Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mystery Dessert

I don't know why the name . . . that is how I got it from my mom. It's still a mystery why it's so delicious . . . you'd never guess it to be a fat-free cake.


¾ cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
14 oz fruit cocktail along with syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup crushed walnuts or almonds
¼ tsp cinnamon, optional


  1. Stir together sugar, flour, soda, salt in mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in egg, fruit cocktail and vanilla.
  3. Pour into shallow, greased 8x8 inch pan or pie plate.
  4. Combine brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon and sprinkle over top.
  5. Bake at 325 F for 40 - 45 minutes.

Serve plain, with ice cream or whipped cream.


  1. My husband will love this. I will have to put fruit cocktail on my shopping list.

  2. this was and is still a favorite of ours. we have a different topping though.

    Glaze is
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 evaporated milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    bring to boil, stir for 2 min
    cool slightly then pour over cooled cake
    (we poke holes thruout the cake to allow the galze to sink into the cake)

  3. I remember that recipe...my mom always made it and it was the best.
    Thanks for this refreshing mystery.

  4. oh fruit cocktail cake. Mine is like cyw95's .. and I had been wondering if anyone had posted that one yet. .I'll have to check.
    This is perfect for a nice moist dessert cake.

  5. I think this is what we call hummingbird cake. It's a very good cake.

    Yours sounds yummy.

  6. Oh gosh, this sounds SO good! I'm definitely going to try it! Found you through Sharon Lovejoy's wonderful blog!... Donna

  7. This is a real comfort food for me as I had it growing up. It was always called fruit cocktail pudding at our house and last year I looked it up on the internet to recreate it and sure enough I found it. It is great with ice cream on top right out of the oven, or my dad would eat it in a bowl of milk. Thank you for posting this!!

  8. It looks melt in your mouth good!

  9. The only hard thing about this cake is.... whipped cream or ice-cream?
    I think I can do this gluten-free... substituting the one cup flour with a commercial bread/bun flour mix. I'm going to try it!

  10. I just made this and it is so easy, very fast to stir together, made with ingredients I typically have on hand and most importantly kid and hubby approved!

    Thank you for sharing, this one is going into my recipe book as a definite keeper!

  11. My mom used to make this cake a lot when we were kids! She topped it with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips before baking...she also baked the cake in a bundt pan.

  12. I've never had anything like this, but will put fruit cocktail on next week's shopping list.

  13. Oh yummmm.....This sounds amazing and I am definitely going to have to try it for dessert!! Thank you so much for your posts!

  14. I made the Mystery Dessert yesterday and my husband loves it. He told me I'm not allowed to take it anywhere. He wants it all for himself.

  15. This is VERY similar to "Fruit Cocktail Cake"-- a favorite since I was a child, and one my kids now love to make with me!

  16. We called it "tornado" cake in our house because I remember it was the day a small tornado went over our house, never touching down, and my mom made this for dessert that night. We, too, did a glaze like cyw95 posted. Fun memories.

  17. Delicious cake and so easy to make. I did not have any fruit cocktail so I substituted a can of canned apricots and added 1/2 tspn. of almond essence. So fast to put together. Next time I might cut 1/4 cup back on the sugar as it was very sweet, but perhaps that was because of the apricots.

  18. Mom made "mystery dessert" in the '50's and I actually got tired of it, but had it today at a ladies' luncheon and it brought back wonderful memories as it tasted so good...just had to look up the recipe and I found it here. Thanks for sharing.