Many years ago a friend, Orene Hamrick, shared a recipe that found a special place in my file of “keepers.” She had just returned from a trip to Chicago, where she had attended a wedding. At one of the prenuptial parties, the hostess served Ugly Duckling Cake. After tasting it, Orene quickly requested a copy of the recipe.
Upon returning home to Alabama, Orene started baking this newfound delight for friends and family. It is certainly a conversation item when it is served. Not only is the name intriguing, but the cake flavor is wonderful. (In case you are wondering, it is certainly NOT an ugly cake.)
A few days ago, I remembered that I had a box of coconut supreme cake mix in the pantry and decided to see if I could use it in a cake similar to the Ugly Duckling Cake. I made a few changes, as you can tell from the following Hawaiian Cocktail Cake recipe. The main difference is that I decided to use a cream cheese icing and omit the original topping. It is good, but I think the next time I make it, I will try the original topping.
Recently, I sent my newest cookbook to the publisher, and many of my favorite “keepers,” new and old, are included in the book. The new cookbook is simply named “Kitchen Keepers.”
Ugly Duckling Cake
For the cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (16 ounce) can fruit cocktail, undrained
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
For the topping:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut
Combine the cake mix, undrained fruit cocktail, eggs, coconut and oil. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Combine the brown sugar and nuts. Sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overbake.
For the topping, combine butter, half and half, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over the cake. Sprinkle coconut over the top.
Hawaiian Cocktail Cake
For the cake:
1 box coconut supreme cake mix
1 (16 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour the bottom only of a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Combine cake mix, drained fruit cocktail, pineapple juice, eggs and butter. Beat for about 2 minutes or until well mixed. Fold in coconut and pecans. Pour into pan and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing the cake.
For the icing, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the pineapple juice. If needed, add the remaining tablespoon of juice. Beat until well mixed. Spread over cake and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.