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If you’re a regular reader here at A Family Feast, then you already know that Jack and I both have a soft spot in our hearts for vintage family recipes.
In this case, seeing the recipe card for this Chop Suey Cake in my mom’s old recipe box sparked a long-forgotten memory from my childhood – and I have a feeling all of you will love this recipe too!
I don’t know exactly why this delicious cake is called “Chop Suey Cake.” If it’s like our American Chop Suey recipe – then perhaps this cake got its name from being made with a mixed bag of ingredients: crushed canned pineapple, walnuts and coconut.
Looking online, I also saw this recipe referred to as Polish Chop Suey Cake (although I’m not sure why it would be considered a Polish recipe…) and Church Lady Cake – dating back to the 1940’s – so I suspect this cake has made an appearance at many church functions!
This Chop Suey cake couldn’t be any easier to make – just stir everything together in a big bowl! And it’s interesting to me that this cake has no butter or oil in the batter. But the large can of crushed pineapple – with all of the juices added too – more than does the trick making this cake sweet and deliciously moist.
A wonderful cream cheese butter cream icing tops this Chop Suey Cake. You’ll spread the icing on the cake while it is still warm from coming out of the oven – then sprinkle on some walnuts for garnish. The entire cake is chilled before eating – and I think the longer this Chop Suey Cake sits, the better it tastes! Enjoy!
Shortening, for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in natural juice, undrained
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup flaked coconut (sweetened)
For the icing
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with the shortening. Set aside.
- In a very large mixing bowl, with a wooden spoon, stir together flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, pineapple and juices, walnuts and coconut. (Do not use an electric mixer.) Stir until completely combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, then bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Remove baking pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- While the cake is cooling, mix softened cream cheese and butter together with a mixer until well blended.
- Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla mixing until well blended.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the icing on the cake while it is still warm. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top of the icing.
- Cool cake completely, then refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
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