Home Desserts Granny Cake

Granny Cake

Granny cake is a comforting classic just like your mom or grandma used to bake! 

Tangy pineapple, crunchy walnuts, caramelized brown sugar, and a sticky glaze transform a simple white cake.

It may be old-fashioned, but it’s one sensational dessert.

Homemade Granny Cake with Walnuts and Caramelized Sugar
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Granny Cake

Granny cake is an easy, one-bowl recipe that uses pineapple to make an outrageously moist cake. 

As it bakes, the topping caramelizes to create sweet and crunchy candied walnuts. It doesn’t end there, though! 

To top it off is a sweet, sticky, and buttery glaze that soaks the cake as it cools. The result is an extra-moist and majestic cake.

It’s rich, thick, cozy, and unbelievably moist. Granny cake is so good, it will make any grandma proud!


Most of the ingredients for this granny cake recipe are pretty standard. So if you like to bake, you may already have everything you need. 

Here’s the list:

For the Cake:

  • Eggs. They bind the ingredients together to make a smooth batter. They help make the cake rise, too.
  • Canned Crushed Pineapple. Do not drain it! Leave the juice on for maximum moistness.
  • All-Purpose Flour. The base of the cake.
  • Granulated Sugar. For sweetness.
  • Baking Soda. The leavening agent in charge of making the cake rise.
  • Salt. To contrast the sweetness of the sugar.
  • Vanilla Extract. Flavor enhancer.

For the Topping:

  • Light Brown Sugar. For that deep, caramel flavor. You can add more or less depending on your taste.
  • Chopped Walnuts. The crunch element to contrast the tender cake.

For the Glaze:

  • Butter, evaporated milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Together, they create a sweet and buttery combination.

Tips for the Best Cake

Want to create the most moist and delicious granny cake? These tip will help you do just that!

  • Measure the ingredients accurately. Use the spoon and level method for the flour to avoid using more than what’s needed. Transfer the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level with the back of a knife.
  • Do not drain the pineapple. The juice is key to making the cake incredibly moist and flavorful.
  • Avoid overbaking. Start checking for doneness at the 20-minute mark. 
  • Cover the cake with foil. If the cake is browning too much in the oven, loosely cover it with foil.
  • Enhance the moistness. Poke holes in the cake with a knife or toothpick after baking. This will help it absorb the glaze topping, resulting in a super-moist cake. You can also let the cake soak with the glaze for several hours.
  • Add extra crunch. For extra texture, top the cake with a crumble. All you need are brown sugar, cold unsalted butter, and all-purpose flour.
  • Substitute the topping. Swap the glaze for a cream cheese frosting. Just beat together softened cream cheese and butter. Next, add powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth.
  • Add pizzazz with toppings. A dollop of whipped cream makes a light and fluffy contrast to the dense cake. You can top it with your favorite berries or pineapple slices, too. It’s scrumptious either way!
Homemade Granny Cake

Mix-ins For the Cake

Another awesome thing about granny cake is that you’re free to add whatever mix-ins or toppings you want.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Add toasted shredded coconut. This gives the cake an extra refreshing, tropical flavor.
  • Make it a carrot cake. This cake is just one step away from becoming a carrot cake. So if you’re wild about carrot cake, just add a cup of shredded carrots to the batter. Then voila, the transformation is complete.
  • Use mandarin oranges. For a citrusy twist, reduce the amount of pineapple in half and add mandarin oranges. Yellow plus orange makes a wonderful color combination – especially on a cake.
  • Mix-in nuts. Don’t just top the cake with walnuts, put some of it in the batter, too! You can also use pecans, macadamia, cashews, and other nuts.

How to Store Granny Cake

Since this dessert contains fruit, it is best to freeze leftover granny cake. You can also freeze some slices to keep them on hand for later.

To Store: Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.

To Freeze: Slice the cake into individual portions. Cover in plastic wrap and foil, label, and freeze. Frozen granny cake will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. 

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To Reheat: Pop the cake in the microwave and reheat until warm. You can also bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated thoroughly.

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Granny Cake



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For The Cake:
  • 2 eggs

  • 1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For The Topping:
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • For The Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl, add eggs, pineapple, flour, 1 cup of granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until well-combined. Pour batter into an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  • For the topping, combine brown sugar and walnuts. Sprinkle over the cake batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • For the glaze, combine butter, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is thin, and the sugar dissolved.
  • Pour glaze over hot cake. Serve either warm or cold. Enjoy!
Granny Cake

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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