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.
(You’ll find a printable recipe card at the end of this post)
Mandarin Orange Pig Pickin’ Cake with Pineapple Frosting
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.
Best Orange Pineapple 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
Pineapple Cool Whip Cake
Easy Pig Cake
Printable Recipe Card
Pig Pickin' Cake
The unofficial cake of Southern barbecues, potlucks and pig picking soirees, a Pig Pickin' or mandarin pineapple cake as some call it is a delicious dessert
- 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
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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LEGERM Cake Decorating Angled Icing Spatula Set of 6 8 & 10 Inch Wooden Handle Stainless Steel Offset Frosting Spatulas
Blue Q Oven Mitt, I've Got a Knife. Super-insulated quilting, comfy, natural-fitting shape, 100% cotton, 12.5"h x 7.5"w
Wilton Performance Aluminum Pan 8-Inch Round Cake Pans, Set of 2
Yield:8 to 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 309mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 2gSugar: 63gProtein: 5g
Piglickin Good Cake Recipe
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Shared at: Meal Plan Monday #102
Shared at: Weekend Potluck
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Author of Julia's Simply Southern
Hey Y'all! I'm Julia, the cook and writer behind the recipes here at Julia's Simply Southern. I began my website so that I could share easy to follow recipes that anyone can use to put a home cooked meal on the dinner table. Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Southern Food Junkie
Tuesday 24th of April 2018
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!
Tuesday 24th of April 2018
Southern Food Junkie, You're always such a great supporter. Thank you. You host the pig pickin' and I'll make the cake ;)
Wednesday 18th of April 2018
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.
Wednesday 18th of April 2018
HaHa! You are correct. That would be quite an attempt. Thanks for letting me know :)
Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
Thursday 15th of March 2018
Love the fruit in this cake! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED :)
Tuesday 13th of March 2018
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
Saturday 10th of March 2018
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!
Monday 12th of March 2018
Laura, Thank you :) It is a fun and delicious cake.