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Texas Tornado Cake

This delicious Texas Tornado cake is also known as "Do Nothing Cake." We love that name, because it's true that this recipe is amazingly easy!

Updated April 06, 2021
Texas Tornado Cake
Texas Tornado Cake
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Texas Tornado Cake is a super easy cake recipe made especially for coconut lovers, but that anyone who loves something sweet will enjoy. Make this old-fashioned cake recipe for a potluck and you won't go wrong. Sweetened mainly with brown sugar and fruit cocktail and with plenty of coconut flakes mixed into the gooey icing, this fruit cocktail cake is a unique recipe that hails from the South -- Texas to be specific. It's a budget-friendly way to make a dessert that everyone will love and that you will be proud to bring no matter the occasion. 

Preparation Time10 min

Cooking Time45 min


  • Cake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups fruit cocktail with syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • Coconut Icing
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Texas Tornado Cake Recipe


  1. Mix regular sugar, eggs, fruit cocktail, baking soda, and flour.

  2. Pour into greased pan or baking dish.

  3. Combine brown sugar and pecans; sprinkle over batter.

  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes.

  5. Combine icing ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes. ​Spoon over cake while hot.

  6. Let cool; cut into squares

Did You Know?

Texas Tornado Cake is also called "Do Nothing Cake," which is one of the earliest versions of a dump cake! Home bakers of days gone by were smart enough to know a genius baking shortcut when they saw one, and this cake recipe is one of those that has stood the test of time. You'd never guess that it was so easy to make. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients, dump it into a baking dish, and wait until your kitchen starts to smell amazing. The rich coconut topping takes the whole thing to the next level, and yet it takes almost no time to prepare. This recipe is definitely a smart baking solution. Bakers from several decades agree!

Budget Friendly Texas Tornado Cake
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Wow! This looks really good, but it might be a little too sweet for me.

Not sure about the budget friendly part of this recipe but the ingredients list sure does sound like it would be a delicious recipe. I like that it is a one pan cake though.

Oh my goodness...between all of the sugar in the icing and the fruit cocktail, I would definitely leave it out of the cake itself. I've never had cake with fruit cocktail before but the icing is kinda similar to the coconut pecan frosting I usually have on German Chocolate cake with the exception of the milky texture.

My Mother loved all recipes that included coconut. I think she would have approved of this one. I would never have imagined preparing a dessert with the ingredients listed here but I am anxious to try this one.

Of course, this cake is amazing. Look at all that sugar! I love cakes with fruit cocktail because they are so moist and sweet. I am the only one in my family who likes coconut, so I had to bring this to work to share with coworkers. What an easy, old-fashioned cake recipe.

This cake was divine!


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