40+ vintage canned fruit cocktail recipes to bring back that 50s flavor

Vintage canned fruit cocktail recipes at ClickAmericana com

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Back in the fifties (along with the decades just before and after), vintage fruit cocktail was the classic housewife’s dream, because it could supposedly be added to almost anything.

Vintage Del Monte Fruit Cocktail can from 1955

For example, you could mix it into boring oatmeal or basic coffee cake, embed it in sparkly jello molds and pastel-colored pies, or even use it on top of plain ham and canned luncheon meat.

The idea was that this ready-made mixture of diced peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, and pineapple, all swimming in a sugary syrup, could transform the simplest meals into something special.

In many ways, canned fruit cocktail was a symbol of the era’s innovations in food preservation — a new way to offer a taste of summertime fruits year-round. 

Making a fruit cocktail mold with jello

Despite its popularity and resulting widespread use, opinions on fruit cocktail recipes were mixed. Some people found them uninspiring or overly simplistic, while others pretty much considered them culinary ingenuity. 

Here are just a few of the many fruit cocktail recipes and serving suggestions for the canned stuff. Some are weird, many seem bland, and more than a few seem like the ad agencies were pretty much just saying you should pour fruit cocktail on everything.


Molded vintage fruit cocktail and ham party loaf from 1953

Really different! Ham and salad molded in one loaf! To you, this means a grand time and trouble-saver you’re truly proud to serve.

1953 recipe for fruit cocktail and ham party loaf

5-fruit coffee cake: Breakfast with fruit cocktail poured on top

Open their eyes with this roundup of summer fruits – Even Sunday-morning sleepy-heads brighten up with such marvelous flavor!

fruit cocktail

4-decker fruit tart dessert with fruit cocktail from 1960

New “what-to-serve: for a party, and so spectacular made with Del Monte Fruit Cocktail!

Make this version for fancy affairs — other times, skip the pastry and serve the filling as pudding. The color and flavor of Del Monte fruit cocktail will make it a sparkling success either way.

4-decker fruit tart dessert with fruit cocktail from 1960

Fruit cocktail and pineapple jello vintage recipe

Fast, Fancy, Fun! Prepare Royal pineapple gelatin according to package directions. Add 4 drops of mint extract — chill until set. Then drain canned fruit cocktail and spoon alternate layers of gelatin and fruit cocktail into serving glasses. 

Fruit cocktail and pineapple jello vintage recipe

ALSO TRY: Double pineapple upside-down cake recipe, step-by-step: A classic 1950s skillet dessert

Holiday ham slices tutti frutti retro recipe from 1966

Ham, ma’am? Cuddle it in Reynolds Wrap to bake in flavor.

Holiday ham slices tutti frutti - gross retro recipe from 1966

Vintage fruit Bavarian molded dessert from 1948

Vintage fruit Bavarian molded dessert from 1948

California sponge dessert cake recipe with fruit cocktail (1965)

Serve this unusual dessert cake to your family soon!

1965 California sponge dessert cake recipe with fruit cocktail in it

ALSO SEE: Vintage Hostess snacks: Fruit Pies, Wonder Bread, Twinkies & more retro goodness

Fruit Boston fruit cocktail 1960s dessert recipe

Gay colors, neat cuts, ideal flavor — this brand has it all. (A baked custard layer with fruit, sandwiched between layers of cake.)

Fruit Boston fruit cocktail retro dessert recipe from 1960

Fruit cocktail dessert recipes from 1960

For a dessert with the elegance to impress the most critical bridge club… for a dessert so breezily easy to make, it’s always sheer perfection.

Fruit surprise recipe: Here’s frothy dessert fun the whole family can enjoy! Make Jell-O strawberry chiffon as directed on the package. Then fold in well-drained fruit cocktail, pour into individual dessert dishes, and chill. Makes 6 pink and pretty servings!

Lemon chiffon dessert recipe: Turn contents of a package of Jello lemon chiffon pie filling into large deep bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and mix thoroughly.

