Pig Pickin' Cake is a Southern tradition that starts with boxed cake mix, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges! This light and fruity, fluffy dessert is a staple at pig roasts and barbecues all summer long.
What is Pig Pickin' Cake?
Simply put, a Pig Pickin' Cake is a moist mandarin orange layer cake that is layered with a fluffy whipped cream vanilla topping full of crushed pineapples. Traditionally, this light fruity dessert was served at a Southern pig roast - or pig pickin' - so that is most likely how this cake got its name. I just call it plain delicious!
- yellow cake mix
- unsalted butter
- mandarin oranges
- vanilla extract
- vegetable oil
- whipped topping
- crushed pineapple
- instant vanilla pudding mix
Step by step
- In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, butter, ½ cup juice from oranges, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Pour batter into three greased and floured 9 by 13 inch cake pans.
- Bake for 20 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool layers on wire racks completely. Refrigerate cake until ready to frost.
- Fold together COLD whipped topping, drained pineapple, and instant pudding mix.
- Spread topping on cooled cake, then top with next layer of cake and repeat. For best results refrigerate frosted cake at least 3 hours before serving.
- Top each serving with an additional mandarin orange slice for garnish.
Tips for best results
- Cake should be cooled in the fridge before frosting, not just room temp
- Keep cool whip in fridge until ready to mix frosting, make sure pineapple is drained very well or the pineapple frosting will end up runny
- Tastes best if made the day ahead of serving to allow flavors to blend
This recipe is pretty straight forward however some versions garnish the top with crushed pecans or walnuts.
You can also make this cake as one single layer to simplify the preparation. The baking time will need to be extended 5-10 minutes.
Yes, due to the whipped topping you'll need to keep this cake in the fridge and serve cold.
You can freeze pig pickin' cake without the topping by wrapping in two layers of plastic wrap and placing in a freezer safe bag or container. I do not recommend freezing the topping.
Pig pickin' cake is also called mandarin pineapple cake, pea pickin cake, or simply mandarin orange cake.
If you try this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!Print
Pig Pickin Cake is a Southern tradition! This fruity, fluffy dessert is a staple at pig roasts and barbecues all summer long.
For the cake:
- 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained with ½ cup of juice reserved
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 16 ounce Cool Whip whipped topping
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained thoroughly
- 4 ounce box Instant vanilla pudding mix
- extra mandarin oranges for garnish is desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray three 9 by 13 inch baking pans.
- Mix together cake mix, butter, eggs, juice from oranges, and vanilla in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed, scraping the sides as needed.
- Fold in oranges.
- Pour batter equally in the three prepared pans.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool cakes completely on a wire rack, then transfer to refrigerator until ready to frost.
- Once cakes are cold, stir together whipped cream, crushed pineapple, and pudding mix until blended.
- Spread one third of the frosting on first layer of cake. Top with the second layer and repeat an additional layer of frosting. Add last layer of cake and top with the remaining frosting.
- Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with additional slices of mandarin oranges if desired.
Cake should be chilled before frosting.
Keep Cool Whip refrigerated before mixing frosting, you want it as cold as possible.
Tastes best if made a day ahead.
Keywords: pig pickin cake