Desserts/ Featured

Pig Pickin’ Cake

Mandarin Orange Pig Pickin Cake with Pineapple Whipped Frosting

Southern cooks have been baking what we affectionately call Pig Pickin’ Cake for generations. The name pig pickin’ cake is very common in the Carolinas but this cake is also known by other names, such as Mandarin Orange Cake or Pea Pickin’ Cake. This cake is a classic favorite with its luscious pineapple frosting.

If you’re not from the South you may be wondering how this cake got its name. In the South we have grand barbecues where you’ll find a whole pig being roasted. This is a classic pig pickin’ where guests pick off the cooked meat and for dessert, a piece of pig pickin’ cake of course.

“A party without cake is just a meeting” ~ Julia Child

A Southern specialty dessert such as this being so popular has made its way all over the country. It is the perfect spring and summertime dessert.

Ingredients for pig pickin' cake

(You’ll find a printable recipe card at the end of this post)

Mandarin Orange Pig Pickin’ Cake with Pineapple Frosting

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 2: Combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, mandarin oranges and the mandarin orange juice together. Beat for three to four minutes. Pour batter equally into two greased and floured 9″ round pans. This cake is also commonly baked as a sheet cake if preferred.

Step 3: Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and cool five minutes before turning out of the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Step 4: Once the cake is cool, prepare the frosting. Combine the juice from the pineapple with the vanilla pudding mix. Add the whipped topping and mix. Stir in the crushed pineapple. Frost the cake layers. Garnish the top with mandarin orange slices if desired. I reserved a heaping tablespoon of the crushed pineapple for garnish as well.

Mandarin orange cake - pig pickin' cake

Tips for baking your Pea Pickin’ Mandarin Orange Pig Cake

  • Make sure your ingredients, such as eggs, are room temperature
  • Always start with a pre-heated oven
  • Scrape the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly
  • Prepare the pans by greasing with shortening (such as Crisco) and dusting with flour
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake
  • Cool cake layers upside down to flatten

Pea Pickin' Cake

Pig Pickin' Cake

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 15.25 oz Yellow Cake Mix
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 c Vegetable Oil
  • 12 oz Canned Mandarin Oranges, drained, reserve juice
  • 1/2 c Reserved Mandarin Orange Juice
  • Frosting:
  • 5.1 oz Vanilla Pudding Mix (such as Jello)
  • 20 oz Can Crushed Pineapple, drained, reserve juice
  • 16 oz Whipped Topping, thawed (such as Cool Whip)

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350°F

2

Combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, mandarin oranges and the mandarin orange juice together. Beat for three to four minutes. Pour batter equally into two greased and floured 9" round pans. This cake is also commonly baked as a sheet cake if preferred. 

3

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and cool five minutes before turning out of the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. 

4

Once the cake is cool, prepare the frosting. Combine the juice from the pineapple with the vanilla pudding mix. Add the whipped topping and mix. Stir in the crushed pineapple. Frost the cake layers. Garnish the top with mandarin orange slices if desired. I reserved a heaping tablespoon of the crushed pineapple for garnish as well. 

If you make this or any of our recipes, we would love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #JuliasSimplySouthern on social media. We appreciate your shares, let others know about our recipes by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram!

Shared at: Meal Plan Monday #102

Shared at: Weekend Potluck

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Stacey
    February 26, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Looks so yummy!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    February 26, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Whoa! Been searching and wanting to find/make this for about 20 years! Thanks.

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      February 26, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Nancy,
      I hope you get to bake one up soon and enjoy!

  • Reply
    Jane
    February 26, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Julia,
    I never heard of this cake (being from New England) so I just had to come over and find out more about it! I love all of the ingredients in this cake. It looks delicious! Thanks for sharing this on Kitchen Thyme!

  • Reply
    Rose
    March 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Can I make this cake the day before? Will it get soggy? Will the icing slide? It’s beautiful and I don’t want to mess it up.

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      March 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      You can make this cake the day before and refrigerate. It holds up well.

  • Reply
    laura
    March 10, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    HA I love this cake and the story behind it. I’ve only been to one pig roast and boy it was fun! Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy I really appreciate you!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      March 12, 2018 at 6:30 am

      Laura,
      Thank you 🙂 It is a fun and delicious cake.

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    March 13, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great St. Patrick’s Day and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Reply
    Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
    March 15, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Love the fruit in this cake! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED 🙂

  • Reply
    Joseph Senter
    April 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I think you have a typo. Cook cake layers upside down to flatten, id like to see that.

    Perhaps you meant, Cool cake layers upside down to flatten.

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 18, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      HaHa! You are correct. That would be quite an attempt. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  • Reply
    Southern Food Junkie
    April 24, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I love a good pig pickin. Been a while since I have been to one. Nowadays ppl just have bbq’s I guess since its less trouble. I love this cake. I need to make a video of making it and tag you in it!

    • Reply
      Julia Jordan
      April 24, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Southern Food Junkie,
      You’re always such a great supporter. Thank you. You host the pig pickin’ and I’ll make the cake 😉

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