Pig Pickin Cake Recipe

Pig Pickin Cake Recipe, an Old Fashioned Cake Recipe made moist and delicious with Mandarin Oranges and Pineapple.


Pig Pickin Cake Recipe makes an old fashioned cake that is moist and scrumptious. Make it in 8" or 9" layer cake pans or a 9"x13" sheet cake pan.

It is made easy with mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple, topped with a "to die for" whipped cream, Vanilla Pudding and Pineapple Frosting.

This Pig Pickin Cake Recipe was given to me, at my request, when an employee had brought the baked cake to one of my monthly meeting's potluck lunches, in the 1980s.

It was delicious and everyone was raving about it. It didn't dawn on me to ask him where the recipe came from.

So in getting this recipe ready to add to this site for your pleasure, I decided to research the internet to find out where and when it originated.

Now I'm not sure if I ever will know for sure, because I challenge the most touted research results. You can read my story, below.



Pig Pickin Cake Recipe

  • 1 box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure orange extract
  • 1 (14oz.) can mandarin oranges

Let eggs get to room temperature.

I actually take my eggs out of the refrigerator just before starting this cake, and crack them into a small bowl to bring them to room temperature while I prepare my batter.

Empty cake mix into a stand mixer. Add eggs, cooking oil and orange extract.

Drain mandarin oranges. Set orange juice aside.

Remove enough orange slices to set aside for garnish.

Try to get the slices the same size and use the strongest pieces because they are fragile.

Measure a cup of the drained oranges into a measuring cup. Then pour enough of the orange juice to come up over the oranges to the top of the cup.

This gives you your cup of liquid you need for the boxed cake mix.

Add oranges to mixing bowl and blend on low speed until moistened and then turn to medium speed and beat 1 minute.

Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and beat 1 minute more.

Pour into three prepared* 8" cake pans and bake in 325F. preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until cake test done when poked in center with a toothpick.

Simple Three Layer Cakes made with boxed Cake Mix and mandarin oranges.


In the above image the layers look very thin. However, in the bottom image you will see that they are not thin.

I used three 8" layer pans for this cake. If you want thinner layers you have a two options.

  1. Bake in four 8" round pans.
  2. Bake in three 9" round pans.

Note: Please note that if the batter does not fill a layer pan about 2/3 full the cake will not rise equally over top and center of cake will be thicker than outer edges, as in these images .



To prepare pans for baking Pig Pickin Cake Recipe, you can either grease the pans or spray them with the commercial baking spray of your choice.

I still prefer to prepare my pans the Old Fashioned way because I don't like the taste of the commercial brands (I use butter to grease pans) and I don't like the messy running of the grease.

I also lined the greased pans with fitted parchment paper, then butter it. That way my cakes come out of the pan slick and all intact.

Vanilla Pudding and Pineapple Frosting

  • 1 can (20oz.) crushed pineapple packed in juice
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 oz. frozen whipped cream, slightly thawed
  • sliced pineapple, for garnish (optional)
  • Maraschino Cherries, for garnish (optional)

Pig Pickin Cake Recipe makes a great slice of cake for your ice cream.


Place crushed pineapple and juice in the refrigerator to get cold before starting the mixing. Can put it in the freezer for a few minutes before making.

Partially thaw whipped cream before adding to frosting.

Place cold pineapple and juice in a mixing bowl. Add instant pudding mix and whisk for a couple of minutes until mixture becomes thick.

Let set 5 minutes.

Place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to thicken up a little more.

Remove from refrigerator and fold in whipped cream.

Frost cake layers between layers and on top. Can leave the sides naked, if preferred.

Please note that some brands of pineapple contain more juice to pineapple than others. If your frosting is pretty thin, you may want to only cover the tops of layers.

Refrigerate immediately after frosting and remove from refrigerator to serve.

Cake will get more moist if allowed to set in refrigerator several hours before serving.

Refrigerate leftovers.

This Pig Pickin Cake Recipe makes the perfect cake to serve with a big serving of vanilla ice cream.

