This moist and fruity Pig Pickin’ Cake is an easy and delicious southern dessert. It requires only seven simple ingredients and couldn’t be easier to prepare!
This is by far one of my favorite cakes and I’ve been making it for years. You can’t go wrong with this moist mandarin orange cake topped with a fluffy pineapple frosting – it’s always a hit and as hassle-free as it gets. No one will ever know it starts with a boxed cake mix!
I’ve always called this a pig pickin’ cake, but it’s also known as a mandarin orange cake or sunshine cake… whatever you call it, I’m certain we’ll agree that it’s impossible to resist!
It can be baked as a sheet cake or a layered cake. I prefer to make it as a sheet cake because it’s easier, but I’ve included instructions for preparing it both ways.
Your Simple Ingredients
I told you the ingredients were simple! I try to keep them on hand in my pantry and fridge in the summer so that I’ll have everything I need to make this cake if I need an easy dessert for a gathering (or when I get a sweet tooth!).
- Boxed cake mix – I use Duncan Hines butter golden.
- Whipped topping – I use 12 ounces in the frosting when preparing this as a sheet cake and 16 ounces when making a layer cake (since there is more surface area to frost with layers). You can definitely use the whole 16 ounces for frosting the sheet cake if you want; it will be thicker than what you see in the photos.
- Crushed pineapple – the pineapple needs to be drained well.
- Eggs – 4 large eggs
- Butter – unsalted and softened
- Mandarin oranges – one (undrained) can is needed for the cake batter. I also buy an extra can to use for garnish, but it’s not required.
- Boxed vanilla pudding – instant
How to Make It
Following is a brief overview of how to make this pig pickin’ cake – please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full detailed instructions.
- Prepare the batter by beating together cake mix, softened butter, eggs and mandarin oranges with juices.
- Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare the frosting – drain the pineapple very well in a colander. Press it with the back of a spatula to drain excess juice.
- Stir together drained pineapple with pudding mix in a large bowl.
- Fold in cool whip until well combined. Frost cooled cake, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
More Easy Desserts
Pig Pickin’ Cake
For the Cake
- 1 (15.25 ounce) box butter golden cake mix I use Duncan Hines
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges undrained
- additional mandarin oranges for garnish optional
For the Frosting
- 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple very well drained
- 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
- 12 ounces whipped topping (Cool Whip) ¾ of a 16-ounce tub or 1 ½ 8-ounce tubs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place cake mix, butter, eggs and mandarin oranges (with juices) in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed and beat for an additional 1 ½ minutes, or until combined.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean. Allow cake to completely cool before frosting.
- Prepare the frosting by stirring together drained pineapple and pudding mix in a large bowl (it will be a pasty consistency). Fold in whipped topping until well combined.
- Spread frosting over cake. Garnish with additional mandarin orange slices, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- To prepare as a layer cake: Pour cake batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center is removed clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Use 16 ounces of Cool Whip in frosting instead of 12 ounces.
- This cake is best when refrigerated overnight before serving, but is still delicious when served immediately!
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.