Pig Pickin’ Cake

cake Pig Pickin' Cake holiday dessert popular North Carolina

The Pig Pickin’ Cake is light and airy with Cool Whip and crushed pineapple included in the frosting ingredients.

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
4 eggs
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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