This recipe was published in 2008 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as Mama Rene’s Pea Pickin’ Cake, which apparently is another name for it. The recipe tester suggests using Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix. For a crowd, you also could bake this in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan for about 30 minutes, instead of as a layer cake. This recipe garnered attention on a map by the New York Times, which showed it was the most googled recipe leading up to Thanksgiving. We wrote about this beloved cake in 2012 as a popular picnic dessert and in response to New York Times’ map.
1 (18 1/4-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, in light syrup
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, in juice
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
COMBINE cake mix, eggs, oranges with syrup and oil in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy and the oranges have pureed until smooth into the batter, about 4 minutes.
DIVIDE batter among the prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the cakes to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack to cool completely.
PREPARE the frosting: In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the Cool Whip, pudding mix and crushed pineapple until smooth. To assemble, place one layer on a cardboard cake round. Spread with frosting. Repeat with remaining layer. Finish with remaining frosting.
Yield: 12 servings
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