This is a favorite recipe from my childhood. Quick lunch box cake routinely showed up in our lunch boxes growing up.
It’s one of those easy cake recipes that can be assembled in less time than it takes to stir up a cake mix or run to the store for something commercially prepared but not nearly as good.
This simple cake is made moist with fruit cocktail and topped with chocolate chips and nuts instead of frosting. The lack of frosting makes it a great traveler, perfect for pot lucks and lunch boxes.
Mom thinks this Quick Lunch Box Cake recipe came from a bag of Pillsbury flour back in the 1970s. I have her much cherished, spotted, tattered hand-written recipe card in my files. Both my sister and I are keeping the quick lunch box cake tradition alive - we often make it for our family and friends who seem to enjoy it as much as we did way back when.
Quick Lunch Box Cake Recipe
I’ve tried making this recipe with fruit cocktail in juice (probably didn’t even exist back in the 1970s) and I don’t think its as good as when made with fruit cocktail in heavy syrup. I often substitute the nuts for butterscotch chocolate chips when baking for those with nut sensitivities.
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 16-ounce can fruit cocktail, undrained
1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan.
Combine all ingredients (except chips & nuts) in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and nuts.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
This recipe for quick lunch box cake may have come from a bag of Pillsbury flour back in the 1970s.