Easy Pig Pickin Cake has an unusual name but tastes amazing! Made with a boxed cake mix you will love how easy this dessert recipe is to whip up. Perfect for summer barbecues, picnics, church potlucks, or family dinner.
Pig Pickin Cake Recipe
I have no idea how this cake earned the name Pig Pickin but it is one of our favorite summer recipes. The combination of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cake is absolutely delicious.
I did read an article in Southern Living that said the name comes from traditional classic southern pig roasts.
Another article said the cake originated in North Carolina and was served with American South Pork Barbecue. Pig Pickin is a potluck with friends and family enjoying great food including barbecue.
This light cake pairs perfectly with a heavy Southern barbecue meal.
Everyone loves this cake!!! It is so dang easy to make and tastes like summer. The combination of whipped topping, drained pineapples, mandarin oranges, and yellow cake all layers in a cake pan is delish!
This cake is also called a Mandarin Orange Cake, pea pickin' cake, pig eatin' cake, pig cake, sunshine cake, orange pineapple layer cake, summer cake, and celestial snow cake. Oh my!
What do you call this cake?
This was one of the first recipes I made with my husband's nephew while he was here for a month.
My goal was to teach him easy recipes he would be able to make on his own when he flew back to Alabama. I have to admit it was so much fun having someone in the kitchen with me.
Pretty sure he had no complaints over being the taste tester for recipes for an entire month.
He made sure to taste test every step to make sure that it tasted amazing. LOL!
One thing to plan for this recipe is to give it a couple of hours to rest in the refrigerator. This allows all of the flavors to meld together.
This cake does need to be stored in the refrigerator due to the Cool Whip whipped topping on the top of it. Don't worry this cake tastes so good the next day
- Yellow Cake Mix
- Unsalted Butter
- Mandarin Oranges
- Vanilla Extract
Optional - Toasted pecans if you want a bit of crunch in your cake.
- Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
- Crushed Pineapple
- Powdered Sugar
- Cool Whip/Whipped Cream
- Mandarin Orange Slices
Hand Mixer/ Electric Mixer
Mixing Bowl X 2
Spider Strainer - I love using a spider strainer to easily drain the mandarin oranges.
Wire Racks - If you plan to serve this cake out of the baking dish.
Make sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees
You will need to hold onto the pineapple juice!
You can add walnuts or pecans to the topping if you want a bit of crunch.
This cake can be made in 2 9-inch round cakes to make it a layer cake.
For extra sweetness, you can mix coconut flakes into the topping.
We use a toothpick to make sure the cake is baked completely through. You can also use a cake tester.
Make sure to cool the cake completely so the whipped topping does not melt into the cake. If you add the frosting before you have a cooled cake it will make a mess.
Great Dessert Recipes
Pig Pickin Cake Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine yellow cake mix, butter, ½ cup mandarin orange juice, eggs, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.
- Add drained mandarin oranges and stir to combine
- Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool
- Once the cake is completely cooled! Drain pineapples keeping the juice so they are in seperate containers
- Combine pineapple juice with vanilla pudding mix. Stir in powdered sugar and then fold in Cool Whip. Stir in crushed pineapple.
- Spread over the cake and then top with mandarin oranges for garnish.