Drain 1/2 cup syrup from no. 303 can fruit cocktail and add to chiffon mix. Beat with rotary beater until very foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until mixture stands in very stiff peaks. Fold in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and well-drained fruit cocktail.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs in bottom of 8-inch square pan. Turn in chiffon. Sprinkle with additional 1/4 cup crumbs. Chill until firm, then cut into squares to serve. Makes 9 servings. 

Fruit cocktail dessert recipes from 1960

1948 recipe for jeweled fruit salad – made with gelatin and canned fruit cocktail

Perfect meal starter! Magic dessert! Glamorous, dainty, quick…

What beautiful desserts you can make! What showy salads! Even in baking, those sparkling fruits lose none of their lively color or sun-ripe flavor. Canned fruit cocktail has dozens of uses!

1948 recipe for jeweled fruit salad - made with gelatin and canned fruit cocktail

Rainbow pudding fruit cocktail recipe (1950)

Just guess how easy — you know how good!

When you get five luscious fruits as mellow and ripe as you know Del Monte packs them — that’s a flavor combination that has what it takes to help and help and help! One look, one taste — and you’re off to a gay and glamorous start!

fruit cocktail recipe 1950

Rainbow ham (1959)

Easy Easter feast with Hormel Ham and fruit cocktail… Rainbow ham! Hot or cold… serve it saucy… tender pink ham slices with a jewel of a bright new idea… Rainbow fruit sauce! 

It’s so easy to make… Here’s how: Drain one 2-1/2 can fruit cocktail. Set aside fruit while you boil syrup until thick. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons vinegar, fruit. Heat and pour steaming hot on Hormel ham slices.

fruit cocktail recipes 1959 2

Diet Delight fruit cocktail recipe (1959)

The fruit cocktail that makes it fun to watch your weight!

fruit cocktail recipes 1959 3

Oatmeal and fruit… blended! (1959)

New breakfast idea! Stir in your favorite canned fruit while the oatmeal cooks

Oatmeal with fruit cocktail on top from 1959

Holiday gelatin mold with fruit cocktail (1949)

Festive treats are so easy with this fruit cocktail and Jell-O!

Holiday fruit mold / Christmas tree salad / Fruit cocktail appetizer
Dec 5, 1949 Holiday fruit mold fruit cocktail

Eggnog fruit cocktail pie: New holiday pie idea…

GET THE HOW-TO: Fruit cocktail eggnog pie: The old-fashioned recipe

Dec 10, 1956 eggnog fruit cocktail pie 1

Fruit Alaska recipe

Elegance made easy by the sparkling quality

You’ve noticed how beautiful Del Monte Fruit Cocktail looks just spooned out plain, haven’t you? You’ll find that this quality makes impressive desserts like Fruit Alaska prettier and easier, too!

Fruit Alaska recipe - made with fruit cocktail

Vintage recipe for cake casseroles

Start with a Betty Crocker cake mix, and you know your cake will come out light and moist and homemade-tender. Combine it with a wholesome fruit — bake the two together — and you’ve created a brand-new dessert! Serve your “creation” hot and heavenly, right from the oven, in your prettiest casserole. Someone’s going to love you for this!

fruit cocktail

Canned fruit cocktail suspended in jello

What’s your pleasure? Would you like a colorful, shimmering salad? Or a light and delightful dessert?

fruit cocktail

1966 fruit cocktail sandwich loaf topping

Prettiest party refreshments yet: a sandwich loaf covered in softened cream cheese and decked out with Del Monte fruit cocktail. Fillings shown: deviled ham, chopped olive-cheese mixture, deviled egg salad.

SEE MORE: 20 frosted party sandwich loaf recipes to make… or avoid

1966 fruit cocktail sandwich loaf at ClickAmericana com


NOW SEE THIS: These old Jell-O Crown Jewel Dessert recipes still make dazzling treats

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