Do Nothing Cake, also known as Texas Tornado Cake, is an easy, delicious, crowd-pleasing dessert. The recipe has been around since the 1940s, and while it’s not really “do nothing” by today’s standards, it’s still an easy, no-mixer-needed cake.
About this Recipe
We need to talk about this easy Do Nothing Cake recipe. I've seen it floating around Pinterest for ages, and finally got around to trying it.
It may be argued that this cake is technically not a “do nothing” recipe, because it's from scratch and does involve a few ingredients. But this cake dates back to the 1940's, and for that era it really was an easy recipe.
Compared to the boxed cake mixes we can easily buy today, this cake takes a bit more time, but it’s still an easy stir and bake cake. And it’s much more delicious than a boxed mix!
Why this Recipe Works
- Super easy poke cake: This tornado cake recipe is super easy to make, and requires only a few basic ingredients to make a delicious cake.
- Reduced sugar: The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar (not counting the frosting) and I felt that with the added crushed pineapple in the cake batter, the cake would turn out too sweet, so I cut the sugar in half. It still turned out delicious and did not affect the taste at all.
- No mixer frosting: The frosting is very easy to make too. It's cooked over the stove top and the combination of butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and walnuts and shredded coconut is just divine!AdvD
- No oil or butter needed: The interesting part is that this do nothing cake recipe requires crushed pineapple which goes into the batter, and the batter itself doesn't call for oil or butter.
Also, can we talk about just how scrumptious this Do Nothing Tornado Cake is? You're going to fall in love at the first bite of this cake, and maybe not ever forgive me, for the extra calories you ingest! :p
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the Cake:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure you measure out the flour correctly using the spoon and level method.
- Baking soda: Helps the cake rise, so make sure it’s not expired or old.
- Sugar: The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, but I found that even with 1 cup of sugar the cake turned out delicious.
- Vanilla extract
- Crushed pineapple: This is what makes the cake so unique. We don’t need to add any fat such as oil or butter, in place of that we add pineapple. So delicious.
For the Frosting:
- Butter: I use salted butter in all my baked goods, but you can also use unsalted.
- Evaporated Milk: This is not the same as condensed milk which is thick and heavily sweetened.
- Granulated sugar
- Walnuts: Roughly chop your walnuts into bite sized pieces.
- Shredded coconut: Also known as desiccated coconut. This is not the same as sweetened shredded coconut.
How to Make Do Nothing Cake
Make the Cake: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, crushed pineapple, vanilla and sugar. Just combine until it's fully incorporated. Transfer to a baking pan and bake!
The frosting: The frosting is very easy and is actually made on the stove. It calls for evaporated milk, which is also an interesting frosting ingredient.
You start by combining the butter, evaporated milk, and sugar in a saucepan and cooking until it's slightly thickened (about 5-7 minutes).
Add in the walnuts and shredded coconut, until combined. Set aside to cool.
Assembling the Cake
Classic Do Nothing cake is basically a poke cake, so as soon as it's out of the oven, poke holes on the entire surface with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour over the frosting all over the surface of the cake evenly.
Let the cool cake, and serve immediately.
I do hope you try this easy cake, and if you do, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!!
Note: This post was originally published on 27th July 2017. I've updated it for more detailed instructions, but the recipe remains the same!
Do Nothing Cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups crushed pineapple (undrained)
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan by lightly greasing it.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and sugar. Add in the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and crushed pineapple. Mix until fully combined. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared baking pan and bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until it's cooked in the middle.
- For the frosting: In a saucepan, combine the butter, evaporated milk, and sugar. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the walnuts and shredded coconut and mix until combined.
- As soon as the cake is out of the oven, poke holes into the cake using a fork or the back of a wooden spoon. Immediately pour over the prepared frosting. Let cool, and serve.