Tips for Pig Pickin Cake Recipe

As mentioned above you can bake this Pig Pickin Cake Recipe in many different layers and sizes.

You will need to adjust temperatures for some pans and baking times, too. 



As most cooks know, some ovens vary a little in actual temperatures reaches so you must test all cakes to see if they are done before removing them from the oven.

I hope these suggestions help:

  • Bake 3:25F. for dark or coated baking pans and a few minutes longer.
  • Bake 3:50F. for light metal or glass baking pans.
  • Approximate times if baking at 3:50F:
  • Two 8" round pans - 28-32 mins.
  • Two 9" round pans - 24 - 28 mins.
  • One 13"x9" sheet pan 28 - 32 mins.

And remember, if making 3 or 4 thin layers, lower the baking time as in the cooking time at top of page for this Pig Pickin Cake Recipe.

Enjoy!

My Pig Pickin Recipe Origin Challenge

I spent days online looking at dozens of websites trying to find the true origin of this Pig Pickin Cake Recipe.

The cake seems to have a lot of fans who have been enjoying it for a long time. It is very popular.

The most touted reason for the name "Pig Picken Cake Recipe" is that it was being baked and taken to potluck "Pig Picken" in the South, specifically North Carolina.

This is usually followed by how "Pic Pickens" work.

Then some websites state that the recipe came originally from Tennessee and that Tennessee Ernie Ford, a country recording artist, born in Tennessee, published it in a book many years ago.

In searching, I found at least a dozen names this same cake has had, including several names that other cakes have, too.

A few are "Mandarin and Orange Cake", "Better Than Sex Cake", "Sunshine Cake".

Several different cakes have the last two names. Many of which I have in my collection.

Also, like most Old Fashioned Cake Recipes, this cake recipe has evolved.

Some of the additions to what seems to be the original recipe include adding additional flavors; pure orange juice, coconut and or nuts.

And in my case I have added pure orange flavor because the mandarin oranges seem to produce a weak orange flavor when cooked.

I also enhanced the flavor with using lemon cake mix instead of vanilla or the usual "yellow cake mix"

Whatever the name or wherever it came from, I find I greatly challenge it being named for being a popular potluck cake at a Pig Pickin and especially in North Carolina.

Here's why:

I have lived in North Carolina most of 80 years and never heard of this cake until the 1980s.

I know of no one who actually ate it at such an event.

I'm experienced in Pig Pickin bashes. My husband and I celebrated his birthday in the fall every year for over 30 years.

Most of the time there were from 100 - 200 guest showing up over a 3 day weekend celebration.

Many women brought sides of salads or desserts all the time. Cakes galore. Never this one.

Not everyone knew what a "Pig Pickin" was in the Piedmont area of North Carolina in the 1960s and 1970.

My husband did some catering by request in the early years of our parties.

When we advertised our events, we were inundated with phone calls asking us what it was. Obviously, they didn't know about this cake, either.

So I would say, the old style of roasting a pig was out of style around that time.

In the early days, it took 12 hours to roast a pig. Especially like we started, with a deep "pit" dug in the ground. Hence, Pit Barbecue.

I can't imagine this Pig Pickin cake, with all the refrigeration it requires to hold up the whipped cream frosting, being taken to an outdoor event that is mostly executed in warmer months, outdoors, with no kitchen nearby.

Can you?

More Old Fashioned Pineapple
Or Orange Cake Recipes

Kitty Wells Famous Orange Cake
Kitty's husband's favorite delicious cake with Orange and Coconut.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Classic time-tested, gooey cake that almost everyone raves about.

Old Fashioned Orange Slice Cake
A Christmas Cake made with candy orange slices. Delicious all year around.

Pineapple Coconut Cake
Delicious old fashioned sheet cake similar to this cake. No orange.

Pineapple Cake With Buttercream
So moist and delicious with Buttercream Frosting will melt in your mouth.

Pineapple Punch Bowl Cake
Unbaked Cake with Pineapple Jello, crushed pineapple and coconut. A delight! Pretty, too.


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