“Pig Pickin’ Cake is a traditional Southern dessert that is often eaten at BBQ (also known as “Pig Pickin’s”), picnics, and gatherings. A vanilla cake or yellow batter is blended with mandarin oranges, which help keep the cake moist and add a sweet citrus flavor. Once baked, the cake is traditionally topped with a whipped frosting that includes chunks of pineapple and its juice. I also like to garnish it with a mix of sweet shredded coconut.
I made this cake for my mom for her birthday in July and got the best compliment ever from her: she told me it reminded her of home. I almost cried I was so happy. She is a born and raised country girl and that compliment touched my soul.” —Sandra Mathis, Grace Kelli Cupcakes
Sandra Mathis’ Pickin’ Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 can (11-ounce) mandarin oranges with juice, with a few reserved for garnish
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 can 16 oz crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 package shredded coconut
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 quart heavy cream, whipped and sweetened with 1 cup sugar
- 1 package Orange jello
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round pans.
- Mix together the cake mix, the mandarin oranges with juice, eggs, and oil.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans (layers will be thin.)
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Cool the layers on wire racks.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting. Mix two Tablespoons of hot water with orange jello powder and mix until melted.
- Mix the drained pineapple with the pudding mix.
- Fold orange jello mixture and drained pineapple mixture into the sweetened whipped cream.
- Fill and frost the cooled cake layers.
- Garnish with coconut and reserved mandarin slices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.