Mandarin Orange Cake

Mandarin Orange Cake

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Good Monday to you!

And to you. And to you there, with the garden dirt still fresh on your knees. 

Isn’t the Spring time weather fabulous. It seems to have come to Utah early this year, and after a very mild winter at that! Wonderful and fabulous, honkity-honk, please don’t ruin things with talk of a drought, ok? Let’s just enjoy the sunshine for what it’s worth, alright? Thanks a grundle. You are such an easy going reader. Truly.

I have an easy, light and flavorful cake recipe for you today. It’s made with a mix, which I know many of you love. The ingredients are few and easy to find. Another bonus. The taste makes you think of sunny summer weather. The frosting is light, fluffy and refreshing. The cake is moist with a hint of orange. 

I hope you make the cake. I hope you love it. I hope you get to run yourself around in the sunshine today flying a kite or something, or eating an ice cream cone, or playing a little bit of hop scotch on the sidewalk.  

Please refrain from doing all three at the same time. 

It’s just for you own safety. I don’t want you to fall down and skin your pretty little hands. Then you couldn’t make the cake, you know. 

And this cake. It needs to be made. 🙂

Mandarin Orange Cake
Time: 15 min. hands on, 1 hour total
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe from Mommy’s Kitchen
***NOTE: This cake can also be made in a 9×13 pan. Thank you.***
1 box Butter Golden Cake Mix
1/2 C oil
3 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (12 ounce) container cool whip, thawed
1. Into a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl pour the contents of the cake mix. 
2. Add 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
and 3 eggs. 
3. Open up your Mandarin Orange can. Now, ladies and gentlemen. Please note that the recipe calls for one 15 ounce can of mandarin oranges (juice included, please). However, I happen to have two cases of 11 ounce cans of mandarin oranges sitting tight in my food storage. I didn’t want to search the grocery store shelves for a 15 ounce can. If you are in the same boat…
Just measure out your oranges (and juice) to equal about 15 ounces. You’ll want to reserve 8 or 9 oranges to decorate the top of your finished cake. 
4. Pour the mandarin oranges and juice from the can into the mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the batter is well combined and a bit glossy. 
5. Spray 2 nine inch round cake pans generously with cooking spray. Cooking spray with flour would work really well for this recipe, if you have it. 🙂 Also, cutting yourself a piece of round parchment paper or wax paper to fit in the bottom of your pan will help the cake come out easily. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and let them rest for about 5 minutes. 
7. Invert the cakes to a wire rack and let them cool completely. 
1. Place a thawed 12 ounces of cool whip into a large mixing bowl. 
2. Pour 1 small box of vanilla pudding over the top of the cool whip.
3. Pour in 1 can of crushed pineapple (juice included, please) and mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. 
4. Choose yourself a pretty plate or platter and put a dollop of the frosting into the middle of it. 
5. Place one of the cake layers onto the plate and add about 1 cup of the frosting. 
Spread it out, nice and lovely like. 
6. Gently place the second layer over the top and pile up the rest of the frosting on it. 
Then just spread the frosting over the top and onto the sides until it looks just as pretty as a picture. 
7. Decorate the top with mandarin oranges. Refrigerate if you aren’t planning to serve it right away.

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    April 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Have been making this yummy cake for years! It has to be refrigerated! Always tastes better the next day after stuff soaks in. This cake is loved by everyone that tries it. So easy to make too! I use an extra can of drained oranges to decorate with 'cause I use the whole other can in the cake.We mix by hand,not mixer.

  2. 2
    April 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    This cake is awesome. Always a big hit, even with my father in law who hates fruit. I made it from Mommy's kitchen too!

  3. 3
    April 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Jamie that is one of my favorite cakes. My son loves it and swears he can eat the whole thing. It's such a wonderful cake for Spring and Summer. You did a great job and now I want to jump in the computer screen and have a slice. I wish we lived closer my friend because I would at your doorstep with a plate and fork in hand.

  4. 4
    April 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I have made this cake many times and it is wonderful. But as things go I had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me. It will be on moms table for Mothers Day.

  5. 5
    Tessa S
    April 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I LOVE this cake, I call it Sunshine Cake and make it with a Starwberry cake mix. SO yummy!!

  6. 6
    April 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! =)
    Im going to try it!

  7. 7
    April 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I cannot wait to make this! My mother in law loves sweets, and since she's coming over this weekend…..guess what we're having!! You are awesome!

  8. 8
    April 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Do we need as much frosting if we make this in a 9×13?

    • 9
      May 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

      You most likely don't need quite as much frosting if you are making it in a 9×13 pan. Good luck!

