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Fruit cocktail cake may be a largely forgotten recipe, but I’ve made it my personal quest to bring it back around. This coffee-cake-meets-tropical-fruit hybrid is packed with juicy fruit and moist cake, which is pretty hard to turn down when paired with a cup of coffee. 

cake on a white plate with white icing dizzle and cherries in the background.

Easy Fruit Cocktail Cake Recipe

When I discovered a pile of forgotten cans of fruit cocktail in my pantry, I knew it was time to find a purpose them. Thankfully, I stumbled upon an old recipe for fruit cocktail cake that caught my eye! 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This recipe is naturally oil-free due to how moist the fruit juice makes the cake. Not only is it healthier, but it’s also one less ingredient you’ll have to include. Talk about a win-win! 
  • It’s sweet enough to eat without icing – so it’s perfect for dessert or breakfast with a cup of coffee. It’s an amped up coffee cake!

Ingredients Needed

  • Sugar – Granulated sugar goes best in this recipe.
  • Baking soda – This helps the cake rise and be nice and fluffy.
  • Cinnamon – I think a bit of ground cinnamon goes perfect in this cake.
  • Fruit cocktail – grab some canned fruit cocktail with juice from the store.
  • Coconut – The classic recipe has shredded sweetened coconut (the kind from the baking aisle)
  • Brown sugar – This creates a crumble with the coconut for the top of the cake.

How to Make Fruit Cocktail Cake

  • Preheat: Spray 9×13” pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Combine ingredients: Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix together eggs, sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Pour the fruit cocktail along with its juices into the bowl, then stir in the flour. Once thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into the pan you have prepared.
  • Bake: In a small dish, combine the coconut and brown sugar and sprinkle them over the top of the cake mixture. Bake the cake for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Make glaze (optional): If you’d like to glaze the cake, simply whisk powdered sugar and a bit of milk together. Add enough milk for the glaze to be a pouring consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cake once done baking. 
cake on a white plate with white icing dizzle and cherries in the background.

Expert Tips

  • The glaze is optional, but it takes the look of this cake up a few notches. Not to mention it makes it a bit sweeter, which is typically a plus in my book!
  • It can be hard to tell when coffee cakes are fully baked, and you don’t want to suck any moisture out of this perfectly moist cake. The best way to tell if the cake is done is by inserting a toothpick and seeing if the toothpick comes out clear. If it does, your cake is done! 


What is fruit cocktail cake?

Fruit cocktail cake is a coffee cake that is made with canned fruit cocktail, topped with coconut and brown sugar.

Can you freeze this cake?

Yes, you can wrap this cake in plastic wrap or store it in a ziplock bag and freeze it for up to two months.

How do you know when fruit cocktail cake is done baking?

You’ll know when the cake is done baking when it has turned golden brown and you can remove a toothpick from it without cake sticking. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake on a white plate with a small bowl of cherries

Fruit Cocktail Cake

3.59 from 17 votes
Fruit Cocktail Cake – this easy cake recipe is the perfect coffee cake for breakfast! It’s full of coconut and fruit with no oil! This old fashioned recipe is the perfect way to use up canned fruit cocktail.
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 10 -12 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 15 ounce can Fruit Cocktail with juice
  • 1 ¼ cups (155g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (26g) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
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  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13” pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Stir together eggs, sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl using a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in fruit cocktail with the juice, then stir in flour. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Stir coconut and brown sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  • Make the glaze (optional) by whisking powdered sugar and enough milk for a pourable consistency. Drizzle over cake. Serve warm or room temperature. Store loosely covered for up to 2 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

3.59 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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  1. Somewhere deep in my recipe file is a card that says “Marilyn’s Fruit Cocktail Cake.” Marilyn was my college roommate’s future (and now ex) mother-in-law. I haven’t made it in years, but I may need to spring it on my co-workers someday soon. I’m not sure Marilyn’s version has coconut in it, but I think it would be a great addition.

  2. Very good coffee cake. Would it change the results if I would reduce the sugar to half a cup as it is to sweet for our taste?