This Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut Topping recipe makes a light, fluffy cake that is filled with tender fruit. The easy and delicious fruit-filled cake is also super moist. Make it with or without the coconut topping. You will have to try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
This Upside Down Fruit Cocktail cake recipe originally was from my grandmother. It reminds me of her every time I make it, and that’s one of the reasons I LOVE this cake.
I say one of the reasons because there are so many reasons to love this cake. It’s extra moist, filled with fruit goodness, and is so good with or without the coconut topping.
We used to have this debate over whether the sweet coconut topping was necessary, or the glaze, because the cake was simply delicious all on its own.
I still cannot decide even though I always make the coconut topping. Guess that is my decision right there! I prefer my Grandma’s Fruit Cocktail Coconut Cake with coconut topping! For me, the topping is the final touch on this absolutely divine recipe.
You can make your own decision about the topping. Either way, my grandma’s fruit cocktail coconut cake recipe is going to be a winner with your family.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy to make!
- You probably already have most of the ingredients.
- You can feed a crowd with this sheet cake or, even better, have leftovers.
- Recipe yields a soft, light, spongy cake.
- Everyone will love this dessert.
Ingredients in Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut.
You probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry. This cake is easy to make and it comes together quickly.
All the ingredients required for this fruit cocktail coconut cake are probably already in your kitchen. It’s a very straightforward recipe. There’s nothing fancy here. The only ingredient you might have to buy especially for this recipe is banana because we all know those don’t last long. It only takes a few ingredients to make this cake, and it’s even easier to put it together. Here’s what you’ll need.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder: This will make your cake rise, so make sure it is not expired.
- Banana: Ripe bananas are easier to mash.
- Eggs: Size large eggs are the standard for baking.
- Buttermilk: The tanginess of the buttermilk will help this cake from being too sweet.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract, if you are able.
- Canned sliced peaches, drained
- Canned pineapple tidbits
- Maraschino cherries
- lime juice (about 1 ½ large limes)
- evaporated milk
- vanilla extract
- pecans or walnuts, chopped
- coconut flakes
How to Make Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake
Making my grandma’s fruit cocktail coconut cake isn’t much different from making any other cake from scratch. Actually, it’s easier than many cake recipes because it’s a sheet cake and you don’t have to make any frosting. The two topping options require fewer ingredients than traditional frostings. All of this makes this cake incredibly easy to make from start to finish. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
Measure all of your ingredients.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Add mashed bananas and melted butter to a large bowl, then beat together, about 30 seconds.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a 13×9 baking pan with grease and flour.
Add in sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, then beat until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Mix in applesauce.
Beat in eggs one at a time, about 15 seconds for each egg.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then add remaining flour and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping sides often.
Mix batter to combine all ingredients.
Add pineapple and cherries to a strainer and drain well, pressing down gently to remove as much liquid as possible.
Add pineapple and cherries to the batter and mix until well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan, then top with peach slices in rows.
Bake in the oven for 40-43 minutes or until cooked through.
There are two options for the topping, a lime glaze topping or the coconut nut topping. You could even do both!
Lime Topping: While the cake is baking, add lime juice and sugar to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
Spoon lime glaze over top of cooled cake.
Coconut Topping: While the cake is baking, heat butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Stir in pecans or walnuts and coconut and continue cooking on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken slightly.
Remove baked cake from oven and poke holes all over the top using a wooden chopstick or the tines of a large serving fork. Spread topping evenly over top of warm cake and let cool.
Remove cake and cool completely.
This cake can be served warm or at room temperature with some whipped cream if desired.
Enjoy every bite!
Don’t have the correct ingredients on hand? Or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake recipe.
- Don’t have any limes? Lemons, pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges work great too.
- Toppings: If you don’t have the topping ingredients, you could warm some peach or other fruit preserves on the stovetop and spread a thin layer over the cake.
- Fruits: This cake is so easy to make, and it lends itself to really making it your own, as well. Use whatever combination of fruits you like. Just drain canned fruit when the recipe calls for it and make sure you don’t leave out the banana. The banana adds to the moistness and texture of the cake. It’s an indispensable ingredient. Otherwise, feel free to make substitutions.
- Mango and kiwi work well for a more tropical twist on this cake. Figs would be a tasty addition, as well. The only limit is your imagination!
- 13×9 inch cake pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Refrigerator: in an airtight container, store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Freezer: Freeze for up to 4 months in an air-tight freezer-safe container or in heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Reheat: Allow to thaw at room temperature.
- It’s been my experience, however, that this cake rarely lasts longer than a few days, it’s so good.
- Ensure that your banana is thoroughly mashed, making sure that there aren’t any large lumps. The banana in this recipe is for flavor and moistness. Unlike banana bread, you want the mashed banana in this recipe to be as smooth as possible.
