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Easy Pig Pickin’ Cake

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This light and moist cake will be a hit at your Summer togethers! This old-fashioned cake recipe, which is full of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and whipped cream, has been around for generations. Whether you call this a Mandarin Orange Cake, a Pig Pickin’ Cake, or a Pig Lickin’ Cake, your family will call it delicious!

Slice of mandarin orange cake

How to Make Pig Pickin’ Cake from Scratch

Summer time is all about good food, spending time with family and friends and long Summer days.

One of my favorite things about getting together with friends and family, well, besides spending time with them, is all of the delicious food! There are always so many new things to try. Of course, there are always the traditional favorites such as BBQ Chicken, cold Summer salads such as potato salad or macaroni salad, baked beans, and of course a variety of amazing desserts!

Why is it called Pig Pickin’ cake?

This classic Southern cake got it’s name because it became a staple at family get togethers, BBQs, and hog roasts. At hog roasts, since the guests would “pick” the meat off of the roasted pig, it became known as “pig pickin'”, hence, the reason this mandarin orange cake, which was a regular on the dessert table, got it’s nickname.

Here’s Why This Recipe Works

  • Time-tested classic recipe – these are the ones that are passed down for generations that actually turn out.
  • Easy to find ingredients – most of these you already have in your fridge and pantry.
  • Versatile – works for any holiday or reason.

Expert Tips, Ingredient List and Suggestions for Recipe Success

You will find a complete list of the ingredients needed to make this recipe at the bottom of the post.

  • Store-bought cake mix – this recipe will look the best with a white cake mix. However, a yellow mix will work. If you have a favorite from scratch mix, that will work too.
  • Vanilla pudding mix – any brand will work.
  • Whipped topping – lite and fat-free will be fine too.
  • Unsalted butter – if you decide to grease your cake pan with butter, make sure to use unsalted. That way you aren’t adding extra salt to your cake.
  • Walnuts or pecans – to add a delicious crunch factor to this cake, add chopped walnuts or pecans to the cake after it’s frosted.

What are Other Names for This Cake?

Other names you may have heard this cake called are Old Fashioned Orange Cake, Florida Sunshine Cake, Pig Lick’n Cake, Orange Pineapple Cake, Celestial Snow Cake, Piggy Cake, Pineapple Dream Cake, and Pea Pick’n Cake, as well as a Pea Picking Cake.

Have you ever heard of a cake that has so many different names? I haven’t either. That’s one of the reasons you need to try this cake! For a cake to be so well loved and given so many different names, you know it’s that good!

How to Store

Due to the frosting, this is one of those you will need to keep in the fridge. Keep it in an air-tight container and it should last up to 3 days.

Pig Pickin’ Cake with Cream Cheese Recipe

If you are looking for a recipe that using cream cheese as the base for your frosting, make sure to check out the one that Pioneer Woman has on her site.

Can You Freeze This?

Yes, you can. However, do not freeze it with the frosting on. Prepare the cake as directed and bake it. Allow it to completely cool. Then wrap in saran wrap then cover with foil. And place in the freezer. It can stay in the freezer for up to six months.

When you are ready to enjoy the cake, allow it to thaw on the counter until it’s at room temperature. Then frost the cake as directed in the recipe card below.

Can You Make This Ahead of Time?

Definitely! It’s actually better if you make it a day before you need it. That way all of the flavors have time to marry together.

Can This Be Made in a 13×9 Inch Pan Instead?

Absolutely! Just prepare the pan instead of the round cake pans. No other adjustments needed.

Could I Use Fresh Fruit Instead of Canned?

No, unfortunately this is one of those recipes where you will need to use canned due to needing to use the syrup from the fruit.

Could You Use Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Pudding?

I personally haven’t tried it that way. However, if you have and if you do, let me know the results! I would think it would create a very interesting and delicious taste profile.

How Can I Get my Cake to Cool Faster?

After it’s done baking, place it in the fridge or even in the freezer for a bit to help it cool faster. Keep in mind though, by placing it in the freezer, the inside of the cake may still be warm. Your best bet is to place it in the fridge. Or if you are making this in the Winter, place it outside to cool or even in your garage.

Can I Use a Homemade Cake Recipe Instead?

Absolutely! If you have a favorite that you prefer, feel free to use that.

What’s the Difference Between This and a Hummingbird Cake?

The Hummingbird Cake, which was actually created in Jamaica, is a three-layer cake that is full of pineapple and bananas and topped with cream cheese and nuts. This cake was originally called a Doctor Bird Cake and named after their national bird.

Here is a recipe for Hummingbird Cake that first appeared in Southern Living magazine in 1978.

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Prepare 2 round cake pans with Crisco shortening or unsalted butter and flour.

Step 3: Prepare the cake batter.

Step 4: Divide the batter between the two pans and bake according to the directions on the back of the cake mix..

Step 5: Once the cakes have finished baking, let them cool.

Step 6: While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Step 7: Assemble and frost the cakes.

Steps in making a Pig Pickin Cake

In conclusion, this cake is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday party, a picnic, or just a casual dinner with friends.

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Slice of mandarin orange cake

Pig Pickin Cake

This light and moist cake will be a hit at your Summer togethers! This old-fashioned cake recipe, which is full of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and whip cream, has been around for generations. Whether you call this a Mandarin Orange Cake, a Pig Pickin’ Cake, a Pea Picking Cake, or a Pig Lickin’ Cake, your family will call it delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • Hand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 round cake pans


  • 1 box store-bought white cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1-15 ounce can of mandarin oranges undrained, divided
  • 2/3 cup juice from the mandarin oranges can
  • 1-5.1- ounce Vanilla Pudding mix (Instant)
  • 1-20 ounce can of crushed pineapples undrained
  • 1 16- ounce container Whipped topping


  • Prepare 2 round cake pans with grease and flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the cake mix, vegetable oil, water, mandarin oranges juice and egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on medium until it is combined.
  • Add in 1 ¼ cup of oranges and beat on medium high for 1 minute. The oranges will break up during the mixing process.
  • Divide the cake batter between the 2 cake pans and bake according to the directions on the cake box. To test to see if the cake is done, use a toothpick or a cake tester and stick it in the middle of the cake. If the tester comes out clean, the cake is done. If it comes out with batter still on it, put it back into the oven and check at 5 minute increments.
  • Let the cakes cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, while the cakes are cooling, mix half of the whipped topping together with the pudding.
  • Fold in the rest of the whipped topping along with the pineapple.
  • Add some of the frosting in between the layers of cake and use the rest to frost the outside of the cake.
Keyword Cake, Cake Mix recipes, Mandarin Orange Cake, Old Fashioned Cake Recipes, Pig Lickin’ Cake, Pig Pickin’ Cake
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