Fruit Cocktail Cake...a Blast from the Past!

This "Fruit Cocktail Cake"  takes me back in time.  I can't specifically tell you exactly the period of time, but it must have been the seventies and maybe even the eighties.  I remember my mother making this cake quite often back then and after I was married I made it also, because it was always one of my husband's favorites.  Then, for some reason, we just quit making it.   I am not sure why though, because it's a really delicious cake and it's relatively easy also. Since so many of our readers have asked about this cake, I decided to revive it.  

Here is what you will need:

2 cups self rising flour
2 eggs
1  1/2 cups white sugar
1 (15 oz.) can of fruit cocktail, undrained
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups flaked coconut or a 7 oz. bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix the flour, eggs, sugar, fruit cocktail, vanilla and cinnamon together until well blended.  Pour into a well greased 9"x13" baking pan.   Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Near the end of the baking time, prepare the frosting.   Place the butter, milk, white and brown sugars, vanilla in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Reduce the heat and add the pecans and coconut.  Mix well. 

Remove the cake from the oven.  I like to take a fork or wooden skewer and poke just a few holes in the cake to allow some of the frosting to run down into the cake, but you don't have to do that step.  Pour the frosting evenly over the warm cake.  Make sure the coconut and pecans are evenly distributed.  Now, some recipes end here.  You cut it and eat it, but I remember that Mama always cranked that oven up to broil and put the cake back in for just a few minutes to toast the pecans and coconut and sort of caramelized the sugars a little.  

 It just really makes all the difference to me in the taste of the cake, but you have to watch it really close, because it will burn those pecans in no time at all!   This step is optional, but I do recommend it!  

Now, you can cut it and eat it and I do think it is so good warm right out of the oven! 

 I like to put a cherry on top to serve since that is the best part of fruit cocktail to me and it's pretty!


  1. Pat in MississippiJune 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    This cake was popular in the early 1970's and, like you, I stopped making it for some reason although it is delicious. You have brought it back to mind and made me want to make it again, for which I thank you!

  2. I remember my grandma and my mom making this cake. The recipe was some how lost during all the moving we did when I was young. Never thought I would ever get this recipe again. Had asked my mom but she couldn't remember the recipe. This is so great!!

  3. Yes, I remember making it many times. My husband loved it. I don't know why I stopped making it. Just found another recipe to try I guess and this one went the same way the Watergate Salad went. Remember when that one was real popular?

  4. I use to make this also. Probably late 60's or early 70's. Good alternative to fruit cake since most of my family doesn't like fruit cake.

  5. I make this cake in layers and add pecans in the cake with the fruit. My icing is confectioners suger , butter and milk warmed together and put between layers and on top. My family loves this cake. I was introduced to it in the 70's.

    1. the layers on my moms cake were kinda dark and like you, she added an incing on hers, not quite like yours but with condensed milk, coconut, pecans. And the best thing was, it was sooo much moister on the second day. I sure would like to get that recipe in my hand for for the time being, guess I'm gonna try the one on this page.

  6. I made this cake in Home Ec during the 60s, so it is an old recipe. I had lost my copy somewhere along the way, so I really appreciate seeing this. This has always been one of my favorite cakes. Thank you.



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