Cocktail Cake a.k.a. Gooey Coconut Cake

If you like coconut you'll love this cake with its gooey coconut topping!  You'll want a bite of coconut with each mouthful of cake. 

This is an old recipe but an easy dessert to throw together.  I guess I must have tasted this well over thirty years ago at a church potluck.  (So many good recipes come from those church gatherings.)  Oh my, it was absolutely delicious and of course I had to get the recipe. Janet, one of the young teachers  had brought the cake and passed it along to me.  It was eventually published in a fund-raiser cookbook the school was selling.  

As you can see this recipe received my check✔ of approval.

I've known Janet most of my life.  In my late teens I was actually her camp counselor.  A few years later we both taught at the same school.  Over the years the distance in our ages has shrunk and we're now both mature matrons (Does anyone use  that term any more?) with families and grandchildren.  She's still younger but what does a few years matter when we're both grannies?  

This moist cake is quite plain on its own, but it's the coconut topping that makes this cake so special.  The gooey, almost fudgy coconut topping is irresistible to coconut lovers.  Sometimes, when I eat cake, I like to scrape off some of the sweet frosting but not with this cake.  I'm wishing I'd doubled the topping recipe.

Because this cake is served from the baking pan, it travels well and it's the perfect cake for potlucks, family gatherings and barbecues. Have a bowl of whipped topping or cream ready to serve with it as it makes a nice addition to the presentation and taste. 

You may turn up your nose at canned fruit cocktail but in this cake even the yucky canned grapes are indiscernible.  If you have canned fruit haters in your house don't even tell them it's in the cake.  Rename it Gooey Coconut Cake--they'll never know the difference!  

Cocktail Cake
1½  cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup oil
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 -14 oz. can fruit cocktail
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

In a large bowl, using a whisk, beat sugar, oil and eggs until creamy.  Using a spoon add dry ingredients;  mix well and add fruit with juice and vanilla.  Blend well.  Pour into a 9x13-inch pan.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.  While cake is baking the last ten minutes, prepare topping.

Boil for 5 minutes:
⅓ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk.

Remove from heat and add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups coconut (unsweetened is best)

Pour hot topping over hot cake and spread evenly.  Let cool completely before serving.

Serve with whipped topping or cream if desired.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn't go astray on top of this cake, either.

"E.T. phone home." Ha, ha, ha!
Meanwhile back in the kitchen, mix the sugar, oil and eggs together.

No need for a mixer--a whisk will beat the eggs, oil and sugar together.  I had to use a spoon instead of the whisk as the batter is very thick and stiff before adding the fruit cocktail and juice. 

Spread the batter in a well greased or sprayed baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the middle of the cake tests clean with a tooth pick or cake tester.

During the last ten minutes of baking assemble the topping by boiling the milk, sugar and butter together for 5 minutes then add the coconut and vanilla.  Pour the coconut topping on the hot cake and spread evenly to the edges.  Let cool completely before serving.

This cake is going to a church potluck, the origin of many good recipes in my box. 

I drizzled the plate with a little boiled milk and sugar and served the cake with a dollop of cream.

So moist and delicious!

Call it what you want, it's a coconut lovers cake!


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