Food Network Favorites: Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake
Paula Deen does have a colorful way with titles. As for the answer to the question, I'll leave it to you to determine for yourself. This is a very rich, decadent cake with pineapple, coconut, and vanilla pudding. It's extremely simple to put together. I had one little quibble with the ingredients, but the final result is a very good dessert.
I've also given a recipe for the more common chocolate version of Better Than Sex Cake, so if the tropical variety doesn't do it for you, the chocolate and toffee one probably will.
Paula Deen calls for a 3.4 oz. package of "French vanilla pudding." That's the size that instant pudding comes in, but she doesn't indicate that it's instant in the ingredients list. It's not a huge deal, but I think it makes sense to identify the product as clearly and precisely as possible. The addition of one simple word would make sure that no one is ever confused about what product they're supposed to use. Just say "Instant." Simple.
I checked a couple of different stores in my area, but none of them carried this product, just the regular Jello brand vanilla pudding. According to the Jello website, they do indeed make French vanilla, but I couldn't find it here. If you can't find French vanilla in your area, regular vanilla works fine. If you want to use cook-and-serve pudding instead of instant, that also works fine. Use a 3-oz. package.
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Yield: 16 to 20 servings
18.25-oz. package yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
20-oz. can crushed pineapple
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3.4-oz. box instant French vanilla or regular vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted (see instructions below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
While the cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes into it, using a fork or a chopstick. Pour the pineapple mixture over the hot cake and set aside.
Prepare the pudding according to package directions. Spread the pudding over the cake and refrigerate until it is completely chilled. Whip the heavy cream with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until stiff. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.
To toast coconut: Spread the coconut on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the coconut every 2 to 3 minutes, and check often, as it will go from golden to burnt very quickly.
Chocolate Better Than Sex Cake
18.25-oz. package dark chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12-oz. jar caramel sauce (try Mrs. Richardson's)
1 tub Extra Creamy Cool Whip
6 bars (about 1.4 oz. each) Heath bars or other chocolate toffee candy, chopped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the chocolate cake mix as directed using a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
While the cake is baking, combine the condensed milk and caramel in a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes into it, using a fork or a chopstick. Pour the caramel mixture over the hot cake and set aside. Let the cake cool for about 1 hour, then refrigerate until completely cool.
Spread the Cool Whip over the cake. Sprinkle the toffee bits over the cake, and serve.