Julianne Dorr of Longview, Wash., was looking for a cake recipe from the 1970s. She said it was a very simple cake made using a can of fruit cocktail and a box of cake mix and some other ingredients she could no longer recall.

Martha Booth from Marion, Iowa, sent in a recipe for Fruit Cocktail Cake that she thought was probably the recipe that Dorr was looking for. Several other readers sent in similar recipes for what they called a Dump Cake.

When you make this cake, it is easy to see how it got that name. Basically all you do is dump the ingredients in the pan and put it in the oven to bake. It takes less than 5 minutes to make. What you end up with is more of a cobbler then a cake.

For something so simple, it is surprisingly good. I recommend serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream.


1 (15-ounce) can fruit cocktail

1 (18.25-ounce) package of orange or yellow cake mix

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup nuts, chopped

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. Pour fruit cocktail, including syrup or juice, into greased pan and spread over bottom evenly. Sprinkle cake mix on top. Then sprinkle coconut and chopped nuts evenly over the cake mix. Pour the melted butter over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Start to finish: 3 1/2 hours (30 minutes active). Makes 12 servings.