Cocoanut Fruit Cake Recipe

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This Cocoanut Fruit Cake Recipe was the first recipe we found folded up on a sheet of paper in the Vintage Metal Flower Ohio Art Recipe Box.

I have never made a fruit cake before, so I’m excited to try this one at some point. The recipe calls for a variety of different ingredients, ranging from gum drops to candied pineapple to of course coconut.

One thing that kind of strikes me odd about this recipe is it does not seem to call for the usual “cake” type of ingredients. A very small amount of flour is only mentioned for dredging the fruit and candy pieces, and there is no mention of things like baking soda or sugar or eggs.

For this reason, I think it would probably be fairly easy to convert it into a gluten free coconut fruit cake – just substitute the two teaspoons of flour with two teaspoons of your favorite gluten free flour. {I’m a fan of Pamela’s Baking Mix!}.

Another thing I am not completely sure about is where to locally buy things like candied cherries, candied pineapple, or candied orange slices, I have never noticed them in stores where I live, but it may be possible to find them.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to order online if you’re not planning on baking this today! Here are some links for the ingredients on Amazon:

  • Paradise Holiday Cherries
  • Candied Orange Pieces
  • Candied Pineapple Pieces
  • Pecans

If you can’t find candied fruits, you can usually make your own pretty simply. For example, candied cherries can be made by boiling down sugar and cherry juice and then adding in a jar of cherries.

Canned coconut can also be tricky to find – I am pretty sure any sort of shredded coconut would work okay.

Fruit Cake Fun Facts

I have to admit, I don’t really know a lot about fruit cake. I know it is popular around the holidays, but my lack of knowledge about fruit cake spurred me to do a little bit of research.

Thankfully, Mental Floss has us covered. Apparently it dates all the way back to Roman times, but didn’t really gain popularity until the 16th century when sugar was more common and cheaper. Not surprisingly, it was also very popular during the Victorian ages.

Fruit cake is also known mostly for its longevity and its density. It’s a pretty dense cake and is usually pretty heavy compared to lighter, fluffier cakes. According to the Mental Floss article, some pieces of fruit cake are over 100 years old – and some people have even bought slices of “antique fruitcake” for thousands of dollars. That’s crazy.

Of course, not everybody likes fruit cake, as evidenced by this Johnny Carson Joke, which I remember hearing when I was a little kid:

“The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”

-Johnny Carson

I think I disagree with Johnny Carson, and I can’t wait to try this recipe one of these days. It will give me a good excuse to invest in an 8 inch tube pan, which are also good for making angel food cake. 🙂

Of course, you could probably also use a standard bread loaf pan as well!

Cocoanut Fruit Cake Recipe

Cocoanut Fruit Cake Recipe

This vintage coconut fruit cake was found in an old recipe box and sounds delicious!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Cake Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 935 kcal


  • 1 lb pitted dates
  • ¼ lb {1/2 cup} candied cherries
  • 3 slices candied pineapple
  • 5 red gum drops
  • 5 green gum drops
  • 3 slices candied orange
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 2 cans shredded coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


  • Cut fruit and gum drops in small pieces. Dredge in flour.
  • Add coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and nuts and mix thoroughly.
  • Line 8 inch tube pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture evenly.
  • Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour.


Serving: 1gCalories: 935kcalCarbohydrates: 197gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 113mgFiber: 7gSugar: 126g
Keyword coconut
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you make this recipe, I would love to hear from you on how you like it! Are you a fruit cake fan? Have a different fruit cake recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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