This past week Joey Feek passed away after her battle with ovarian cancer. You might have been following their story or you might have never heard of her. In honor of her today and what she stood for in this life, I wanted to share Joey Feek’s recipe for Elvis Cake with you. It’s a beautiful cake that is sweet, easy to make and reminds me of something that you would find in a old church cookbook.
I grew up in a mostly southern house, my Polish heritage raised dad from Chicago being the exception. Dinner consisted of southern foods such as fried chicken with mashed potatoes, fried okra, boiled peanuts, icebox cakes and homemade biscuits. We’d go to my grandparents and spend hours running through fields of wildflowers, playing on an old red tractor and trying to stay out of the mud in the garden as we stole strawberries and tomatoes from the vine.
Dolly Parton was my hero, same as Joey. When I was 5 I was given my first tape for Christmas (for you youngun’s, that’s what we used to listen to music from) – it was a Dolly Parton tape. I played that tape over and over again until it finally broke.
Eventually things started to change. I went from playing in the red clay mud hills by our house to walking the golf course late at night with friends. Home cooking was no longer important as I finally had a job and could afford to eat out with my friends. Country music started to change too. There was more electric guitars, less slow twang. Slowly I stopped listening to it.
Then I moved to one of the largest cities in the United States where having a house on a 1/4th of an acre is a luxury that many can’t afford. No one here grows their own food because gardens just won’t fit into the back yards. Kids don’t spend hours exploring the wood and climbing on red clay hills because there just aren’t many to be found. It’s different.
But I need to share my story and legacy with my kids. Whether we go exploring through an urban park, surrounded by a subdivision or we grow tomatoes in buckets sitting in the driveway, I’ll do what I can.
Joey Feek was the same. She did what she could to return to the old ways when family and what you did to serve your family came first. Rather than become a popular country pop star, she held fast to the type of music that she wanted to sing – the old slow country style. She didn’t bow down to popular opinion but stayed true to who she was and who her God was.
Plus she loved hymns. I don’t know what it is but hymns sing directly to my soul. I can’t wait to buy their CD of Hymns that was just released. We shared a love hmyns, Dolly Parton and the fact that we both have boy names.
She was an amazing woman that has an amazing legacy – including of how hard she worked to feed her family food that had soul and love baked into it. She got it. She understood the power of God in her life and the power of family.
So today I want to share this recipe for Elvis Cake with you. It’s the recipe they used at Marcy Jo’s Restaurant but I have made a few changes to it. You can watch her and her sister prepare this recipe in this video on YouTube.
Pineapple Elvis Cake Recipe adapted from Marcy Jo’s:
Start by making the yellow cake found in the recipe below.
Once it’s cooled, take your first round cake and punch a lot of holes in it using a fork.
Slowly spoon half of the pineapple mixture over the top of the first round, making sure to get some of the syrup as well. Do it slowly so the mixture will have some time to soak into the cake. Some will drip down the sides, which I think just makes it yummier.
Once that’s done spread half of the cream cheese frosting on top. Some of the pineapple will mix into the frosting, but don’t worry about it. I didn’t frost the sides of the cake. If you want to frost the sides than only use 1/3 of the frosting on this step so you will have enough left over for the sides.
Repeat with the second later. Add it to the top of the first layer and poke holes in the top with a fork. Slowly poor the pineapple mixture over the top of the later and then place the remaining icing on top.
I found that if you place a giant blob of icing on tops and slowly just pull the icing out toward the edge, you get less pineapple mixed into it.
Finally sprinkle a layer of crushed nuts such as pecans or walnuts on the top.
I smoothed the edges but left them un-iced, which made for a really pretty cake.
All you need to do now is get a knife and some plates. It’s a great cake to share with friends as you talk about what is important to you in life.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
- Start by preheating oven to 250 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans.
- In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and put to the side for a minute. In a bowl mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffly. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one, followed by the vanila. Alternate adding in the milk and dry ingredients. Blend well.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 25- 30 minutes until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake has pulled away from the sides. Let the cakes cool.
- On the stove, in a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and crushed pineapple. Bring the pan to a low boil, stirring to keep from burning until all the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let the pineapple mixture cool.
- Once the cakes are cooled, it's time to make the icing.
- In a stand mixer place the softened butter and cream cheese. Let mix until blended. Slowly add in the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Make sure the icing is well blended.
- Assemble the cake by starting with one round cake. Place it on the cake plate and poke holes in the top of it using a fork. Add half of the pineapple topping over the top of the cake. Place half of the cream cheese icing over the pineapple topping and carefully spread it to the edges of the cake. Place the second round cake on top and repeat the pineapple topping and cream cheese topping.
- Finish the cake the smoothing out the icing on the edges of the cake and sprinkling the nuts on the top.
- Serve and enjoy.
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