  9. 10
    April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    We call this a pig pickin' cake here in NC! 🙂 My preacher's wife just made this for a get together yesterday! My hubby took home I know at least an 1/8th of a cake! LOL

  10. 11
    April 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I have made this cake for years. About 5 years ago I decided to mix things up and do it exactly the same but with a Lemon Cake Mix and Lemon Instant Pudding. It is SO YUMMY and different! Try it!

    • 12
      February 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you for your beautiful ctuoribntion to the project! Your cookies were absolutely classic beauties Ali and I sincerely appreciate all the work you put in to baking a difference and in providing such a super tutorial for the readers.

  11. 13
    April 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I used to make this cake as well but haven't done so in years! I really LOVE this cake! Thanks for the reminder to make it 🙂

  12. 14
    May 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

    This was so yummy!!! I wish we could have waited a couple of hours for it to chill, but I wanted to have it for dinner tonight. Not dessert. It would have been even more fantastic if it was really cold. The frosting was delicious!

  13. 15
    May 3, 2012 at 1:12 am

    I remember my mom making this! I requested it when I go home for a visit in July!

  14. 16
    May 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I love this 🙂 I'm from Nc and we definitely call it pig picking cake yummy!

  15. 17
    May 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    So I made this cake today for our activity day girls, and it turned out GREAT-except that the cake was so moist that it just fell to pieces. I couldn't get it to stay together or anything. I pieced it back together as best as I could, and then put the frosting on it. Still looked great, I just didn't know what to do about it falling apart! Any suggestions?

  16. 18
    May 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Hi Brooke,
    I would try baking it a bit longer next time time, and be sure to leave it in the pan for 5-10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. That helps the cake stay together a bit more. Better luck next time!
    PS…I teach the Activity Day Girls in my ward, too. Good times. 🙂

    • 19
      February 19, 2014 at 6:40 am

      Articles like this really grease the shafts of kngelwdoe.

  17. 20
    June 1, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Lovely simple presentation & it sure does look moist!

  18. 21
    April 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

    my grand daughter requested this cake for her 20th birthday my daughters all love this cake

  19. 22
    Martha Honea
    April 8, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Jamie, many years ago when this recipe came out it called for the Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix which you can still find (may limit release to spring time).
    We always made in a 9 x 13 at least a day ahead of serving. After a day or two icing is not as attractive but the cake and icing are still great tasting.
    Because of the Cool Whip we always kept in fridge.
    If I were making this as a two layer cake I would freeze layers and then frost and refrigerate till use.
    Great spring time dessert and super easy for Easter.

    • 23
      April 12, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Thanks for sharing your tips with us!
      Best to you,

  20. 24
    January 3, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Can you use cook and serve pudding?

    • 25
      January 8, 2018 at 11:45 am

      This recipe turns out best when using cook and serve pudding.
      Best of luck to you!

  21. 26
    Pam Watson
    February 20, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Best cake ever!!

  22. 27
    Diana Engel
    April 17, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Lost the recipe which called for 2 cans of oranges with one drained. Lady also added 6 tbsp of flour, I think. Baked in 9×13.I think 4 eggs, but my memory is fuzzy Help!

  23. 28
    May 12, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    You say its best with the cook and serve pudding in the icing. Use it just like instant is listed in ingredients ?

  24. 29
    February 2, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    My husband made the cake and it didn’t rise. I also made the cake and it didn’t rise either. We followed the directions. We used a 9 x 13 and I did some cupcakes. Any advice? BTW even though it didn’t rise, it still tasted great.

    • 30
      February 2, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      The newer cake mixes only contain 15+ ounces of mix. When this recipe originated years ago the cake mixes contained 18+ ounces. Therefore the recipe calls for too much liquid. You can find online tips as to how much extra dry ingredients (flour, leavening ingredients) to make up for the shortage. Or the easier way is to buy second box of cake mix and measure out 3 ounces to add to the recipe.

  25. 31
    Valerie L.
    March 29, 2019 at 3:49 am

    The ingredients that you have listed for the frosting say “instant pudding”, but you said in your comments here that it turns out best with “cook and serve” pudding. So which is it, Jamie? Instant or cook & serve? Please advise. By the way, just looking at the picture of this cake makes me want to devour the whole thing — LOL!

    • 32
      April 20, 2019 at 4:42 pm

      Hi, the jello cook and serve works fine too. I just made it that way and you can’t tell the difference. Hope that helps!

  26. 33
    April 27, 2019 at 9:31 am

    This cake was just awesome. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

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