Pig Pickin Cake

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4.92 from 12 votes
Southern hospitality is at its finest when you serve up a slice of this amazingly moist, fruity, but oh so simple Pig Pickin Cake!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
White cake with oranges with slice cut out

This Pig Pickin Cake is amazingly moist, fruity and simple to make.  It’s a deliciously easy Southern cake that is light and refreshing.  It’s Southern hospitality at its finest.

White cake with oranges with slice cut out

This Pig Pickin Cake cake is a winner for any occasion because of its light fruity texture but is also simple to make because this is a box cake mix recipe. Therefore, it comes together quick but tastes like a scratch made cake.

What is a Pig Pickin Cake?

I know, the name alone makes it intriguing and a fun addition to any barbecue because of the conversations it will start. The Southern barbecue got the name “pig pickins” down south because everyone wanted the best part of the pig at the picnic.

This mandarin orange cake became a regular on the dessert table of most Southern pig roasts too. It is the personification of summer in cake form. This Pig Pickin Cake has a bright flavor that is also light for those warm summer days.

This Southern treasure is one of my favorite desserts.  You can find other iconic Southern desserts here.

How to Make Pig Pickin Cake – Step by Step

  • Step One: First, preheat oven according to box directions. Next, grease and flour two round cake pans. Then follow the instructions on the cake mix EXCEPT for the water.(Photo 1 below)
  • Step Two: Then pour juice from the can of oranges into a measuring cup. Then add enough water to the mandarin orange juice to meet the required “water” measurement. Next, add to cake mix.(Photo 2 below)
  • Step Three: Once cake batter is mixed fold in the drained can of mandarin oranges and mix to break up orange bits. Then bake according to package directions. (Photo 3 below)

  • Step One:  First, whisk crushed pineapple with packet of instant vanilla pudding. (Photo 1 below)
  • Step Two: Next, fold in half of the whipped topping until incorporated; Once combined, then add the remaining half and fold until combined. Once all the cool whip is folded in, refrigerate until cakes are cooled and ready for frosting.(Photo 2 below)
  • Step Three:  Finally, after your cake is cooled, frost the top of the first layer and the second cake and frost the remaining cake heavily. (Photo 3 below)

Can I Make the Pig Pickin Cake in a 13×9 inch pan?

I love making this orange sponge cake in a 13×9 inch pan. It is great for parties. The best part you would not need to change any of the recipe amounts.

This cake is great in a bundt pan too. It is a favorite for any summer outing.

Tips for Frosting the Pig Pickin Cake

This lovely light cake with fruit is the perfect dessert but working with cool whip as a frosting can be tricky. So here are a few tips and tricks to help make this cake your showstopper:

  • To ensure success, cool the cake completely.
  • Make the icing early and refrigerate for at least an hour before frosting.
  • After you frost the cake refrigerate until ready to serve, then serve immediately.

Expert Tips for Making the Best Pig Pickin Cake

  • Go a little nuts: Try adding some crushed nuts to the frosting to up your flavor profile.
  • Decorate with different fruits: Use your imagination and try using blueberries, strawberries or whatever your family likes to decorate your Pig Pickin Cake.
  • Less liquid helps: Try drying and draining the pineapple well. It will help keep your frosting firm.

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White cake with oranges with slice cut out

Pig Pickin Cake

4.9 from 12 votes
Southern hospitality is at its finest when you serve up a slice of this amazingly moist, fruity, but oh so simple Pig Pickin Cake!
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz canned mandarin oranges
  • water

Whipped Frosting:

  • 16 oz frozen whipped topping thawed
  • 20 oz crushed pineapple undrained
  • 5.1 oz instant vanilla pudding

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat oven according to cake mix directions.
  • Grease and flour two round cake pans.
  • Follow the instructions on the cake mix EXCEPT for the water.
  • Pour juice from the mandarin oranges into a measuring cup.
  • Add enough water to the mandarin orange juice to meet the required "water" measurement on the cake mix package.
  • Add to cake mix.
  • Once cake batter is mixed fold in the drained can of mandarin oranges and mix to break up orange bits.
  • Bake according to package directions.

Whipped Frosting

  • Whisk crushed pineapple (and juice) with packet of instant vanilla pudding.
  • Fold in half of the whipped topping until incorporated; Once combined, add the remaining half and fold until combined.
  • Once all the cool whip is folded in, refrigerate until cakes are cooled and ready for frosting.
  • After your cake is cooled, frost the top of the first layer and the second cake and frost the remaining cake heavily.
  • You can leave it just like that or you can top it with strawberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges and so on.

Video

Expert Tips

  • Go a little nuts: Try adding some crushed nuts to the frosting to up your flavor profile
  • Decorate with different fruits: Use your imagination and try using blueberries, strawberries or whatever your family likes to decorate your Pig Pickin Cake.
  • Less liquid helps: When making the icing, make sure the pineapple is well drained and fairly dry to keep it firm.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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19 thoughts on “Pig Pickin Cake”

  1. In recipe list wish you would’ve specified draining pineapple instead of just in the notes…you were clear on other things in list

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    How can you go wrong with a name like Pig Pickin’ Cake? This is seriously too much fun! Can’t wait to try it. It looks delicious!!

    Reply
  3. I made this cake for dessert tonight and everyone raved over it.
    Was made for a pig roast get together. Figured a pig roast deserved a cake called pig pickin. Cake so light not too sweet either. Will definitely make again

    Reply
  4. What flavor of pudding did you use? I know that can make a big difference in the outcome. 🙂 Thanks for any details on that!! xoxo

    Reply
  5. One cake mix normally makes 2 layers, so I am wondering how 2 cake mixes plus 2 cans of mandarins, all those egg whites, oil, and water, will not overflow the pans. Also the directions say to add THE can of mandarins to the batter, but the ingredients state 2 cans. Which is correct? Could you also give the size of a large container of Cool whip, and a large can of pineapple? This cake sounds really good, but I need to make sure I use the correct amount of ingredients. I would really appreciate the clarification.

    Reply
    • My apologies Pauline — there was some confusion with the recipe. The original recipe was for 2-9×13 cake pans. However, I halved all of the ingredients for a standard 2 layer round cake. Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      Reply

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