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Pig Pickin’ Cake

Moist yellow cake mixed with mandarin oranges and poked full of pineapple juice. Covered in a fluffy Cool Whip frosting with crushed pineapple and coconut, topped with pecans. This fruity treat is the perfect cake for a warm day!

Pig Pickin' Cake ;

I feel certain that this cake has a story. I mean… who decided it should be called a PIG PICKIN’ cake?! I decided not to Google this question though, because I’m not sure I can handle the sure-to-be-random results.

So anyway. This should be called a Freaking Delicious Cake. Or Someone Take It Away From Me Before I Hurt Myself Cake. I seriously cannot be trusted with it in the fridge. It’s cool and fruity and fluffy and basically dangerous.

Once upon a time I helped to run a little breakfast and lunch cafe with a friend. We had a cold case by the front counter that we filled full of cupcakes and trifles, but most importantly: This Cake. Her mother-in-law would make them and bring them to us, carrying in her tupperware tote like the cake shrine it was.

I’m not being dramatic. I promise. It’s that good. Evidenced by the fact that we could not keep it in stock.

Pig Pickin Cake full of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and fluffy Cool Whip Frosting

My mom had a recipe for it, passed on from friend to friend, scribbled on the back of an envelope or something, as all the best recipes are. It’s the kind of gem recipe you find in the pages of a church cookbook surrounded by jello molds and calls for oleo, a cake that I will shamelessly share contains canned fruit and Cool Whip.

I request this for my June birthday a lot – it’s perfect for a hot day – but today I made it for my friend Cathy at Lemon Tree Dwelling because…

Surprise Baby Shower for Lemon Tree Dwelling

Do you know how much I love writing posts like this?! Well I do. I love them.

The blogging community is nothing if not supportive, and I am always so thrilled to be a part of these efforts. I got an email several weeks ago from Jen at Yummy Healthy Easy (you might know her from regular contributions to my weekly meal plans), who took the time to organize this virtual baby shower for Cathy. I DO NOT know where these ladies find the time to cook, much less organize a shower. Jen has 4 boys (I only have two and some days I want to hide in the closet with wine), but Cathy — the reason I made you this cake today — has 3 little girls, with one more on the way!

I cannot say enough nice things about Cathy – I can always count on her for sweet comments and totally incredible food. Lemon Raspberry Meltaways, Banana Split kabobs, Lemon Ginger Strawberry Shortcake Cups… I can keep going, but you get the idea.

And it wouldn’t be a party without lots of food and friends.

Surprise Baby Shower Recipes

Lemon Raspberry Cookie Sandwiches by Life Love and Sugar Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake by Your Homebased Mom Lemon Yogurt Cake by Yummy Healthy Easy Orange-Raspberry Mini Toaster Strudels by Chelsea’s Messy Apron Orange Dream Monkey Bread by Wine and Glue Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs by Or So She Says Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake by Beyond Frosting Strawberries and Cream Cheese Ball Bites by Five Heart Home Pig Pickin’ Cake by Sugar Dish Me Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie by Lemons for Lulu Creamy Shrimp Dip by Mostly Homemade Mom Salted Butterscotch Coffee Cake by Julie’s Eats and Treats Strawberry Cake by The NY Melrose Family Frozen Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream Pie by Pink When Carrot Cream Cheese Swirl Loaf by Spoonful of Flavor Fiesta Rice Skillet by The Grant Life Raspberry Ripple Lemon Bundt Cake by Love Bakes Good Cakes Ooey Gooey Orange Creamsicle Bars by The Gunny Sack Mixed Berries with Honey Maple Mascarpone by Joyful Healthy Eats Rosewater Almond Macaroons by Little Miss Celebration Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes by Crazy for Crust Momosas Mocktail Recipe by The Weary Chef

Congratulations Cathy!!! We are so happy for you!!!

Pig Pickin Cake
Pig Pickin' Cake
Yield: makes 1 double layer cake

Pig Pickin' Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Pig Pickin' Cake is a fruity delicious treat. It starts with a yellow cake mix and is loaded with mandarin oranges, poked with pineapple juice, and frosted with pineapple Cool Whip frosting!


  • 1 box yellow cake mix with “pudding in the mix”
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of mandarin oranges
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • pecan halves to garnish


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl beat together the cake mix, oil, eggs, and mandarin oranges (set aside 5 or 6 slices to garnish the top of the cake) for about 2 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans. Bake for about 35 minutes (check at 33), or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  4. Step 4

    Let the cakes cool completely. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or stand. Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer. Pour half of the reserved pineapple juice over the cake and let it soak in.

  5. Step 5

    In a large bowl mix together the Cool Whip, crushed pineapple, and instant vanilla pudding. You can either add the coconut to this frosting mixture OR pat it around the outside of the cake (I patted it onto the outside in the photos shown).

  6. Step 6

    Spread the bottom half of the cake with the Cool Whip frosting. Place the second cake round on top. Poke holes in the top layer. Pour the remaining pineapple juice over the top cake.

  7. Step 7

    Finish frosting both layers with the Cool Whip frosting and decorate with the oranges and pecans.

  8. Step 8

    You can serve this cake immediately, but it is best served cold. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 3g


Wednesday 24th of November 2021

My mom made this when i was little and she called it piƱora fluff cake ?


Saturday 23rd of November 2019

You can't go to a BBQ, picnic or church event in North Carolina without a pig picking cake (or two) making an appearance. But any time I mention the cake anywhere else, I get a weird look because people think there is pork in it!

You can use whipped cream if you don't like cool whip and it's better not to drain the mandarin replaces the water for the cake. There's no coconut or nuts traditionally on a pig picking cake, though some people do add it...I've even seen maraschino cherries on top. I think the pecans look pretty as you have them though.

Emma March

Sunday 13th of January 2019

This cake looks and sounds delicious. I don t eat cool whip. What icing can I substitute

Heather Tullos

Wednesday 16th of January 2019

I don't think real whipped cream would hold up the same way without something extra to stabilize. I am not sure!

Nancy Hemphill

Thursday 2nd of August 2018

I live in North Carolina and I've made this cake many times. My son has I pig picking every October. He buys a pig already killed and dressed out.( that means all the insides are cleaned out) The pig is split down the middle and he has a fire of hickory wood in a cooker. When the fire burns down to hot coals the pig is placed on the rack and cooked until done.It is served with slaw, and barbecue sauce and of course pig picking cake for dessert.

Heather Tullos

Saturday 4th of August 2018

This sounds so awesome! I bet that's an amazing event! I'll be honest - I am extra squeamish about the whole hog thing (I am also weird about roasting a whole chicken when the joints all still work lol) - but I do love some BBQ, and I super love this cake! Thanks for reading, Nancy!


Tuesday 28th of April 2015

Just for clarification, you drain the can of mandarin oranges, right? Looks delicious...will have to try soon.

Heather Tullos

Wednesday 29th of April 2015

Yes! Mandarin Oranges in the can. This is one of my FAVORITE cakes of all time! Hope you love it as much as I do, Pam!

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