Indulgent and comforting homemade apple cobbler with cake mix that’s super easy to make. This recipe requires only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prepare!
By now it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of a simple and easy dessert. This apple cobbler with cake mix recipe is a game-changer for those who love the comforting taste of cobbler but don't have the time to make it from scratch. Trust me, this apple dump cake recipe is so easy to make and it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
There are many different ways of making cobbler, but this easy apple cobbler recipe is inspired by good ol’ Southern fall flavours. Nothing beats those amazing Southern desserts that taste like a warm hug!
This quick and easy apple cobbler with cake mix is ideal when you need a super quick dessert, with no effort and very few ingredients. Yep, it only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time to make it!
This cake mix apple cobbler is simple, delicious and perfect for any occasion! It's a great way to enjoy the comforting taste of a delicious apple dessert without spending too much time making a homemade crust. And the best thing about it? You can customise it with extra toppings and your cake mix of choice.
So grab your apron, preheat your oven, and let's get started!
What is the difference between apple cobbler and apple crisp?
Apple cobbler and apple crisp are very similar and are often confused as being the same thing. However, they have some differences in terms of ingredients and how they are prepared. Let’s look at the differences and similarities between the two:
Topping - Apple cobbler traditionally has a crunchy biscuit topping on top of the apple filling, while apple crisp has a streusel topping with oats. Cobbler typically has a thicker topping, while apple crisp has a crumbly and less dense finish.
Preparation method - Apple cobbler is typically made by spooning bits of dough over the apple filling, while apple crisp is made by spreading the streusel topping over the apples.
Flavour - Both apple cobbler and apple crisp use pie filling or apples with spices and sugar, so the flavour is essentially the same.
Why this is the best apple cobbler
- Quick and easy to make: This apple cobbler recipe is incredibly simple to make, requiring minimal prep and effort, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
- Only 3 ingredients: With only 3 ingredients required, this recipe is budget-friendly and easy to make. The ingredients needed are apple pie filling, cake mix, and butter.
- Versatile: Switch up this apple cobbler recipe by adding extra spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to give a unique flavour to your cobbler. Add extra toppings like dried fruit, nuts or seeds for extra texture. You can different cake mixes like yellow, white or spice. Lastly, you can use other fruit like peaches, berries or plums instead of or in addition the apples.
- Cosy and comforting: This simple recipe makes the most perfect fall dessert. The combination of sweet and tender apples and a buttery cake mix crust creates a delicious and comforting flavour that is perfect for cold weather and family gatherings.
- Just as good as made from scratch: This delicious dessert is so good that you won't even know it was made with a cake mix. It's a great alternative for those who don't have the time or energy to make a homemade crust from scratch, but still want to enjoy the delicious taste of a homemade apple cobbler.
- Great for any occasion: This recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a busy weeknight, a lazy weekend, or celebrations. It's great for potlucks, family gatherings, or dinner parties. Serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream for an extra special treat.
The best part about this apple cobbler with cake mix recipe is that it only needs 3 simple ingredients. All ingredients can be found in most households and have a decent shelf life. Here’s what you will need:
- Cake mix - You can use any type of cake mix, but I recommend Yellow Cake Mix. Since it’s a ready made mix it already contains flour, sugar and baking powder. So you don't need to worry about adding any extra ingredients. The mix is easy to use and creates the perfect crumbly topping.
- Apple pie filling - For ease, this simple dessert uses store bought apple pie filling. You can also make your own, which takes just minutes. See below section on Making apple filling from scratch.
- Butter - Used to make the topping crumbly and makes it extra buttery. Regular unsalted butter works best for this recipe.
What cake mix to use
- Yellow cake mix: creates a classic, buttery flavour that pairs well with the sweetness of the apples. Overall it’s my favourite for this apple cobbler with cake mix recipe. Although very similar to white cake mix, this one contains more fats, making it perfect for the cobbler topping. My favourite type is Yellow Cake Mix by Betty Crocker.
- Spice cake mix: adds a warm, cosy flavour with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. As always, my favourite is the Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix.
- White cake mix: is a versatile option and a lighter option than yellow cake mix. Due to the mix containing less far, the topping might not come out as crunchy. However, it's still a good choice.
- Other: experiment with different cake mix flavours like lemon, strawberry, or even chocolate cake mix if you want a different twist on the traditional apple cobbler recipe.
How to make this recipe
1. In a large mixing bowl, pour melted butter on top of the cake mix. Mix until crumbly chunks form, like pebbles.
2. Add apple filling to a greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
3. Sprinkle the cake mixture on top, covering the apple filling.
4. Bake until golden brown in colour.
Making apple filling from scratch
Homemade apple pie filling for this cake mix cobbler is really easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of effort. Here’s what you will need:
- Apples – 6-7 firm and fresh apples, cut thinly, length-wise.
- Spices – use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger for the best flavour.
- Sugar – any type of sugar can be used for this recipe. I recommend brown sugar because it adds a lovely caramelised flavour. About ¾ cups of sugar will do the trick, but adjust it to your preference.
- Lemon juice – optional, but recommended because it adds a little tanginess to the apples. Add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice for the best flavour.
- Corn starch – optional, but it helps make the apples more creamy and prevents the cobbler from becoming soggy. 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch will do the trick.
Making the filling is really easy, here’s how:
- Peel and core the apples, then cut them into thin slices, length-wise.
