Skip to Content

Fruit Cocktail Cake With a Cake Mix

Please share

Fruit cocktail cake with a cake mix remixes a vintage classic to make it even easier. The cake is light, moist, and delightfully fruity.

Piece of fluffy fruit cocktail cake with moist crumb and bits of fruit on a plate, ready to eat.

If you like vintage fruit cocktail cake, you are going to love this recipe. It starts with a cake mix, so it is even easier to make.

However, the feeling is still the same. It is a nice moist cake that has bits of fruit and a little brown sugar on top.

Ingredients including yellow cake mix, eggs, oil, can of fruit cocktail, and brown sugar ready to be made into fruit cocktail cake.

While my grandma’s fruit cocktail cake recipe is about as easy as a scratch cake recipe gets, sometimes you want something even easier. This cake mix version is just that.

The only thing you have to measure is the oil. Plus, the cake is extra fluffy from that cake mix magic.

A lot of recipes out there finish the cake with a glaze or frosting. Now, you know I love me some frosting.

However, I think the fruit in this cake is supposed to be the star of the show. And it seemed like adding pretty much any kind of frosting would overpower the fruit.

So I did what my grandma did in the original, sprinkled just a bit of brown sugar over the top instead. The cake is so moist.

The brown sugar is enough to add some caramelly undertones and finishes it off nicely.

Tips and Tricks

Do not drain the fruit cocktail. The juices from the can are going to replace the water in the cake mix.

That moisture and extra fruity sweetness really make this cake what it is.

I like getting the fruit cocktail with the extra cherries, but any 15 oz can of fruit cocktail will do.

If you want a little bit more chew in your cake, stir in up to a cup of shredded coconut.

Or add some chopped nuts with the brown sugar. Chopped pecans or walnuts would be tasty additions.

Spatula lifting piece of cake mix fruit cocktail cake out of the pan showing the fluffy yet moist texture of the cake with bits of fruit baked inside.

As moist as the cake was, we didn’t think it needed anything to go with it. However, a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would be delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fruits are in fruit cocktail?

A can of fruit cocktail generally contains pears, grapes, peaches, pineapple, and cherries packed in either a syrup or concentrated fruit juice mixture.

Two pieces of fruit cocktail cake stacked on top of each other with the remaining pan of cake in the background.

How do you store fruit cocktail cake?

This cake stores well at room temperature for 4 days. Leftovers are good at room temperature or rewarmed slightly.

Just wrap the cake in plastic wrap or use a pan with a lid to keep the cake fresh for as long as possible.

For another great classic dessert that starts with a cake mix, try my honey bun recipe. Or check out my collection of doctored up cake mix recipes for more inspiration.

Piece of fluffy fruit cocktail cake with moist crumb and bits of fruit on a plate, ready to eat.

Fruit Cocktail Cake With a Cake Mix

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
Fruit cocktail cake with a cake mix remixes a vintage classic to make it even easier. The cake is light, moist, and delightfully fruity.
4.91 from 10 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 15.25 oz yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs large
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz fruit cocktail undrained
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
Makes: 9 x 13inch rectangle2inch height


  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil and eggs until the mixture is smooth.
    15.25 oz yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Add the can of fruit cocktail along with all of the juices in the can. Mix until you have a uniform batter.
    15 oz fruit cocktail
  • Pour into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
    ½ cup light brown sugar
  • Bake for 28-34 minutes. Cool before serving.


Store the cake at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Add up to 1 cup of shredded coconut in the batter if desired. 
You can add ½ cup of chopped nuts with the brown sugar if desired.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Loved this recipe?Pin this recipe for later & follow @cookingwcarlee for more

Please share

Recipe Rating


Saturday 30th of March 2024

Absolutely delicious! My family asked for more.

carole l Upton

Monday 26th of February 2024

I made mine with strawberry cake mix and a bit of rum or coconut extract. Beautiful


Monday 26th of February 2024

That sounds delicious!

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

Such a nostalgic cake! It sounds both easy and tasty.


Wednesday 13th of September 2023

Thank you!

Andrea Nine

Friday 8th of September 2023

Well how fun is this! And I love how easy it is. Have a great weekend.

Marcella M

Saturday 6th of January 2024

@Carlee, how do I know when it’s done? Toothpick test? In the center? An inch from the edge? Pulls away on sides? Springs back when touched in the center?? Other of these types of cakes take considerably longer with the same ingredients and that’s why I ask. Hurry please, I’ve got one baking in the oven right now!


Friday 8th of September 2023

So easy, but it keeps that classic feeling. It was a huge hit with my family and my grandpa requested an extra piece to take home with him.