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Pig Pickin Cake Roll

This Pig Pickin’ Cake Roll is the perfect summer dessert! It starts with a cake mix, is loaded with mandarin oranges, pineapple fluff, coconut, and chopped pecans. The perfect addition to your next summer cookout. 

Pig Pickin Cake Roll is a twist on a mandarin orange cake with pineapple fluff frosting. It's filled, frosted, covered in coconut. and sprinkled with chopped pecans

My birthday is right around the corner and I know you are all chomping at the bit to celebrate with me, right? 

Pig Pickin Cake is my FAVORITE birthday cake. I request it almost every year because my mom still bakes us all birthday cakes and sings like as if we are 5. Because she is FABULOUS. 

I usually make and request the layer cake version, and I even have a cheesecake cake version, but I had a moment of inspiration and thought a Pig Pickin CAKE ROLL would be the epitome of amazing, and I was not wrong. 

Rolling a cake gives you the optimum ratio of cake : frosting.  Since the “frosting” in a pig pickin cake is really just pineapple fluff (a.k.a. delicious stuff mixed with Cool Whip), it makes this version of a pig pickin cake nothing short of perfect. 

What is a Pig Pickin’ Cake?

I should probably back up and explain a little bit here because 2/3 of you are probably thinking “W-T-F is a pig pickin’ cake?”. It’s a southern thing. More specifically southern where BBQ is pork. Pig-Pickin’ = BBQ.

The pig pickin’ cake is what you serve after you’ve eaten all the pulled porkbest easy 5 bean salad, and slaw. It’s fruity, cool, and sweet – but not too sweet! It’s a cake that tastes like summer. 

This cake roll recipe is filled with pineapple fluff and covered in coconut

How to Make a Cake Roll from a Box Mix

Let’s talk technique before I send you on your merry baking way here because the actual recipe for the cake part is not that different. 

First! The Prep. 

You will need a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet to make this. I’m always a fan of OXO Good Grips’ pans and I really like this jelly roll pan for this recipe. You need to spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper, spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray, and flour the pan. 

I know this seems excessive, but it’s the same preparation I call for with most of my brownie recipes, because nothing is worse than baking and then having the final product stuck in a pan. 

You will also need 6 paper cupcake liners for the extra batter (YAY! TASTE TEST.)

Next! The Cake. 

To make a cake roll up and not crack, it needs to be spongy. The traditional version of this recipe already calls for 4 eggs, but to make a cake roll out of this box mix you need 6. 

  • 1 box yellow cake mix with “pudding in the mix”
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges
  • water (if needed)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

This is basically a dump cake recipe where you can just throw everything in the bowl and mix with no fancy technique required. But first I need you to humor me with one thing:

Drain the juice from the mandarin oranges into a measuring cup. Depending on the brand, mandarin oranges are packed in more or less juice. For the cake you will need a 1/2 cup of liquid. So drain the juice into a liquid measuring cup and if you have less than 1/2 cup, add water to make up the difference. 

Bake and Roll

Okay so you’ve mixed up your cake and are ready to bake and get this roll party started. To the prepared pan you only need to add 3 1/2 cups of the batter. Divide the rest between the paper muffin cups. While your cake roll is baking, make sure you have a nice clear counter space for working, and lay a clean kitchen towel flat. Dust the towel with a little powdered sugar. 

When you take the cake roll from the oven, turn it IMMEDIATELY out onto the prepared towel. Peel off the parchment paper, and while the cake is still hot, starting at the short end, roll the cake up. I like to wrap the edge of the towel over the edge of the cake and then g-e-n-t-l-y roll it up. The towel is like the stand-in for the filling here, and even though I hold my breath EVERY TIME I do this, you will be surprised at how spongy the cake is. 

Overhead view of two slices of a cake roll filled with pineapple fluff

Cool and Chill. 

