Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Lazy Daisy Cake

Lazy Daisy Cake

Lazy Daisy Cake is a buttery vintage cake recipe with a unique broiled topping that can be made from start to finish in under one hour!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
A bite of cake suspended on a fork over a piece of cake on a plate.

Lazy Daisy Cake is a buttery, caramelly simple homemade vintage cake recipe. This lovely cake with a unique broiled topping features common ingredients and can be made from start to finish in under an hour!

Packed with tantalizing, nostalgic flavors like brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and coconut, this Lazy Daisy Cake is a beloved old recipe.

A bite of cake suspended on a fork over a piece of cake on a plate.

For many people, this cake was a childhood staple. It was a sweet treat that our mothers could mix together quickly with ingredients that were usually on hand. Even young, first-time bakers remember starting out with this recipe and could manage it with little-to-no help.

But, even if you didn’t grow up enjoying this fluffy, moist yellow cake, it’s not too late to fall in love with it now! Who wouldn’t like having warm slices of a rich, tasty cake ready to eat in under an hour? 

The deliciously moist layer is definitely incredible, but the star of this dessert is the broiled coconut topping. There’s no need to fuss with icing when using this gooey, chewy layer of caramel and coconut!

Whether this recipe is an old favorite or completely new to you, you’re sure to fall for this delicious vintage cake recipe!

❤ Why We Love This Recipe


  • It’s an easy, time-tested vintage recipe.
  • The flavors will remind you of a lighter, more buttery German chocolate cake.
  • The decadent caramel coconut topping takes the place of messy frosting.
  • It’s a quick-to-make, tasty any-time treat.

🥘 About the Ingredients


All ingredients needed to make lazy daisy cake.
  • MilkI recommend whole milk for the best results.
  • Light Brown SugarWhen measuring brown sugar, make sure to firmly pack it into the measuring cup to get an accurate measurement.
  • Evaporated MilkRemember that canned evaporated milk and condensed milk are two very different things. You need evaporated for this recipe. I always recommend Carnation brand.
  • Shredded CoconutLook for coconut in the baking aisle. My preferred brand is Baker’s Angel Flake.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Rich and Buttery Lazy Daisy Cake


  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan or glass baking dish.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat together the butter and milk just until the butter has completely melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Alternately fold the flour and warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until completely incorporated.

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  1. Transfer the finished batter to the prepared baking dish or pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes).
  1. While the cake is cooling, make the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and coconut.
  2. Spread the topping evenly over the baked layer.
  3. Turn on the oven broiler element; transfer the pan to the oven and broil until brown and bubbly.
  4. Remove from the oven. Let cool briefly. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
A slice of cake on a plate with a fork standing upright.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • Not a huge fan of coconut? Try making the topping with nuts instead. Chopped pecans or walnuts would be delicious!
  • Vary this recipe to make a shortcut German chocolate cake by adding Dutch process cocoa powder and some melted chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Turn it into an on-the-go snack by baking the batter as cupcakes! Simply pour the batter into lined cupcake cups and bake for 15-20 minutes. Add the topping and broil briefly.

💡 Tips


  • If you’re in a hurry, you can use a boxed yellow cake mix instead of making the batter from scratch. It won’t taste exactly the same as the from-scratch recipe, but the homemade coconut topping will still add loads of flavor and texture.
  • Don’t forget to both grease and flour the pan or baking dish! The combination of these two anti-stick ingredients will ensure that your dessert slides out of the pan with ease.
A slice of cake suspended on a spatula.

🍚 How to Store and Reheat Leftovers


I recommend slicing leftovers into individual serving-sized pieces and wrapping them with plastic wrap before storing in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You may choose to serve the cake either warm or at room temperature. To reheat individual servings, simply pop them in the microwave and heat in 30-second increments until warmed through.

🕒 How to Make in Advance


This dessert can easily be made entirely ahead of time! Bake and top as directed in the recipe, but wait to broil it until just before you’re ready to serve.

A slice of lazy daisy cake on a white plate.

❓ Questions About Lazy Daisy Cake


How did this recipe get its name?

The word “lazy” is a reference to the simplicity of the recipe. Compared to baking layer cakes with icing, this recipe was considered a lazy way to make a cake back in its day.

This cake is so fluffy and soft! What’s the secret?

