Classic Do-Nothing Cake

Embrace Simplicity: Classic Do-Nothing Cake

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Get ready to experience the epitome of simplicity and sweetness with our Classic Do-Nothing Cake recipe. This timeless dessert is a testament to the magic that can be created with just a few basic ingredients and minimal effort. With its moist pineapple-infused cake base and decadent coconut-pecan frosting, this cake is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, this recipe is perfect for anyone looking to whip up a delicious dessert with ease. So, let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create a cake that will leave you craving seconds!

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For the Cake:

  • 1 (8 or 11 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter


Step 1: Prepare the Cake

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed pineapple (with its juice), yellow cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, water, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
  3. Pour Batter: Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
  4. Bake: Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Step 2: Prepare the Frosting

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts or pecans, evaporated milk, and unsalted butter.
  2. Cook: Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Simmer: Continue to cook the frosting mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  4. Cool: Remove the frosting from the heat and let it cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  5. Spread Frosting: Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake in the baking pan.
  6. Serve: Slice the cake into squares and serve. Enjoy the irresistible combination of moist pineapple cake and rich coconut-pecan frosting!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Pineapple Chunks: For extra bursts of pineapple flavor, add some chopped pineapple chunks to the cake batter before baking.
  • Substitute Nuts: Feel free to use your favorite nuts in the frosting, such as almonds or macadamia nuts, for a unique twist.
  • Drizzle with Caramel: For an indulgent touch, drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the cake before serving.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free yellow cake mix to make this cake suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned? A: Yes, you can use fresh pineapple if preferred. Simply chop the fresh pineapple into small pieces and use in place of the canned crushed pineapple.

Q: Can I use a different flavor of cake mix? A: While yellow cake mix is traditional for this recipe, you can experiment with different flavors such as white or pineapple-flavored cake mix for a unique twist.

Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time? A: Yes, you can bake the cake ahead of time and store it, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Frost the cake just before serving for the best freshness.

Q: Can I freeze leftover cake? A: Yes, you can freeze leftover cake in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

Keto-Friendly Variation:

  • Substitute the yellow cake mix with a keto-friendly cake mix made with almond or coconut flour.
  • Replace the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia.
  • Use unsweetened shredded coconut and omit the sugar in the frosting.

Low-Carb Variation:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar used in both the cake and frosting.
  • Use a low-carb yellow cake mix and replace some of the flour with almond flour or coconut flour.
  • Choose low-carb nuts such as almonds or walnuts for the frosting.

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In conclusion, our Classic Do-Nothing Cake is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking. With just a handful of basic ingredients, you can create a delicious dessert that is sure to impress. Whether you’re serving it at a potluck, sharing it with friends, or simply indulging in a sweet treat at home, this cake is guaranteed to be a hit. So, embrace the ease of this recipe and enjoy the irresistible combination of moist pineapple cake and rich coconut-pecan frosting. It’s a dessert that truly lives up to its name – all you have to do is savor every bite!

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