Our friends Richard and Cory are both great cooks and unrelentingly spoil us with mouthwatering dishes whenever we come to visit. This past weekend, Richard baked a delicious looking cake but refused to tell us what it was until we tasted our first bite. As it sat triumphantly on its gleaming white cake stand, the dessert looked wonderfully moist and smelled enticingly sweet. I ventured a rum or maple syrup soaked cake but was wrong on both counts. I would never have guessed the recipe's secret ingredient — a can of fruit cocktail! One of the undisputed retro desserts of the 1950s, canned fruit cocktail was quick, easy and could be incorporated into a multitude of recipes, from Jello or Ambrosia Salads to the insipid Buffet Party Loaf featuring spam, fruit cocktail and Miracle Whip! On the other side of the culinary kaleidoscope however is Richard's sensational Fruit Cocktail Cake from The Best of Bridge, making canned fruit salad cool again.
Libby's Fruit Cocktail poster from the 1950's
Del Monte Party Fruit Basket recipe with angel food cake, jello and whipped cream
Del Monte poster featuring a Buffet Party Loaf with spam, fruit cocktail and Miracle Whip!
Richard's Bridge Ladies Fruit Cocktail Cake
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
14 oz can fruit cocktail with juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cream or milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9" x 13" baking or bundt pan. In medium sized bowl beat the eggs slightly. Add all of the ingredients except the flour and mix until combined. Then fold in flour until just combined and pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.
Add the sugar, cream and butter to a medium sized pot and bring to the boil. Remove from heat then add the vanilla. Once the cake has finished baking, remove from the oven and pour the warm icing over the hot cake — it may seem like alot but the cake will absorb it. Serve warm or room temperature with a scoop of iced cream. It also keeps in fridge for several days, if it lasts that long!