One of the keys to a fluffy, moist cake is to use room-temperature ingredients. I recommend letting the ingredients sit out on the kitchen counter for 30-45 minutes before you plan to start baking. Another secret is to take care not to overmix the batter. An overmixed cake may be dense and chewy instead of light and tender. If you’re worried about overmixing, I recommend folding all the ingredients together by hand.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like


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📖 Recipe

A bite of cake suspended on a fork over a piece of cake on a plate.

Lazy Daisy Cake

Lazy Daisy Cake is a buttery vintage cake recipe with a unique broiled topping that can be made from start to finish in under one hour!
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 373kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar

Topping:

  • 9 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk (recommended: Carnation)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut (recommended: Baker's Angel Flake)

Instructions

Make the Layer:

  • Place an oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan or glass baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Heat together the butter and milk just until the butter has completely melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla. Set aside.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Alternately fold the flour and warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until completely incorporated.
  • Transfer the finished batter to the prepared baking dish or pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes).

Make the Topping:

  • While the cake is cooling, make the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and coconut.
  • Spread the topping evenly over the baked layer.
  • Turn on the oven broiler element; transfer the pan to the oven and broil until brown and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven. Let cool briefly. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Be sure to both grease and flour the pan or baking dish to ensure your dessert slides out of the pan with ease.
  • To make ahead, bake and top as directed in the recipe, but wait to broil it until just before you’re ready to serve.
  • To store, slice into individual serving-sized pieces and wrap with plastic wrap before storing in an airtight container. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Serve either warm or at room temperature. To reheat individual servings, simply pop them in the microwave and heat in 30-second increments until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 407IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This was post was originally published on September 19, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

A serving of lazy daisy cake on a vintage plate.

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45 Comments

  1. This was my favorite cake growing up. I even requested it for birthdays (that was 75 years ago). My mom’s recipe called for cake flour and added chopped pecans to the topping. My mouth waters at the memory. Glad to see the cake revived, and can’t wait to try yours.

  2. Thank you for the recipe….When I worked as dietary aide {known then as tray girls} at a large hospital, they always had Lazy Daisy cake on Fridays..Being from a poor family, the supervisor always made sure I had my big piece of the fresh cake. Guess they were easy to make and served so may people, many of whom were Veterans..Loved my job and the memories and will NEVER FORGET THAT SCRUMPTIOUS CAKE!

  3. Thanks so much Lana for posting the Lazy Daisy Cake Recipe!! This was the first cake my grandmother helped me bake!! The memory and experience is one I hold dear to my heart!! I miss her and this recipe will be passed on to my daughter and grand-daughter. Thanks again!♥♥♥

  4. This cake sounds very similar to one my mom made when I was growing up. She just called it “Coffee Cake”. Since I can’t find her recipe anywhere, I’ll try making this one. Hopefully, it will be close to the one she made. It was delicious! I know that we won’t be able to eat the entire cake in 4 days, so do you think this cake would come out ok if I cut all of the ingredients in half, and baked the cake in a 9″x9″ cake pan? If so, how long should I bake it? Also, would the entire cake store longer in the fridge, or should I freeze half of it for another day? I too love old recipes, so please keep them coming!

  5. Just found your blog. See that you enjoy old recipes. Had one that I made regularly in the 50’s/60’s, but have lost in moving over the years. Maybe you or a friend could up-date my collection. It sounds similar to your Lazy Daisy Cake with a few exceptions. The original recipe was on the Ballard Obelisk Self Rising Flour box and it was called Daisy Cake. I do not remember the correct amounts, but it had sugar, shortening, eggs, flour, vanilla, and milk. Baked for 50 minutes in a tube pan. It was my husbands favorite eaten warm with no icing. If it was cold he would butter a slice and put under the broiler. I would love anyone’s help with this. Thanks BW

    1. Hmmm…I really don’t know of a substitute for coconut, Helene. You might try some kind of nut topping instead. A crumble like you’d use on a coffee cake would probably work (butter, flour, sugar, nuts). If you give that a try, please let me know how it works out!

      1. Thank you for your prompt reply

        Could you give me please the quantity of flour,butter, sugar ,nuts ??

        Thanks and I will let you know how it turns out
        Have a happy day

    2. Sometimes my mum would mix sugar with cholate chips, sprinkle on top and bake. If you did not mix the chips and sugar well, the chips would sink.

  6. My Mom, grandmom and neighbors used to make this cake for special get-togethers and they are delicious (I’m talking about the cakes here) I have made it from scratch many times myself. The last time I made it I switched the homemade cake batter for a butter pecan cake mix, and it was delicious. By the way, my family recipe calls for half and half instead of evaporated milk.