I saw a recipe for this cake last week and the name really rang a bell for me. I knew exactly what it was and remembered eating it somewhere, sometime. I thought about it so much that by the time the weekend rolled around I knew I had to make one.
I just knew I had a recipe for it somewhere so when I went looking and couldn't find one I was stumped. I looked through all my recipes and binders and notes and still could not find one. Then I even pulled out all my old school community and church cookbooks and looked through all of them. Nothing.
I knew enough about the cake to know it had crushed pineapple and nuts in it (and maybe coconut?) and that sounded an awful lot like a Hummingbird Cake (sans the bananas) so I just switched up a few things in my recipe for Hummingbird Cake and went with that!
I decided to put coconut in it because I love coconut but I’m not 100% sure if a true Preacher Cake has coconut in it or not. I guess that depends on your preacher... ha! [snort] The best I can remember, Preacher Cake got its name because it was a cake you usually had the ingredients for in your pantry so if the preacher told you he was coming to visit, you could whip one up with what you had on-hand. I have no idea if that’s true or not but it sounds good to me!
You can make it like I did in one big pan or you can make a 3-layered cake (this makes a ton of batter). If you make a layered cake, be sure to double the Cream Cheese Frosting so you’ll have enough.
Also? I think this would be awesome made as muffins!
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts, divided (here's the nut grinder I use)
1 cup flaked coconut (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
Combine sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined.
Add pineapple (undrained), 1 cup chopped pecans and coconut and continue mixing on medium-low speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined (about 1 minute).
Spray a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Pour cake batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until cake is set in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake completely in pan then the frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans over cake. Store in refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Whip cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in powdered sugar (add more if necessary to reach desired consistency – if your kitchen’s hot, you might need more because the butter will be softer). Makes enough to top one 13x9 cake – double recipe if using on a layered cake.
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