- When adding the fruit, be sure that you thoroughly drain all cans. This is a very moist cake, but you don’t want it to be a soggy cake. If you don’t adequately drain the canned fruits, you’ll end up with a super-thin batter that just doesn’t bake up the way that it should.
Do you have questions about Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe.
Yes, make sure you grease the cake pan very well. Use a coating of butter and flour or a non-stick baking spray that includes flour.
Ensuring that you have drained all of the liquid from the canned fruit will prevent your cake from being soggy. Also, be sure to measure all of the other ingredients as called for in the recipe.
I love the citrus glaze and the sweet coconut topping, but my preference is the coconut topping. Make this recipe using both to see which one you like the best.
My grandma’s fruit cocktail coconut cake recipe is very moist and not nearly as cakey as standard cakes. Adding frosting to it would be too heavy. The whole point of this cake is to give all that sweetness in a super moist, light package.
Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut
When I was growing up my grandfather always insisted that he had something sweet to eat at the end of every meal. I often wondered if every family was lucky enough to eat something sweet each night. I decided if they don’t they should because they are missing out!
My grandmother was always coming up with new recipes for these sweets. We were always trying new cookies, cakes, and pies.
Whenever I make this cake it always reminds me of grandma and grandpa’s house. It makes the house smell so good!
The best part of this cake is the addition of the fruit cocktail. It just adds great flavor and that extra little something!
We have debated for years whether or not to include the coconut topping or citrus glaze. The Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake is delicious without it just in case you’re curious or don’t like citrus or coconut.
I hope you and your family try this cake when it is time for something sweet after a good meal!
This is also the perfect cake to bring to any holiday get-together, potluck, or special event. It’s sweet, moist, and just plain good, and it will have everyone begging for more AND begging for the recipe.
Serving Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake
This cake is so moist and delicious, it needs nothing more than a plate and a fork. You can choose to top this cake with either the citrus glaze or sweet coconut topping, but that’s all you need. I know there are people out there who love to frost every cake they ever make, and I totally get it. Frosting is amazing. However, I would not recommend frosting this cake as it will take away from that pure fruit and coconut flavor that makes this cake so amazing.
There’s nothing better than a slice of my grandma’s fruit cocktail coconut cake after a meal. There’s nothing better than a slice of this cake anytime at all, if we’re just being straight. This cake is so moist, so full of fruit and coconut, and just so plain good, you’ll find your family sneaking bites at all times of the day and night. I know I’ve grabbed a piece for a midnight snack on more than one occasion.
Give this delicious fruit cocktail coconut recipe a try, and your family will begging you to make more all the time. You seriously can’t go wrong with this one!
Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut
- 13 x 9 inch cake pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 banana, ripe and mashed
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can (15 oz) sliced peaches, drained
- 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits
- 1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries
- ½ cup lime juice, about 1 ½ large limes (lemons, pineapple, grapefruit or oranges work great too)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare 13x9 baking pan with butter (grease) and flour.
- Add mashed bananas and melted butter to medium mixing bowl.
- Then beat together, about 30 seconds.
- Add in sugar, buttermilk and vanilla extract, then beat until well incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Add applesauce too.
- Beat until incorporated.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, about 15 seconds for each egg.
- Add half of dry ingredients to banana mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then add remaining flour and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping sides often.
- Beat until incorporated.
- Add pineapple and cherries to a strainer and drain well, pressing down gently to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Add pineapple and cherries to batter.
- Mix until well blended.
- Pour into your prepared pan. Make batter as level as possible.
- Then top with peach slices in rows.
- Bake in oven for 40-43 minutes or until cooked through.
- While cake is baking, add lime juice (or whichever flavor you're using) and sugar to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Remove cake and cool completely.
- Spoon lime glaze over top. Then slice and serve. Enjoy every bite.
- While cake is baking, in a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat, add butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar. Bring to a boil while stirring.
- Add pecans or walnuts and coconut. Gently simmer, over medium heat and stir constantly until reduced and thickened. About 5 minutes.
- Remove baked cake from oven and poke holes all over the top using the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick. You don't have to do this step but I highly recommend it.
- Spread topping evenly over top of warm cake and allow to cool.
- Slice and serve!
- Ensure that your banana is thoroughly mashed, making sure that there aren't any large lumps. The banana in this recipe is for flavor and moistness. Unlike banana bread, you want the mashed banana in this recipe to be as smooth as possible.
- When adding the fruit, be sure that you thoroughly drain all cans. This is a very moist cake, but you don't want it to be a soggy cake. If you don't adequately drain the canned fruits, you'll end up with a super-thin batter that just doesn't bake up the way that it should.