Back in the midwest where I grew up, (and spent most of my life), “hog roasts” are a really big deal! Roasting a stuffed, rubbed, whole pig all night long and into the next day created the most succulent, juicy and tender pork you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting! But it’s also very rich! So this “Pig Pickin’ Cake” I’m sure was created many years ago by someone who knew that after a wonderful meal of pulled pork, a cool and citrusy cake was needed to end the day and cleanse the palate with a refreshing taste of pineapple and orange!
It’s origin claims to be from North Carolina, where hog and pig roasts are just as common, then this cool and creamy cake dessert quickly generated to the midwest and other regions of the U.S. And there are many variations to this basic, instant recipe, too!
Most simply use a yellow cake mix, but I’ve always preferred a bigger burst of orange flavor and start with an orange cake mix. Either way, you can’t go wrong! (I also like to add a little vanilla to the batter, because, hey, it’s vanilla!)
Mandarin orange slices, along with the juice from the can are also added to the batter, which not only adds more of that delicious orange flavor, but also makes this cake extra moist!
I like to save back about 8 slices to decorate the top, and this is my simple, feeble, attempt at an orange “flower” design. I know. SIMPLE. But for this cake, that’s exactly what you want.
You can do your own design, such as lining them up like ants at a picnic around the rim if you’d like though, too. Just don’t fret about fussing too much. Simple is the key here.
And the “frosting” is just as simple and delicious! Cool Whip, instant vanilla pudding mix, and crushed pineapple with the juice all come together to make a creamy-dreamy, fluffy frosting that’s a welcome treat on a hot, sweltering summer day!
Each bite is like a taste of sunshine! The perfect summer dessert!! Sweet, tangy, loaded with fruit, and finished with creamy cool goodness! It’s actually a very light tasting cake, too, which also is a welcome treat from the heat!
So if you’re headed to a backyard barbecue, be sure to whip up this light and fluffy cake to take along! It’s a crowd-pleaser every time! Enjoy and stay cool!!
*You can use a plain Yellow Cake mix if preferred.
- For Cake:
- 1 (16.5 oz.) box orange cake mix, plain yellow also works just fine, (*I use Duncan Hines Signature Orange Supreme cake mix)
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, with the juice (*reserve 8 slices aside first, then add rest of contents of can)
- For Frosting:
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, with the juice
- 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 (12 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Preheat oven to 350°F (*or 325º F for dark coated pans). Grease and lightly flour two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Which ever you prefer.
- In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, oil, mandarin oranges plus the juice (*reserving a few slices to garnish top of cake), and vanilla on low speed just until moistened. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pans and bake according to boxed mix directions, or until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Cool slightly, 10 minutes, then remove cakes to wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Frosting: In a bowl, stir instant pudding mix into the pineapple with the juice until mixed, let rest 5 minutes. Fold in thawed whipped topping until well combined. Place one cooled cake onto a cake plate or stand. Add a layer of frosting to top, then place second cake on top of first layer, and spread remaining frosting over that top and sides of cake.
- Chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight before serving. (*I always place mine into a plastic cake keeper so that it doesn't dry out in any way.)
- These also make wonderful cupcakes! Just follow the baking times on the mix that you choose to use.