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Fruit Cocktail Cake

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Fruit cocktail cake is a classic that we probably all enjoyed a time or two when we were at Grandma’s house as it combines cake ingredients with fruit cocktail and shredded coconut that is then topped with a delicious buttery coconut frosting. This is one dessert your kids will fall in love with. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

I remember going to grandma’s house as a little girl and she would always make us fruit cocktail cake. It was one of my favorites. It is so easy to make, hearty, totally made from scratch (no box cake mix needed), and has the most delicious buttery coconut frosting on top. If you have yet to try this cake, it will soon become one of your favorites. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

You will love this cake for so many reasons!

  • Easy to make!
  • Childhood favorite! 
  • All the ingredients you can easily have on hand so you can make this whenever you are feeling nostalgic. 
  • Loaded with so much flavor thanks to the fruit cocktail, pecans, and coconut! 
Fruit Cocktail Cake

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 ½ cups sugar 

¼ cup brown sugar 

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt 

2 eggs, beaten

1 (15 ounce) can fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, not drained 

¼ cup shredded coconut 

For the frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar 

½ cup evaporated milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

¾ cup chopped pecans 

½ cup coconut 

How to Make Fruit Cocktail Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • To the bowl, add the eggs and fruit cocktail with the syrup. Stir until completely blended.
  • Fold in the coconut.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack.
  • For the frosting, place the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Continue to boil for two minutes. Remove the frosting from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the pecans in the coconut, stirring just until mixed.
  • Pour the frosting over the cake, spreading evenly. 
  • Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature. Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.
Fruit Cocktail Cake
  • Cut the cake into squares and serve topped with whipped topping, additional coconut, chopped pecans, and/or a maraschino cherry, if desired.
Fruit Cocktail Cake

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • Be sure to not overmix the ingredients. You don’t need anything fancy when whipping up this cake, just a bowl, and a spoon. 
  • Don’t forget to grease your pan so that you can easily remove the pieces of cake. 
  • Be sure to add the frosting to the cake when the cake is hot! This is super important for it to turn out just like grandma made it. 
  • Be sure you buy the fruit cocktail in syrup, not in juice. The cake will not turn out correctly if you use the fruit cocktail in juice. 
  • Add the whip cream and cherry right before serving. 
fruit cocktail

Storage

Store your fruit cocktail cake at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container or covered in the pan. 

You do not want to place your leftover cake in the fridge. This will change the texture of both the cake and the frosting. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Freezer

This fruit cocktail cake freezes great. Let it completely cool and then wrap in foil and place in the freezer. This cake will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. 

When you are ready to enjoy, let it completely thaw and then warm up before enjoying.  

fruit cocktail

Do you serve this cake warm?

This cake can be served warm or at room temperature. We are huge fans of eating it when it is nice and warm. So when we are ready to enjoy our 2nd and third slices, we warm them up a bit in the microwave. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Fruit cocktail cake is a classic that we probably all enjoyed a time or two when we were at Grandma’s house as it combines cake ingredients with fruit cocktail and shredded coconut that is then topped with a delicious buttery coconut frosting. This is one dessert your kids will fall in love with.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (15 ounce) can fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, not drained
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. To the bowl, add the eggs and fruit cocktail with the syrup. Stir until completely blended.
  4. Fold in the coconut.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack.
  7. For the frosting, place the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Continue to boil for two minutes. Remove the frosting from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the pecans in the coconut, stirring just until mixed.
  8. Pour the frosting over the cake, spreading evenly. 
  9. Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature. Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Cut the cake into squares and serve topped with whipped topping, additional coconut, chopped pecans, and/or a maraschino cherry, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 522mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 2gSugar: 61gProtein: 6g

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