- Combine the ingredients in a large bowl or directly in the tray. Mix well to combine.
Choosing the best apples for the filling
The key to making a good apple filling is choosing the right type of apples. You want to choose a type of apple that's sweet, with a little tartness and not too soft. Some of my favourite apples for this cobbler recipe are:
- Granny Smith apples: are the easiest to find and have the best texture for apple filling.
- Fuji: quite similar to Granny Smith apples, these are also sweet and fairly firm. The only downside is that they are a little juicier, so you might need to add a little more cornstarch than usual.
- Braeburn: also a good choice because they are crisp. These apples cook well and remain quite firm, which is good because no one likes a soggy bottom!
Success Tips & Tricks
- Apple pie filling: For the easiest apple cobbler with cake mix ever, I recommend using apple pie filling. Choose a type that has apple slices, as opposed to cubes. You want big slices of apples for maximum flavour. You can also make your own filling, see the section above on Making apple filling from scratch.
- Yellow Cake Mix: this type of cake mix has a rich, buttery flavour that complements the sweetness of the apples.
- Large chunks of dough: don’t try to mix the cobbler topping too well. It should looks like pebbles of dough, quite chunky and lumpy. Also, don’t be tempted to add more butter or other liquids to the dough.
- Cover the apples well: make sure to sprinkle the topping all over the apples and cover them entirely. Break up large chunks of dough with your fingers if needed.
- Serve warm: Let the cobbler cool for a few minutes before serving. It is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Variations & Ideas
This apple cobbler with cake mix is really versatile and can be switched up in many ways. Here are some of my favourite ways of spicing up this recipe:
- Dried fruit and nuts: Add in dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, goji berries or apricots. You can also sprinkle in chopped nuts such as walnuts, almonds or pecans for added texture and flavour. I recommend adding the dried fruit with the apple filling and the nuts in the cobbler topping.
- Mix apples with other fruits: Mix in other types of fruit with the apples. You can use any type of fruit you’d normally add to a pie. I like adding peach pie filling, berries or rhubarb for a yummy twist on traditional apple cobbler.
- Chocolate: Stir in chocolate chips into the cake mix for a chocolate surprise. You can also drizzle melted chocolate (or Nutella) over the cobbler after baking for a decadent finish.
- Caramel: Drizzle caramel sauce over the apples before adding the cake mix topping. Alternatively, drizzle some silky smooth caramel sauce over the top before serving.
- Peanut butter: Replace part of the melted butter in the topping with peanut butter for a lovely flavour boost.
- Oatmeal: Mix in porridge (or rolled) oats into the topping for a crunchier texture. You may need to add more melted butter so the topping isn’t too dry.
How to store
Refrigerate: Apple cobbler can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To store, simply cover in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container.
Freezing: Cake mix apple cobbler can also be frozen for longer term storage for up to 3 months. Place it in an airtight container or wrap in aluminium foil, the store in the freezer.
Thawing: It’s best to thaw apple cobbler in the fridge overnight. You don’t want to cook it directly from frozen as the topping can get too soggy.
Reheating: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until piping hot. I do not recommend microwaving as it softens the topping too much.
Frequently asked questions
Yes this recipe can be made gluten-free. Use a gluten-free cake mix instead of the regular type when preparing the topping. I really like this King Arthur Gluten-free Cake Mix.
Of course! You can use your favourite fruit, as long as it doesn't contain too much liquid. Basically any type of pie filling will work, such as cherry, peach or berries.
This can happen when the cobbler is undercooked or the apple filling contains too much liquid. To avoid a soggy cobbler, drain some of the pie filling liquid before adding it to the baking dish.
It can also happen when there is too much apple filling and not enough topping.
This can happen when not enough butter is used or you baked it at a much too high temperature. To avoid this, make sure you bake it for the correct time and keep an eye on the oven whilst baking.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you will love these too:
For a delicious variation on apple cobbler, have a look at this tangy and sweet Strawberry Cobbler, this summery sweet Almond Flour Peach Cobbler, crunchy and nutty Apple Crostata, summery Peach Dump Cake, this mouth-watering Homemade Peach Pie or these delicious individual Mini Apple Pies!
If you’ve tried this recipe out, please don’t forget to rate and comment on this post. I love hearing from you, so feel free to reach out to me on social media as well and tag me in your posts!
Apple Cobbler with Cake Mix: 3 Ingredients Recipe
Using Canned Apples
- 2 cans apple pie filling (21 ounces cans)
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- ½ cup melted butter
Using Homemade Apple Filling
- 5-6 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional
Using Canned Apples
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
- Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave, then let it cool down slightly. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and melted butter. Mix with a spatula until it looks lumpy, like pebbles.
- Add the canned apple filling into the baking dish, spreading into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the cobbler topping on top, covering the apple filling entirely. Break up large lumps of dough if needed.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the topping looks golden brown in colour.
- Remove the cobbler from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve the cobbler warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!
Using Homemade Apple Filling
- Peel and core the apples, then cut them into thin slices length-wise.
- In a separate bowl, combine the apple slices, all the spices, corn starch and lemon juice. Give everything a good mix to coat all the apples evenly.
- Place the apples in the baking dish, then continue recipe as indicated above.
- Nutritional value is estimative and it is calculated per 1 serving, without ice cream or any additional toppings.