Our crowd-pleasing Pig Pickin Cake is an incredibly moist, delicious, refreshingly fruity delight. Super easy to make, it’s sure to become a new favorite!

A slice of Pig Pickin Cake topped with mandarin orange and crushed pineapple on a plate

If I could choose one thing for you to know about my Pig Pickin Cake, it would be that it all started with a box of cake mix and a girl with a dream. I’m (kind of) kidding, but this cake is so incredibly easy to make, and you’re left with a light and fruity result that’s not too sweet but oh so moist. In that sense, it reminds me of my Pina Colada Sheet Cake, minus the rum. Fruity cakes complete any summer barbeque, and Pig Pickin Cake is no exception. Sure to delight guests of all ages, get your hands on a box of yellow cake mix and whip it up today! If you’re looking for a fruit packed cake recipe from scratch, compliment your cookout menu with my Grandma’s Fruit Cocktail Cake.





  • It’s incredibly, I mean incredibly Moist!
  • It has a refreshingly delicious orange flavor!
  • It’s so easy to make!

What Is Pig Pickin Cake?

Pig Pickin Cake is a tasty yet simple cake that is perfect for any time of the year but shines during the summer. While this cake definitely owes some of its moistness to the addition of instant vanilla pudding in the topping, the doctoring of a cake mix plays a huge role. Mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple add an amazing tropical flavor. This dessert is lightweight and not too filling, but if you’re looking to investigate pig pickin cake calories, it’s about 400 for a slice, depending on what you might add or leave out.

Pig Pickin Cake topped with mandarin orange and crushed pineapple in a 9x13 glass baking pan

How Do You Make Pig Pickin Cake?

A single layer pig pickin sheet cake is made in a 9×13 pan and starts with a yellow cake mix. Add the wet ingredients while making sure to include the liquid from one of the canned mandarin oranges. Pour your batter into a well-greased pan and bake! The frosting is equally as easy, made from whipped topping, instant vanilla pudding, and well-drained pineapple. Frost the cake when it’s completely cool, and garnish with drained mandarin oranges, if you’d like!

Step By Step How To Make Pig Pickin Cake

Step By Step Overview: How To Make Pig Pickin Cake

1. Put cake mix in the bowl
2. Drain one can of mandarin oranges
3. Add the mandarin oranges from the sieve
4. Add the mandarin oranges with juice from the can
5. Add the eggs
6. Add the sugar
7. Add the oil
8. Add vanilla
9. Pour batter into baking dish
Step By Step How To Make Pig Pickin Cake Frosting

Step By Step: How To Make Pig Pickin Cake Frosting

1. Drain pineapple in the sieve.
2. Dab pineapple with a paper towel.
3. Pineapple and pudding in a bowl.
4. Mix pineapple and pudding.
5. Fold in Coolwhip.
6. Frost Cake and Decorate.


A slice of Pig Pickin Cake topped with mandarin orange and crushed pineapple on a plate
4.5 from 8 votes

Easy Pig Pickin Cake Recipe

Our crowd-pleasing Pig Pickin Cake is an incredibly moist, delicious, refreshingly fruity delight. Super easy to make, it’s sure to become a new favorite!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 359 kcal
Author Kathleen



  • 1 Package Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 (11 Ounces) Can Mandarin Oranges Juice From 1 Can Reserve For Use In The Cake, The Second Drained And Discarded
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Crushed Pineapple, Well Drained
  • 1 (3.5 Ounce) Package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 (16 Ounce) Container Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed


  • 1 (11 Ounces) Can Mandarin Oranges Well, Drained-Optional
  • 1 (11 Ounces) Can Pineapple Tidbits Well, Drained-Optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, canned oranges with the juice of ONE can, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix with a hand-held electric mixer for 2 minutes.

  3. Pour the batter into prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 4o minutes.

  4. Cool, the cake in the pan, set on a wire baking rack, until completely cooled.

  5. In a medium bowl combine the well-drained pineapple and the pudding mix until the pineapple is evenly coated with the mix. Let mixture sit for 2 minutes 

  6. Fold in the thawed whip topping until evenly combined. Spread frosting even over top of the cake and garnish, if desired, with well-drained mandarin oranges.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Pig Pickin Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 506mg 21%
Potassium 64mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 59g 20%
Sugars 34g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 2.7%
Calcium 15%
Iron 9.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes For Pig Pickin Cake:

Cake Mix: Take the pressure off of a box of cake mix by treating it like a regular ingredient in the recipe, instead of the main contender. Resist all urges to follow the instructions on the box. Put your trust in me, and add the mix just as the recipe instructs.

Frosting: Frosting is important in the construction of any cake. For this cake, you’ll want to drain the crushed pineapple really well, and wait until the cake is completely cooled before frosting. These two guidelines will help you avoid runny frosting.

Mandarin Oranges: When adding the canned oranges to the batter, do not drain them. The juice is an important component to the flavor of pig pickin cake! However, if garnishing the top with mandarin oranges, be sure to drain very well.

Variations: A great thing about Pig Pickin Cake is how versatile it is. You can add and omit here and there without ruining the cake or the flavor. I love a pig pickin cake with coconut almost as much as I love a pig pickin cake with pecans! Swapping out a yellow cake mix for orange is a phenomenal change as well. Pig Pickin Cake is often made as a layer cake, but for a casual event like a potluck or barbeque, I typically make it in a 9×13 baking dish. This is also true of my Best Strawberry Cake.

**Fun fact: When you forego the layers and use a 9×13 dish to make our Best Strawberry Cake (the most popular recipe on site!), you get an additional 12 cupcakes out of the batter! Win, win.

Strawberry Pig Pickin Cake: Speaking of strawberries, strawberry pig pickin cake is delicious, and another cherished Southern tradition. Switch out the yellow cake mix for strawberry, and the mandarin oranges for 1 ½ cups chopped strawberries. Fold diced strawberries into the topping instead of crushed pineapple. It’s delicious and it’s pink. What more could you want out of a cake?

Pig Pickin Cake topped with mandarin orange and crushed pineapple in a 9x13 glass baking pan

How Did Pig Pickin Cake Get Its Name?

Also referred to as Mandarin Orange Cake, a quick search of pig pickin cake wiki will result in an overwhelming amount of recipes, as well as history. The popular vote seems to land on the simple fact that Pig Pickin Cake was (and still is) typically served at barbecues, in which the participants roast an entire hog. It’s not surprising that the pig pickin cake origin is Southern all the way. Indulgent without being absurd, Pig Pickin Cake stands strong in a long line of well-loved fruity cakes from the South.

Can Pig Pickin Cake Be Made Ahead?

It sure can! In fact, I think it’s actually better when it’s made one day in advance. This method gives the flavors plenty of time to marry, creating a much more enjoyable and flavorful cake experience. Also, a pig pickin cake made beforehand is remarkably moist, making this a tried and true go-to for a potluck! I know I’ve mentioned this, but it’s summer. Potlucks are aplenty these days.

Can You Freeze Pig Pickin Cake?

Yes, you can freeze pig pickin cake, but it’s recommended to do so without the frosting. A major plus here is that when you’re ready to frost, your cake is completely cooled. You risk nothing by omitting the possibility of runny frosting, the cake is already assembled when you need it, and if you don’t mind me saying, pig pickin cake tastes incredible when it’s partially frozen. Only people who do not have the patience to wait for dessert to thaw will know this. Me.

Looking For More Cakes To Take To The Potluck And Picnic?

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