Easy Granny Cake Recipe (with cake mix)

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This Easy Granny Cake Recipe features a yellow cake mix, crushed pineapple, and a delicious brown sugar pecan topping. Perfect for a taste of nostalgia, this easy-to-make dessert will leave you craving another slice. Try Granny’s recipe and take boxed cake mix to the next level!

Granny cake right out of the oven in a white baking pan.

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 fantastically mouthwateringly delicious.

Ya’ll know my limitations with baking…if it’s not easy and fool-proof, I’m not doing it!

When a boxed or pre-made mix is involved, that’s half the battle for me! Just look at these amazing 5 Ingredient Oreo Blondies, these Easy Air Fryer Biscuit Doughnuts, and this super easy Bisquick Coffee Cake!

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 or my Blueberry Lemon Cobbler! Both are so easy, yet so impressive!!

And now you can add this granny cake to your list of easy dessert recipes. Using simple cake ingredients that are then transformed into a dessert that is simply divine. And with a perfectly moist texture, tender crumb, and a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping, I promise you this cake will be on repeat.

Drizzle on the optional maple glaze and you have yourself a dessert that would make granny proud! The only thing that’s missing is a nice cup of coffee or tea.


  • Super easy yet a decadent and indulgent sweet treat!
  • It’s so versatile: you can have it for breakfast like coffee cake or enjoy it as dessert!
  • Crowd-pleaser: this cake can easily be doubled for potlucks and parties.
  • Comes together quickly with very minimal prep time!


You’ll need the following ingredients to make this granny cake:

Ingredients needed to make easy granny cake recipe with a boxed cake mix.


Yellow Cake Mix: Any brand is just fine! Use whatever is on sale. While yellow cake mix makes for a classic cake, you also use white cake mix in a pinch.

Cream/Milk: You can use heavy cream, milk or half and half. Just note if using milk or half and half, you will need slightly less because it’s not as thick as cream.

Crushed pineapple: Adds moisture and sweetness to the cake, creating a delicious balance of flavors. Don’t drain it as we need the pineapple juice to help create moisture in the cake.


Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

How to make this easy granny cake recipe step by step.

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together 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 cake pan.

Step 3: Combine nuts and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spread the nut/sugar mixture over the entire cake.

Step 4: Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until golden brown or when 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!


  • If you see the cake getting too brown on the top while baking, loosely tent the baking pan with foil.
  • For a quicker baking time and thinner pieces, use a 13-inch baking dish and make granny cake bars.
  • Instead of drizzling the glaze over the entire cake, consider adding the glaze to individual servings. The cake stores better without the glaze.
  • If you are glazing the entire cake, poke holes throughout the baked cake. Then pour the glaze on top of the cake to allow the hot cake to soak in the sweet milk mixture.

Toast the nuts to elevate the overall taste. Toasting the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat will add an extra depth of flavor and enhance their nutty flavor.


  • Storage: Store this cake in an airtight container or covered tightly with foil or plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to store the glaze separately rather than drizzling it over the entire cake.
  • Freezing: Cool cake completely. Then, cut into slices and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze flat in a large Ziploc bag for 2-3 months. Thaw cake at room temperature for 4-6 hours or overnight. Or you can pop a slice into the microwave on 50% power for 1-2 minutes and serve warm!


Oil: Swap vegetable oil with canola oil or corn oil.

Nuts: Walnuts are a great alternative to pecans.

Heavy Cream: Milk or half-and-half can be used in place of heavy cream but you may need to adjust the amount as the consistency is a little thinner.

Maple Glaze: Totally optional, but a highly recommended addition!

Tropical flavor: Use a pineapple cake mix instead of yellow and add shredded coconut to the cake batter for a tropical twist.

Fresh fruit: Add diced apple or strawberries to the batter for a burst of sweetness and chewy texture.

Two pieces of granny cake stacked on top of each other.


What is a “granny cake” exactly?

A granny cake is a warm, comforting, decadent dessert that tastes like home…just like your granny would make! Old-fashioned granny cake recipe uses simple, classic ingredients and is the ultimate comfort food!

Most granny cakes involve drowning the cake in a butter glaze but this version just has a simple maple glaze drizzled over the top. The cake is already super moist so no need to smother it in icing.

Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned pineapple?

Yes, you can. To substitute fresh pineapple, finely chop or crush the pineapple to achieve a texture similar to canned variety. Keep in mind that fresh pineapple may have a slightly different moisture content, so you may need to adjust the baking time and check the cake’s doneness with a toothpick to ensure it is fully cooked through.

How do you serve this cake?

You have the flexibility to serve this homemade granny cake in THREE perfect ways:

1) Plain: Skip the maple glaze and just enjoy the cake on it’s own! It’s like a coffee cake of sorts, pair it with a cup of coffee for that comforting treat.
2) Maple Glaze: A generous drizzle of the simple maple glaze is delish!
3) Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream: Add a generous dollop of cream or a scoop of ice cream for that perfect dessert.

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Slices of granny cake on a cutting board drizzled with maple glaze.


I hope you love this Easy Granny Cake! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Easy Granny cake made with cake mix

Easy Granny Cake Recipe

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!
4.70 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 377 kcal


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.


Note 1: You can chop the nuts or buy them pre chopped.
Note 2: Milk or half and half can be used in place of heavy cream. Just note that you will need LESS milk or half and half since they are thinner than cream.
Note 3: For faster baking time and thinner cake, use a 9 x 12 pan and adjust baking time down 10-15 minutes.
Note 4: The maple glaze is highly recommended but optional. You can also enjoy this cake with ice cream, whipped cream or “plain!”
Nutrition based on one serving of cake without glaze. Nutrition info is an estimate based on The Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.
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Calories: 377kcalCarbohydrates: 52.6gProtein: 4.3gFat: 17.5gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 311mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 35.5gVitamin D: 5µgCalcium: 84mgIron: 1mg
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4.70 from 13 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Cake is good without the pecans. Family has a nut allergy. Enjoyed the brown sugar topping as is.
    Easy to make and delicious to taste

  2. 5 stars
    This came out so moist and delicious, and the topping could have been a dessert in itself! IT was hard not to just eat it with a spoon.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of Granny Cake before, but this was delicious! Kind of like Pecan pie meets a cake…I may be in love.