Do Nothing Pineapple Cake

A sweet cake full of pineapple flavor and topped with the most amazing frosting…this Do Nothing Cake is an old-fashioned, vintage cake recipe that you need to pull out and make again! Full of flavor and goodness.

A good church potluck wasn’t complete without one of these cakes on the table. Old-school recipe that was made by families all over the US “back in the day”. Today, this cake doesn’t show up very often on our tables.

I want to change that. This Do Nothing cake recipe is full of simple ingredients but made with a technique that packs all the flavor in the world into a single slice.

Looking for a simple pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting? Try my One-Bowl Pineapple Cake recipe…so good!

Do Nothing Cake with pineapples, coconut, and pretzels

Why is this cake called Do Nothing Cake?

This cake started out around the 1940’s when cakes were HARD to make and required multiple steps and ingredients. This cake is very easy to make and therefore called Do Nothing cake. Of course, there is a LITTLE to do :).

eggs, and sugar going into a bowl of batter for Do Nothing cake

These old-fashioned cakes with very few ingredients should be honored with the BEST ingredients. Get the best eggs, sugar, and dairy products for really, really good flavor. And, it feels soooo fun to create these vintage recipes with farm-fresh ingredients, if you can!

crushed pineapple into the batter of Do Nothing Cake

When I make this cake I use the pineapple in heavy syrup (you’ll see that in the notes) to add TONS of flavor. Of course, the heavy syrup also adds calories and sugar.

In my book, this cake isn’t healthy already and the added heavy syrup doesn’t change that. But…feel free to swap out your pineapple for the juice variety to reduce the sugar and calories.

Pouring Do Nothing cake batter into the pan

I mean…sooo much butter, pineappley goodness going into that pan.

The frosting whips up with a can of condensed milk, coconut, and pretzels…you’ll love these ingredients together. And, of course, “back in the day” the fact that this was the only part of the recipe that required effort meant it really was a “Do Nothing” cake.

Do Nothing vintage cake recipe loaded with coconut and pineapple.

That cake! So moist, flavorful, and yummy. You can see the little bits of pineapple in it…so good.

Serve this up with coffee or tea.

Because this cake is quite sweet I recommend you cut it into 15-18 pieces rather than the usual 12 for most cakes. Which, again, is why this cake was so popular at the potluck tables…serves up alot of people!

Also why this vintage cake recipe was so popular with my family growing up…with 12 of us, this Do Nothing cake meant there might be leftovers!

Other Vintage Cake recipes to try:

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| 14 pieces
Prep Time | 15 minutes
Cook Time | 35 minutes
cooling time | 30 minutes
Total Time | 1 hour 20 minutes
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A vintage cake full of pineapple flavor and topped with a decadent boiled topping that permeates the cake as it cools. Sooo flavorful and easy!



  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple – including syrup 15 ounce can


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of crushed pretzels
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Grease a 9 X 13 dish, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, eggs, Vanilla, baking soda, salt, and crushed pineapple.
  • Stir well, and pour cake batter into the greased 9 X 13 dish. Place the dish in the oven.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.


  • While the cake is cooling, place a heavy saucepan on the stove, and add the stick of butter, and sugar. Melt the butter and sugar until smooth and clear.
  • Add the Eagle-brand milk, shredded coconut, and crushed pretzels, and stir until the mixture boils.
  • Turn heat to low, and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and cool partially.
  • When the Frosting is cooled a bit, but still warm, spoon the Frosting on the top of the cake, and smooth evenly across cake.
  • Allow cake and frosting to cool completely. Frosting will become thick as it cools. Serve, and Enjoy!


NOTE: Purchase the crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, because this makes a difference in the flavor of the cake. If it’s in it’s own juice, the cake won’t be as flavorful. The can size may vary, but it’s close to 15 ounces, although it may read 14.5 ounces, or 16.25 ounces. It will still be fine to use, as long as it’s in the heavy syrup. ALSO: You can also use crushed pecans in the Frosting if you prefer those to Pretzels.

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