When I was in nursing school, I worked every other weekend as a CNA at a little 25 bed nursing home in the town we lived. This nursing home wasn't anything fancy, but I learned a lot while there and am glad for the experience.
One thing in particular I remember about this place (besides trying to feed a dead woman breakfast) was the food - not something you usually think of when it comes to nursing homes. But the food at this place was fabulous!
When the cook would make fruit cocktail cake, there was no problem getting the residents to go to the dining room. You never saw wheelchairs move so fast!
The fruit cocktail cake they served was rich and buttery and probably wasn't approved by the house physician. However, following restrictive diets wasn't something I really remember as being a priority there.
But keeping true to my word to post healthier, low sugar recipes in February this recipe is a lower calorie, healthier version of the fruit cocktail cake made so famous by the then Henderson Nursing Home (which has changed owners at least 3 times since I worked there).
1 box yellow cake mix (I use Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Yellow Cake Mix)
1 lg. can fruit cocktail, drained and rinsed
Mix cake mix by package directions. Add drained and rinsed fruit cocktail. Pour into 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 (8 oz.) Lite Cool Whip
1 sm. pkg. sugar free instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
toasted coconut (optional)
Mix pudding with milk. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled cake and if you feel so inclined toast up a little coconut and garnish the top of the frosted cake.
Refrigerate before serving.