Saturday, 8 January 2011

Fruit cocktail baked dessert

Since this was the dessert I was making at the time this blog was birthed, it only seems right that it should be the first recipe to see the light of day. If it is of any comfort, I am digesting it at this very moment.

Hat tip to my friend Jenni Fleetwood in Cape Town who originally shared this recipe with me more than 20 years ago.


200ml sugar
1 tin fruit cocktail in juice/syrup (roughly 410g)
5ml salt
7ml vanilla extract/essence (I prefer extract)
2 large eggs
10ml bicarbonate of soda
500ml cake flour

100g butter/margarine (I always use butter, but Jenni used to use marg)
250ml sugar
1 tin evaporated milk (roughly 410g)

Oven temperature


  • Beat eggs and sugar until creamy
  • Drain fruit (do not discard juice/syrup) and stir into mixture
  • Dissolve bicarb in juice/syrup and set aside
  • Sift flour and salt together and add to mixture. Blend well (preferably with a wooden spoon)
  • Add juice/syrup concoction and vanilla extract/essence
Bake at 180C for 15 minutes (use a fairly large dish, so that the mixture is wide and shallow, or you will have trouble with the last part of the recipe
Reduce oven temperature to 150C and bake for a further 30 minutes or until done (test with skewer)

While the cake-y bit is baking, place butter, sugar and evaporated milk into a saucepan and gradually bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring fairly frequently.

When the dessert has been baked, take a skewer and poke it full of holes while it is still hot. Pour the hot liquid over the dessert and leave it to stand until the liquid has been completely soaked up by the sponge.

Serve hot or cold (I far prefer hot) with cream, custard or ice cream (or - if you have a family anything like mine - all three!).

  • I have used every conceivable canned fruit for this dessert: mangoes, tropical fruit salad, pears, peaches... today, I even used mandarin segments and it was an absolute hit.
  • I have occasionally used apples from the tree in our back garden, but you have to stew fresh fruit first, which adds to the work load.
  • I also sprinkled ground cardamom over the top today for the first time which worked well. You might try the same with cinnamon or nutmeg.


  1. Freeeeak, I can't begin to explain how many fond memories this recipe brings back and how for many many years I have looked for it. I knew my mom in law had the recipe in one of her old 'church recipe books', I kept on reminding her and asking her. Then finally when they moved, she found the one book with it in. ha ha, this one is so yummy!
    I love you more for this xxx

  2. @Jo This is a real family favourite, and we often have it for Christmas. I encourage you to experiment with different fruits. I once tried it with canned tropical fruit salad and it ROCKED!

  3. Ive been looking for this recipie everywhere!! THANK YOU!!


  4. @Natalie Happy to have helped. I'm also happy that you were able to post a comment. I've had loads of people telling me on Facebook that they can't comment on my blog, but none of my settings should prevent them.

  5. gonna try this one
    sounds delicious.................
    will try this on the family today,

    carol. NS Canada

  6. I remember this recipe but it also had coconut in tbe topping which made
    it nice and sticky ontop really nice