This Homemade Southern Fruit Cocktail Cake is so easy to make! Topped with a coconut pecan sauce that is poured straight into the cake!
A DELICIOUSLY DIFFERENT HOMEMADE CAKE RECIPE
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. This Fruit Cocktail Cake recipe takes me back to those simpler times. It is a simple and easy homemade cake with amazing flavor. The fruit cocktail helps to make this cake turn out so moist!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Despite many misconceptions, the word “cocktail” in the name does not mean that it contains alcohol, but refers to the secondary definition “An appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood”. We’re not really sure who invented fruit cocktail but we do know it is an American invention that might have been created by a University of California professor and a local packing company.
Absolutely! This is really what makes this such a fun and unique cake. I am making a homemade cake here but you could certainly make this recipe using a butter box cake mix. I prefer to add canned fruit to cakes most times (unless maybe if it is an apple cake). Canned fruit has been soaking in a syrup or juice so it is nice and soft and blends really well with the cake batter.
This homemade cake requires the consistency that you get with the fruit cocktail in heavy syrup rather than fruit juices. Sometimes homemade cake can be on the drier side so the syrup is going to add a lot of moistness. If you are using a boxed cake mix and have a can of fruit cocktail in 100% juice, then just drain the juice and use only the fruit. This isn’t a diet cake, y’all – get the fruit cocktail with heavy syrup.
Did you know this is one of the most asked questions on Google when it comes to canned fruit? This recipe right here is your answer! I promise it will be a hit!
People either really love coconut or really hate it. I usually tell people to do a half and half cake. Make half of it for the coconut lovers and the other half for the coconut haters. If you absolutely detest coconut, you can leave it out of the sauce. The cake isn’t as pretty that way but you can do it if you must.
This is like the coconut hater answer. You can leave them out or use a different kind of nut but you are really starting to make for a really boring cake by leaving out these essential ingredients.
No. Because of the syrup topping, it doesn’t hold up well for cupcakes.
This cake will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator as long as it is covered. This fruit cocktail cake can also be frozen. Cover very well to protect from freezer burn and the cake will keep for 3 months in the freezer.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- self-rising flour
- fruit cocktail in heavy syrup
- vanilla extract
- sweetened coconut flakes
- evaporated milk
- chopped pecans
HOW TO MAKE FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9″x 13″ 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 (like I prefer), then add it in last after mixing all the other ingredients.
Pour cake batter into prepared 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.
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 warm sauce over warm cake. Make sure you spread out the coconut and pecans evenly over cake.
I especially love to eat this cake while it is still warm. But it is so good at room temperature too!
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Fruit Cocktail Cake (+Video)
FOR THE CAKE:
FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it.)
- In a medium bowl, mix together all cake ingredients using an electric mixer at low speed until thoroughly combined.
- Pour cake batter evenly into prepared baking dish.
- Bake at 350F degrees 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.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
- Turn the heat up and bring it all to a boil for one minute.
- Using a fork, poke a few holes in the cake.
- Pour warm sauce over warm cake. Make sure to spread out the coconut and pecans evenly over cake.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- This cake will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator as long as it is covered.
- This cake can also be frozen. Cover very well to protect from freezer burn and the cake will keep for 3 months in the freezer.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published: August 2012
Updated and republished: March 2022