don't like nuts then you can leave them out or replace them with toffee bits.
Butter: Yes, this recipe uses lots of butter! When it's poured over the cake mix and pecans it makes a streusel-like topping that is amazing!
How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes
I recommend baking or microwaving your sweet potatoes for the best results.
- Before cooking scrub the potatoes clean then prick them all over with a fork.
- To cook in the oven, place them directly on an oven rack lined with foil and bake at 425°F for 40-50 minutes until fork tender.
- If you need them to cook faster, place the scrubbed potatoes in the microwave on high for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 more minutes, or until tender.
- I don't recommend boiling the sweet potatoes, as it can make the filling watery and diminish the flavor.
- Mash the sweet potatoes using a potato masher, or for smoother potatoes beat with a hand mixer on low speed.
TIP: Cool the sweet potatoes to room temperature before mashing to prevent excess moisture in the batter.
How to Make Sweet Potato Dump Cake?
1. Prepare Filling
- Place the mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- Whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated together.
- Then pour the sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Add Cake Mix & Nuts
- Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.
- Then add nuts over the mix.
3) Drizzle with Butter
- Slowly pour the melted butter over the top of the cake mix.
- Try to pour it as evenly as possible. It's okay to have some small spots of dry cake mix but you want most of it to be wet.
- If you prefer, you can also slice the butter into thin slices instead of melting it, and place the slices evenly across the top of the cake.
- Place the pan in a 350°F (177°C) oven.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- I love this served with Bourbon Whipped Cream.
Storage and Freezing
- Wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- The whole desert can be frozen by wrapping the pan with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- You can also transfer individual portions in freezer-safe containers.
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
TIP: Dump cake is frequently served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. But I enjoy it most after it has been refrigerated for a couple of hours.
Is Sweet Potato Dump Cake supposed to be gooey?
The bottom layer is a little bit gooey. It is a thick custard that is a little softer than sweet potato pie. The cake layer has a streusel-like texture.
Can you make Sweet Potato Cake in advance?
Yes, this is an easy dessert to make a day or two in advance. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. It can be served chilled, or warm it up in the microwave first.
Can I make this with pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes?
Yes, for pumpkin dump cake simply replace the sweet potatoes with 29 ounces of pumpkin puree. You may also replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
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Sweet Potato Dump CakeRecipe by:
- 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 can evaporated milk or half and half
- 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 package yellow cake mix not prepared
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Place the mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg in a large mixing bowl and whisk until fully combined.3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the top of the batter. Gently spread the dry mix with your fingers so that it is fairly even, then add the nuts.1 package yellow cake mix, 1 cup chopped nuts
- Slowly pour the butter evenly over the top of the cake mix, being careful to cover as much of the cake mix as you can.¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream.