Last updated on
Table of Contents
Moist, pineapple-flavored sheet cake covered with a coconut pecans frosting is a decadent southern-inspired dessert. This quick and easy dessert will satisfy any sweet tooth.
MORE RECIPES: Kentucky Butter Cake | Banana Upside Down Cake | Texas Sheet Cake | German Chocolate Cake
A classic old-fashioned American cake, Texas tornado cake is part poke cake, part dump cake, and completely delicious. You’ve never tasted something so delicious that is also called a Do Nothing Cake.
Much like a dump cake, the ingredients in a tornado cake get mixed together, dumped into a baking pan, and baked until done. After the cake comes out of the oven it gets poked all over before it soaks in the coconut frosting.
Pineapple and coconut lovers will all adore this super moist cake. Perfect with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream on top, you’ll want to make this cake recipe for potlucks, family get-togethers, or any time you're in the mood for an easy-to-make dessert.
Tornado Cake Ingredients
- Salted butter
- Yellow cake mix
- Vegetable oil
- Evaporated milk
- Crushed pineapple
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Sweetened flaked coconut
- Chopped pecans
A pantry-friendly cake recipe, tornado cake uses a box of cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple to create a moist cake. With just 10 minutes of prep time, it is also ridiculously easy to make.
Don't have canned pineapple in the pantry? Swap the pineapple for any other type of canned fruit. You could use canned peaches, pears, or even a canned fruit cocktail. If you use another type of canned fruit don't forget to dice the fruit before adding it to the cake batter.
If you don't have any evaporated milk in the pantry, it's easy to make your own. Simply simmer full-fat milk on the stove in a small pan for approximately 25 minutes. Start with 3 ¼ cups milk and simmer, do not boil, the milk until it has reduced to approximately 1 ½ to 1/14 cups. Once the milk has reduced pass it through a sieve before using, and allow it to cool completely.
How to Make Tornado Cake
FIRST STEP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9”x13” glass baking dish with a tablespoon of butter and set aside.
SECOND STEP: In a large mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, 3 eggs, vegetable oil, and evaporated milk on medium speed for 2 minutes.
THIRD STEP: Mix in crushed pineapple (including juice) until combined.
FOURTH STEP: Pour the cake batter into the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
FIFTH STEP: In a heavy saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and evaporated milk.
SIXTH STEP: Add sugar, butter, and vanilla and heat over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil.
SEVENTH STEP: Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and deepens to a golden color (this takes about 5 minutes after the mixture has come to a boil).
EIGHTH STEP: Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut flakes. Set aside until the cake finishes cooking.
NINTH STEP: When the cake comes out of the oven, poke all over with the handle of a wooden spoon. Gently spread the topping evenly over the top.
TENTH STEP: Allow the cake to cool slightly before cutting into pieces and serving.
If you prefer a thicker topping you can double the ingredients for the topping.
You could substitute the pecans for the walnuts for a different nutty topping.
One 12 oz. can of evaporated milk splits perfectly between the cake and the topping.
Storing this Recipe
IN THE FRIDGE: Wrap leftovers with plastic wrap and store them on the countertop or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
IN THE FREEZER: Cover tightly with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter for greasing pan
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 20 ounces pineapple crushed
- 2 egg yolks
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x13 inch glass baking dish with a tablespoon of butter and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together cake mix, 3 eggs, vegetable oil, and evaporated milk on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Mix in crushed pineapple (including juice) until combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- In a heavy saucepan whisk together egg yolks and evaporated milk.
- Add sugar, butter, and vanilla and heat over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to a boil.
- Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and deepens to a golden color. This takes about 5 minutes after mixture has come to a boil).
- Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut flakes. Set aside until the cake finishes cooking.
- When cake comes out of the oven, poke all over with the handle of a wooden spoon. Gently spread topping evenly over the top.
- Allow the cake to cool slightly before cutting into pieces and serving.
Diane Varnum says
Moist, delicious, and easy to make. A nice sheet cake to take to a pot luck.
Carol K says
Great pictures, you did a nice job photographing step by step with befores and afters.