Pig pickin cake is one of my go-to cake recipes for potlucks and picnics! A classic among southern fruit cake recipes, this recipe is named for its popularity at BBQs (aka pig pickins!). There are so many ways to transform yellow cake recipes, but the orange-pineapple flavor in this cake makes it one of my all-time favorites!
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill sheet cake. It’s ultra-moist, flavorful, and decadent! Fire up the oven, and let’s get baking! The bright, fruity flavor of this recipe makes it a hit anywhere you serve it.
If you love sheet cakes as much as I do, I hope you’ll try my old-fashioned fruit cocktail cake (the most delicious cake you’ve likely never heard of!), light and fruity pineapple sunshine cake, If you love chocolate you’ve got to try Texas sheet cake, and Coca Cola cake! They’re also super moist and perfect for any occasion!
Let’s Bake This!
What I Love About This Recipe
Pig Pickin Cake is a tasty, yet simple cake, that is perfect for any time of the year but shines during spring and summer. It’s super easy to make, it’s sure to become a new favorite!
- The orange-pineapple flavor
- Ultra moist cake
- Thick creamy frosting
- Lightweight and not too filling
How To Make Pig Pickin Cake Recipe
- Begin by mixing the cake mix, mandarin oranges,
- Then eggs, sugar, oil,
- And vanilla. Using a handheld mixer, beat for 2 minutes.
- Pour into a prepared pan and bake.
- Make the frosting by combining the pineapple and pudding mix. Let stand for 2 minutes before incorporating the whipped topping.
- Fold in the whipped topping.
- Spread on the cooled cake.
- Garnish as desired and serve.
See the full instructions below.
Pig Pickin Cake Ingredients
- 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 of the flavor of pig pickin cake! However, if garnishing the top with mandarin oranges, be sure to drain very well.
- Pan size – You can make this cake in a 9×13 as indicated, but you can also do two 9-inch round pans to create a layer cake. You can also use a larger sheet cake pan. You might have to make more frosting, depending on how thick you want it!
- Mixing – I like to use the double beaters of a handheld mixer to break up the mandarin oranges. If you don’t have this option, give them a rough chop with a knife or a quick blitz in the food processor to get the desired texture.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
I store this cake in a well-sealed container in the fridge. If you’re serving it at an outdoor venue, be sure to keep it cool!
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This recipe will hold for up to 7 days in the fridge.
- Can You Freeze This? Yes, you can freeze this 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, this cake tastes incredible when it’s partially frozen. Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap it well, and you can freeze it for up to 4 months.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This recipe is best made a day ahead of time. It lets all the flavors mingle and mellow. You can also freeze the cake as mentioned above as a make-ahead option.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
More Delicious Sheet Cakes
- Butterfinger Cake
- Strawberry Jello Cake
- Coconut Sheet Cake
- Lemon Buttermilk Cake
- Strawberry Sheet Cake
Pig Pickin Cake Recipe
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix (1 package), canned oranges with the juice of ONE can (2 cans), eggs (4), sugar (1/4 cup), vegetable oil (1/4 cup), and vanilla (1 teaspoon) and mix with a hand-held electric mixer for 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool, the cake in the pan, set on a wire baking rack, until completely cooled.
- In a medium bowl combine the well-drained pineapple (1 can) and the pudding mix (1 package) until the pineapple is evenly coated with the mix. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes.
- Fold in the thawed whip topping (1 container) until evenly combined. Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake and garnish, if desired, with well-drained mandarin oranges.
Fans Also Made:
- Pan size - You can make this cake in a 9x13 as indicated, but you can also do two 9-inch round pans to create a layer cake. You can also use a larger sheet cake pan. You might have to make more frosting, depending on how thick you want it!
- Mixing - I like to use the double beaters of a handheld mixer to break up the mandarin oranges. If you don't have this option, give them a rough chop with a knife or a quick blitz in the food processor to get the desired texture.
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Kelly Nicoson says
My mom made this cake for my birthday every year. She called it Hawaiian Delight!
She would use a Butter Cake Mix in place of Yellow Cake Mix. Also instead of oil she substituted Mayonnaise. In a bundt pan. I understand calling it Pig Pickin Cake, my birthday is in July so my dad would roast a pig in a pit. Absolutely the best birthday bashes every year. RIP Mom & Dad beautiful memories. Thank you.
Linda Nash says
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe, but her’s is called,”Pig Lickin’ Cake. I’ve never heard of Pig Picking Cake. She got the recipe from one of the women she used to work with. Thought I’d share, it’s a great cake.
Thanks, Linda!? Never heard of the name Pig Lickin’ Cake in my case but it sounds interesting!
I added the 1/4 cup of sugar but the cake was already sweet enoung. Next time I’ll leave the sugar out. I don’t want anyone to go in a diabetic coma after eating this cake! ??
Can you double the recipe and put in a big sheet pan?
Good Question….yes, you can double the recipe. This is often made as a layer cake so you can go that route or use a larger sheet pan as you suggested. FYI – doubling may not be necessary except for the icing. Making this recipe as stated will give you a 9×13 plus 12 additional cupcakes (and there may be enough icing for those too – depends how thick you spread it). I hope this helps and you enjoy!
This cake is delish. One time I only had banana pudding and used that in the frosting, it was really, really good. Love this cake!
Wow! Sounds delish, Sandi. Thanks for sharing that idea. Can’t wait to try it with banana pudding <3