This Easy Granny Cake Recipe is a classic, oldie but goodie!! Delicious yellow cake is topped with brown sugar and pecans, then drizzled with a delicious maple glaze. This recipe takes boxed cake mix to the ultimate level!
Comforting, classic, decadent and fool-proof–that’s the essence of a granny cake! This cake takes your run of the mill boxed yellow cake mix and turns it into something FANTASTIC. Ya’ll know my limitations with baking…if it’s not easy and fool-proof, I’m not doin’ it!
When a boxed or pre-made mix is involved, that’s half the battle for me!! Just look at these amazing these 5 Ingredient Oreo Blondies! Or these Easy Air Fryer Biscuit Doughnuts! Or if you really want EASY, try my Easy Cream Cheese Pie with Cherries! And if you want a crowd pleasing dessert that will never disappoint, you have to make my No Bake Chocolate Peppermint Pie! It’s so easy, yet so impressive!!
Now I am going to use a word that is VERY unpopular, but I have to use it. There really is no alternative: MOIST (sorryyyyyy!!). But oh goodness this cake is MOIST! The crushed pineapple is a background ingredient (the cake does NOT taste like pineapple) but keeps the cake so nice and …..well, you know 🙂
Paired with the crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping…DIVINE. Drizzle on the optional maple glaze and you have yourself a dessert that would make granny proud! (we don’t need to tell her we used boxed cake mix..shhhh….).
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Super easy, decadent sweet treat!
- You can have it for breakfast like coffee cake or enjoy it as dessert!
- Can easily be doubled for potlucks and parties.
- Very minimal prep time!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this granny cake:
Yellow Cake Mix: Any brand is just fine! Use whatever is on sale 🙂 You can also use white cake mix in a pinch.
Cream/Milk: You can use heavy cream, milk or half and half. Just note you will need slightly LESS milk/half and half because it’s not as thick as cream.
HOW TO MAKE THIS GRANNY CAKE RECIPE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Mix together yellow cake mix, pineapple (with juice!), oil and eggs. I like to use an electric hand mixer, but a wooden spoon or whisk works fine, too.
Step 2: Pour batter into a 9 x 9 baking pan.
Step 3: Combine nuts and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spread the nut/brown sugar mixture over the entire cake.
Step 4: Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is baking, stir together powdered sugar, cream/milk and maple syrup; set aside. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes then drizzle with glaze, if you like!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- If you see the cake getting too brown on the top while baking, loosely cover the baking pan with foil.
- For a quicker baking time (and thinner pieces), use a 9 X 12 baking pan.
- Instead of drizzling the glaze over the entire cake, it’s best to put the glaze on individual servings. The cake keeps/stores better without the glaze.
- The maple glaze is optional–my family loves this cake with just a dollop of whipped cream.
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store this cake covered tightly with foil or plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to store the glaze separately vs. drizzling it over the entire cake.
- Freezing: Cool cake completely. Then, cut into slices and freeze flat in a large Ziploc bag for 2-3 months. To enjoy, allow cake to come to room temperature (4-6 hours or even overnight) OR pop a slice into the microwave on 50% power for 1-2 minutes and serve warm!
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Vegetable Oil: Canola oil or corn oil work fine, too.
Nuts: Walnuts are a great alternative to pecans.
Heavy Cream: Milk or half and half can be used in place of heavy cream.
Maple Glaze: This glaze is totally optional, but highly recommended!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A granny cake is a warm, comforting, decadent dessert that taste like home…just like your granny would make! Granny cakes use simple, classic ingredients and are the ultimate comfort food!
Most granny cakes involve drowning the cake in a milk/butter-based “icing,” but this version just has a simple maple glaze drizzled over the top. The cake is already super moist (there’s that word again!) so no need to drown it in icing.
There are THREE perfect ways to enjoy this cake:
1) Plain: Skip the maple glaze and just enjoy the cake on it’s own! It’s like a coffee cake of sorts, so a big cuppa joe is always a good idea!
2) Maple Glaze: A generous drizzle of the simple maple glaze is delish!
3) Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream: Be generous!!!
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Easy Granny Cake Recipe
For the cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple WITH juices
- 1 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1 cup chopped/crushed pecans walnuts work, too! (See Note 1)
For the glaze (optional)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream See Note 2
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 9 pan* with cooking spray (See Note 3).
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and crushed pineapple with the the juices. Beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until everything is smooth and combined (there will be some lumps from the pineapple!). If you don't have an electric mixer you can mix with a wooden spoon or whisk.
- Pour cake batter evenly in your baking pan.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and pecans. Spread entire mixture over the top of the cake batter, making sure you generously cover all parts of the cake!
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note: If sugar or nuts begin to brown too much, cover the pan with foil for the remaining bake time.
- While cake is baking, make the glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, cream and maple syrup until smooth (See Note 4).
- Remove from oven and allow the cake at least 15 minutes to cool. To serve, cut into squares and drizzle the glaze over the top.