Pig Pickin’ Cake is an oldie but a goodie. I used to make this cake for BBQ’s and family gatherings when I had small children. The name of this cake supposedly came from times when people would roast a whole pig. Tending to that was time-consuming so when you got down to pickin’ pig, your dessert, made the night before, was in the fridge. That is the genius of Pig Pickin’ Cake. Always made the night before, leaving you free to roast a pig and make the sides.
This cake is simple. It uses simple ingredients, like canned fruit, Cool Whip, and boxed cake mix. MAKE IT THAT WAY! Yesterday I decided to make Pig Pickin’ Cake from scratch because a food blogger said it was so much better. Well, no, that cake is in the trash can. With a cup of butter and eight egg yolks for a two layer cake it was a flat, grease bomb. I regrouped and made it the way I always did and it is light as a feather, and high as a top-hat. Sometimes our grandmothers and mothers got it right and when it comes to Pig Pickin’ Cake, listen to them.
IMPORTANT: Boxed cake mixes used to be 16.5 ounces but most are only 15.25 ounces now. If yours is less than 16 ounces, add 6 tablespoons of cake flour and 1/4 tsp of baking powder to the dry ingredients.
- 1 box butter yellow cake mix
- 15oz can Mandarin oranges
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
For the topping:
- 16 ounce tub Cool Whip
- 3.5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
- 20oz can crushed pineapple (in juice) drained (reserve juice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan or two 8″ cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the boxed yellow cake mix, eggs and oil.
- Beat on low speed until smooth. Drain the mandarin oranges (reserving the juice) and add them to the mixer. Gradually add the some of the juice from the can until your cake batter is thin enough to pour but not runny.
- Beat on low until well incorporated and the oranges have broken up slightly.
- Pour into the prepared pans, bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until tests done with a toothpick.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. If doing a sheet cake you can just leave it in the pan.
For the topping:
- Put the thawed Cool Whip in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla pudding mix. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the drained crushed pineapple and stir until well incorporated. It the topping seems too thick, thin it down with the reserved pineapple juice.
- You can make your cake four layers by cutting them with a serrated knife and frosting between the layers and on top. You can place the topping directly on the cake if you used a baking dish. Refrigerate overnight, covered.
- You can serve the cake as-is or you can decorate it to your heart’s content. I made a small batch of orange buttercream icing and piped some trim on mine and garnished with orange segments and mint leaves.
I don’t ever roast a whole pig but I do make Pulled Pork with Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce! Goes well with Pig Picking’