The Country Cook: Fruit Cocktail Cake

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fruit Cocktail Cake

What comes to mind when you think of fruit cocktail? For me, it takes me back to my school years. Whenever I bought lunch from the school cafeteria, it was usually Friday (pizza day), and my  fruit of choice was usually a small bowl of fruit cocktail. I would always scope out the bowl that had the most cherries in the mix. There's never enough cherries in the fruit cocktail, is there? So when I think of a cake, made with fruit cocktail, well, I get just a little giddy and it takes me back in time. I have nothing but good memories associated with this stuff.  It's kinda like baloney sandwiches for me.  Makes me feel like a kid every time I eat one. Yes folks, this cake is made with a can of an ole favorite, fruit cocktail. If you've never tried this before, you may not think it would work well together, but it really does. The cake is so incredibly moist and the sauce is the boss in here.
for the cake:
2 cups self-rising flour
1 (15 oz.) can fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, undrained
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar

for the sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it.)  
In a medium bowl, mix together all cake ingredients at low speed (using a stand or handheld electric mixer) until thoroughly combined. If you want to keep your fruit cocktail chunky in the batter, then add it in last after mixing all the other ingredients.

Pour cake batter in baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes (oven times vary so check after 30 minutes). When done, cake should spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the cake.
Now make the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Note: I don't like my chopped pecans to be too big on top of the cake so sometimes I'll crush 
them down to slightly smaller pieces. 
 Turn the heat up and bring it all to a boil for one minute.
 Pour sauce over warm cake.
Make sure you spread out the coconut and pecans evenly over cake.
 Now dig in.
 I especially love to eat this cake while it is still warm.
 But it is so good at room temperature too!
Printable Recipe Here

Recipe Source: Southern Plate


  1. This has always been a favorite of mine, too. Takes me back to my college years when I was learning to cook. And your'e right - love it when warm! Thanks for sharing!

  2. wow, does this cake bring back memories!! My mother made these a lot, and I can still taste this delicious cake in my mind when I close my eyes - I will be making one tonight!

  3. Just found your site and am smitten! Fruit Cocktail cake! Takes me back to 1979! The year my best friend was getting married and they served this cake at her bridal shower. I loved it at first taste! Thanks for the memories and the reminder that I haven't made this cake in ages!


  4. This cake looks so delicious! And using fruit cocktail for the cake sounds really good!

  5. My mom made this a little differently. Use margarine to grease the pan, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup each pecans and brown sugar before adding batter. After pouring on the icing, put cake under the broiler for a few minutes. You have to watch closely, but so worth the effort! A whole other level!

  6. Do you think this could be done with a box cake mix? I heard adding an extra egg can help with the overall richness.

  7. You could make this with a boxed cake mix. I'm a a big fan of boxed cake mixes, however, with this recipe it is almost easier than a boxed cake mix because there aren't that many ingredients in the actual cake and this batter is super moist & the flavor of a boxed cake mix won't compete with the fruit cocktail you are adding to the batter. I always tell folks to try recipes the way they are written first, then make substitutions the 2nd time around so you really have a good base of comparison. Hope you love it as much as we do. This really is a timeless recipe! :)

  8. I am with you there..why wait til its cool?? Sounds zo yummy. LOVED hearing you on the radio..I think you pretty much sound like I thot you would. HOW F.U.N!!! XO

  9. Great looking cake!
    I've made mix-fruit cakes before but never used cocktail can.
    I'd love to try, I like to try new recipes
    Thanks for sharing this :)

  10. What is the difference between self rising flour and regular flour in this recipe? I am a beginner at all this cooking and baking stuff and I just tried making this cake with cake flour.....BIG MISTAKE. It was a dense mess!

    Please help lol.

  11. Well I should have Googled my question because apparently self rising has salt and baking soda added to it and you can make your own with regular flour.

    *sigh* I am not so good at this just yet :)

  12. Heather..I'm so sorry that I'm so late in seeing this. For some reason, I don't always get notified when new comments are posted.
    So sorry this one didn't work for you the first time around. Yes, that self-rising flour is important to this recipe because it has the rising agent already in it - baking soda. You can use all-purpose flour but you have to add the correct amounts of salt & baking soda to it. But using the self-rising just helps to make this recipe a bit faster to whip up. I really hope you'll try it again using the self-rising flour. It really is such a yummy cake!

  13. I took your advice and tried again (using self rising flour this time) and it looks MUCH more appetizing this time around! LOL

  14. My aunt use to make this cake a long time ago and she taught me. It's a easy cake to make. I might just make this cake tonight and think of her.

  15. Looks like a great cake, but do you have any other suggestions for the sauce? My son is allergic to nuts and the rest of the family (except for me) does not eat coconut.

  16. I am baking this for the second time, it's just delicious, a new favorite.A few people have made a face when I say I'm making Fruit Cocktail cake,I guess it makes them think of fruit cake, but one bite and they are hooked!

  17. I wonder if you could use a cake mix?

  18. Thanks for posting, I had these one years ago and couldnt find it anywhere!! Its an awesome cake and so easy!

  19. My sister gave this recipe to me years ago, was a Christmas favorite for me, but it's been lost for years!! So happy you posted this!!! Thanks so much!!


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