This is my mother's springtime holiday cake and it's also my favorite. We only call it Easter Cake, but for the purposes of this post, I have named it Resurrection because I could be persuaded to come back from the dead for a slice.
Resurrection Cake has the best elements: spongy, Springtime-esque yellow cake, a custard-like filling, a layer of fruit, a light whipped topping, and the best way to finish off any dessert: coconut. Pastel M&M candies or Robin's Egg malted milk balls have been added for a "nest" effect on top of the cake because of Easter, but do not be fooled, this is not nor has it ever been a chocolate-based cake.
This cake is light and refreshing and even good for the day-after-Easter breakfast. Reminiscent of a pina colada sans alcohol (just like these beauties), this cake is just the thing to trick a very full holiday stomach into thinking it can come out of retirement and eat a couple more bites...a rebirth, so to speak.
(MOM'S) RESURRECTION CAKE
1 13x9in baking dish
1 box of yellow cake mix (a small box of Jiffy Brand is preferred, but cannot be found in most places)
* Egg/Oil/Butter (ingredients for the boxed cake mix)
1 small box, vanilla instant pudding
1 8oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups of milk
1 large 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained (preferably for a few hours or covered and refrigerated to drain overnight)
1 tub whipped topping
1.5 cups shredded coconut
*A handful of M&M's or Robin's Eggs, (optional, to create "nest" effect)
Combine ingredients for yellow cake according to the box and bake accordingly. If you are using a small Jiffy box, use the whole mixture, it should come to about halfway up the pan. If you are using any other boxed cake mix, only bake half of it** in the 13x9in baking dish. Bake and cool.
**This is very important because the cake is layered and there would be no room for the additional layers if the whole mix was baked. Use the leftover mix for cupcakes, a smaller cake, or just make two of these.
Mix vanilla pudding mix, milk, cream cheese and on slow with a hand mixer or by hand with a spatula until well-mixed and smooth, stick custard in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to thicken.
Squeeze any remaining liquid out of the previously-drained pineapple.
Once cake is cooled and custard is chilled and set, take the custard and smooth it over the cake evenly.
Distribute all of the pineapple on top of the custard layer.
Spread the tub of whipped topping and sprinkle with coconut (and candy if desired).
Chill until ready to serve.