Tropical Fruit Cake (1963)

Marcia McCance


This is another of my SIL Becky's Great Great Uncle, Lee A. Harley's recipes. This was selected as one of the ten best in the State of South Carolina in the 1963 Pillsbury Bake Off.

This one does not have the glazed fruit like the other ones, but has coconut, crushed pineapple, and nuts and sounds excellent to me.

The picture is simply a representation... I don't really know what it looks like, but the recipe is authentic.



★★★★★ 3 votes



  • CAKE:

  • 2 1/2 c
    pillsbury best plain, unsifted flour
  • 2/3 c
  • 2 c
    granulated sugar (dixie crystal)
  • 5
    large whole eggs
  • 1 c
    creamery butter (1/2 lb)
  • 1 tsp
    baking powder (double acting)
  • 1 1/2 c
    grated coconut, fresh or 7 oz. pkg. bakers
  • 1 1/2 c
    pecans or english walnuts (or half of each kind)
  • 1 can(s)
    8 or 9 oz crushed pineapple with juice
  • 6 to 8
    drops yellow food coloring

  • 2 c
    unsifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tbsp
    cream (or evaporated milk)
  • 4 Tbsp
    melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh strained lemon juice
  • 3
    drops green food coloring

How to Make Tropical Fruit Cake (1963)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Prepare baking pan, standard size, 10x4, one-piece tube pan, by greasing all of the interior with butter. Cover bottom, sides, and tube with wax paper (or parchment paper if you prefer). Then grease the waxed paper as you did the pan. Flour the pan, shaking out the excess.
  3. MAKING THE CAKE: Add baking powder to flour and sift three times. Blend butter and sugar with coloring added.
  4. Cream butter and sugar (for 15 minutes -- watch the clock)-- add one egg and cream a little longer, then add the other four eggs and beat for two minutes.
  5. Reduce speed of mixer to add the pineapple with the juice and blend for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut and blend for 2 more minutes.
  7. Add the nuts and blend for 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce mixer to slowest speed and begin adding alternately 1/3 of the flour and 1/2 of the milk blending for a minute between each addition until all is blended in. (You will start and end with flour)

    Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally so batter will be well mixed.
  9. Spoon the batter into the pan (using a spoon or cup) and level the batter in the pan by spreading with the back of a spoon. Do not tilt the pan as you place it in the oven.
  10. Bake 300 F for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes. When checker comes out clean the cake is done.
  11. Place pan on cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then invert on cooling rack, remove waxed paper, and invert once more onto cake plate. When the cake is fully cooled, frost with butter lemon icing.
  12. MAKING THE LEMON BUTTER ICING: Blend the cream gradually into the sugar, stirring all the time, now blend in the melted butter, and the lemon juice, Whip with tablespoon until well creamed and ready to spread. If too thin, add a little more sugar, if too thick, just a little more butter. For coloring add 3 drops of green coloring before whipping.
  13. NOTE: to turn this into His "Fiesta Fruit Cake" add one 9.5 ounce jar of Maraschino cherries , drained, chopped fine (all except 7 slices) which you reserve to garnish the top.

Printable Recipe Card

About Tropical Fruit Cake (1963)

Course/Dish: Cakes Fruit Desserts
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Heirloom

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