Your cake roll needs to cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Then you need to refrigerate it for an hour. Use this opportunity to make sure your Cool Whip is thawed, clean up your mess, and have a glass of Sweet Tea Sangria. You deserve it. 

Get your serving dish ready – you’ll assemble the cake roll right on it – and go ahead and make the filling.
Unroll the refrigerated, cooled cake roll, spread the pineapple fluff filling evenly across it, about 1″ thick. Then CAREFULLY re-roll, this time without the towel, and gently lift the whole thing onto your serving plate. 

WHEW! You did it! The rest is a piece of cake. {sorry, not sorry}

Yellow sponge cake rolled and filled with pineapple fluff, mandarin oranges, and topped with coconut and pecans.

Looking for a few more fun desserts to serve at a cookout? Look no further. 

Little Lemon Poundcakes Filled with Blueberries and StrawberriesHow to Make a Slab Pie

Little Red, White, and Blueberry Poundcakes are perfect for Memorial Day, the 4th, or really anytime you want little lemon cakes topped with whipped cream and berries. 

Cherry Cola Slab Pie is one of my personal favorites. You soak fresh cherries in your favorite cola and then bake them in an all-butter pie crust. DELICIOUS. 

This cake roll recipe is filled with pineapple fluff and covered in coconut
Yield: makes 1 large cake roll; serves 12 - 16

Pig Pickin' Cake Roll

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

This Pig Pickin' cake Roll is all the things you love about a pineapple orange cake (also known as a pig pickin' cake) in a cake roll! This recipe is easy, fruity, and will totally impress at all your summer cookouts, BBQ's and gatherings.


For the Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix with “pudding in the mix”
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup water (as needed)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

For the Pineapple Fluff Filling

  • 1 (4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (20 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 (9 ounce) carton of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans to garnish


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 15 X 10 X 1" jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the pan with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper with more non-stick cooking spray. Flour the pan. Line a standard muffing pan with 6 paper liners for the excess batter.

  2. Step 2

    Add the cake mix and eggs to a large bowl. Drain the juice from the mandarin oranges into a liquid measuring cup. If it measures less than 1/2 cup, add enough water to make up the difference. Dump this 1/2 cup of liquid, the vegetable oil, and the oranges into the bowl, taking care to save 6 slices or so to garnish the cake.

  3. Step 3

    Beat on low speed for about a minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then beat on medium for another minute or until combined.

  4. Step 4

    Pour 3 1/2 cups of the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and divide the rest between the 6 muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back when you touch it.

  5. Step 5

    While the cake bakes, lay out a clean kitchen towel and dust it with powdered sugar (if you don't have powdered sugar handy you can skip it; it just helps release the towel from the cake later on). Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and turn it IMMEDIATELY out onto the prepared kitchen towel. Wrap the edge of the towel over the short end of the cake and CAREFULLY start to roll the cake with the towel as tightly as you can manage. The towel is effectively serving as the "filling" while the cake cools and starts to hold its shape. Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes and then refrigerate for an hour.

  6. Step 6

    While the cake chills, make the filling. Mix together the vanilla pudding mix, drained crushed pineapple, and Cool Whip together until smooth. Take out the chilled cake and gently unroll it. Spread the filling evenly across the entire cake about an inch thick; you should have enough left to top it.

  7. Step 7

    Roll the cake back up without the towel and carefully lift it and place on your serving plate. Poke about 10 holes in the cake roll with a skewer and pour the reserved pineapple juice over it. You may not be able to add all of it; just add enough so that you aren't making a giant mess. The amount of juice you have really varies based on the brand of crushed pineapples you use, so this step is not exact.

  8. Step 8

    Cover the cake roll with the remaining pineapple fluff, pat the shredded coconut all over, and sprinkle with the crushed pecans. Garnish with the orange slices you reserved and serve immediately OR refrigerate.

  9. Step 9

    I recommend refrigerating before serving. This cake roll will keep, refrigerated and tightly wrapped for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Absolutely our cup of tea ! Thank you so much for this lovely summer treat !

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