Clear out space on your list of favorite cake recipes — my easy fruit cocktail cake recipe is a winner!
Great as a dessert or a treat with coffee, this old fashion cake is made from scratch, no box mix needed! But that doesn’t mean it’s complicated. Far from it — this whole cake recipe, with a yummy butter sauce full of coconut and pecans, whips together in less than an hour!
Grab that reliable childhood favorite, the canned fruit cocktail, and let’s get baking! This ain’t yo momma’s fruit cake recipes.
Well, it’s cake. Need I say more?
- Childhood nostalgia in every bite!
- Easy homemade goodness
- Packed with delicious crunches like coconut and pecans
- Everyone will LOVE this, guaranteed!
How To Make Fruit Cocktail Cake Recipe
My cake recipe is so easy! You might be tempted to grab a boxed cake mix, but I promise you, it’s worthwhile to make this cake batter from scratch. And very doable! You got this, friends!
You’ll just need a mixing bowl, a baking pan, and a saucepan. Pour each of the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. While it’s baking, pour the icing ingredients into a saucepan and heat. Done!
This cake is always a fan favorite at potlucks, school events, or just family suppers. There are a few ways you can garnish the dessert to appeal to everyone – from your own kids to the president of the PTA. Read on for all the insider hints!
Tips For Making The Perfect Fruit Cocktail Cake
Making a cake from scratch is easier than you think!
Keep it simple: One of the best things about this cake is that it’s so simple to make even without being a fruit cocktail cake with cake mix. Don’t overthink it. You may be tempted to use a stand mixer or even an electric beater. You don’t have to!
Seriously, just dump your batter ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Using beaters or a Kitchen Aid may end up making your batter too dense.
Mind your pan: You can use either a glass or dark pan with this recipe, but grease both before you add the batter. Don’t forget that cake in a dark pan may bake faster than a cake in a glass pan, so set your timer about 5 minutes earlier than the recipe calls for.
Serving: This cake can be served at room temperature or warm. My family likes it best when it’s still oven-warm and ooey-gooey-moist. You can also pop leftover slices in the microwave or toaster oven to rejuvenate them!
Simple steps, simple cake, simple ingredients!
Icing: When I make this, I spend about 20 minutes in the kitchen. You can put the cake in the oven to bake, then come back later to make the glaze. But remember: it’s important you add the glaze to a hot cake! About 10 minutes before your cake is set to come out, place your glaze ingredients in your saucepan.
You’ll want the ingredients to boil for about 1-2 minutes, then it’s ready to pour.
Fruit Cocktail in Syrup: The simple chemistry of this cake just doesn’t work the same way if you use a fruit cocktail in juice. The fruit cocktail in syrup is important!
Skip the Box: The reason I don’t use boxed cake mix in my recipe is that with the simplicity of this recipe, a mix doesn’t really seem like convenience at all! My recipe is quick, easy, and once you try it, you’ll never want to use boxed caked mixes again!
Cherries: You’ll only use one can of fruit cocktail, so you know what that means – the kids are going to be fighting over those three maraschino cherries! To stop any arguments, keep a can of Reddi-Wip and a jar of maraschino cherries on hand.
When it’s time to serve your cake, just add a dollop of whipped cream and one or two cherries. Crisis averted!
While this cake is worlds better than the fruit cakes of yore, you can still treat it the same, storage-wise!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! The product of this recipe freezes up wonderfully. You’ll definitely want to fully thaw it and heat it up before you eat any leftovers — this cake just tastes so much better warm!
You’ll be able to store this cake in the freezer for up to a full year.
Make Ahead Tips
Honestly, there’s no way to speed up this baking process! The batter is already as quick as can be (just as easy as boxed mixes!) and the baking time is necessary for cake doneness. You can always make the cake ahead of an event though — it’ll keep just fine!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Sadly, no! I don’t recommend that you store the product of this recipe in the fridge. The cold air changes the texture of the icing, and I promise you won’t like it as much. But! It will do just fine on the counter for a few days.
The variety of fruit in a standard fruit cocktail brings up dreams of fruit shake-ups! Let’s get wild:
Can I Use Apple?
Apple cake is just divine! Fluffy cake and sweet, tart apples come together beautifully in recipes like Jewish apple cake (great in a bundt pan!) and my personal favorite, caramel apple sheet cake! Everyone loves the sheet cake and its creamy caramel deliciousness.
Can I Use Pudding Mix?
Pudding in cake mix is too delicious not to try! If you’ve ever seen a bundt cake, chances are, it was some sort of pudding cake, like a lemon pudding cake or the classic Harvey Wallbanger cake. But if you don’t want a bundt, go for my easy banana pudding poke cake!
Can I Turn This Into A Coffee Cake?
This cake already goes perfectly with coffee, but if you want a spread of cakes to serve, I have recipes for you! Peach coffee cake is a great way to brighten up your coffee date and cherry coffee cake goes wonderfully with tea. Another winner is banana coffee cake — great with whipped cream!
Can I Make This Recipe More British?
This recipe is pretty iconic Americana — but what about British twists? The closest would have to be simnel cake, with its decadent fruit cake flavors. Also, try eccles cake — these little pockets of dessert yumminess are teatime favorites! And who can say no to the checkerboard prettiness of battenberg cake?
Can I Add Lemon Flavor?
Lemon and cake is irresistible! Lemon cream cheese pound cake is that perfect blend of creamy and tart, just like lemon icebox cake — which stores great! One of the best coffee time treats is lemon poppy seed cake. I love those little crunches!
Grandma's Fruit Cocktail Cake
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (16-ounce) fruit cocktail with syrup undrained
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup pecans chopped
- Reddi Wip
- maraschino cherries
- Adjust an oven rack to medium position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all cake ingredients until well combined. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the topping by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Pour over hot cake and smooth evenly with an offset spatula.
- Top individual slices of cake with a dollop of Reddi Wip and Maraschino cherries.
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Want more desserts like this cake? Here you go, friends!
- No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake – The best summer party treat!
- Coconut Cupcakes – Tropical flavors in every perfect cupcake bite
- Blueberry Dump Cake – Dump, bake, indulge!
- Peach Cake – Celebrate peach season the right way!
- Pig Pickin Cake – An incredibly moist, delicious, refreshingly fruity delight
I hope this fruit cocktail cake recipe made you a believer in how easy it is to make delicious cakes at home! No need to spend hours baking — you can whip together decadent, fruity treats in a snap.
What did you serve your fruitcake with? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Gonna Want Seconds