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Mandarin Orange Cake is a classic, delicious cake and makes a wonderful dessert for any holiday meal.

Mandarin Orange Cake

This cake is also called “Pig Pickin’ Cake or Pig Lickin’ Cake” in the South. An easy  summertime dessert to serve family and guests.  My family loves this cake and it is one you will make over and over again.  This is a great cake to make for Mom for Mother’s Day, too.

Ingredients for Cake

1 (16.5 ounce) Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden Cake Mix

3/4 cup cooking oil (I use Canola oil)

4 eggs

1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, undrained (Save several of the orange sections to decorate the top of your cake)


1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding

2 (8 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, undrained

1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

In a large mixing bowl mix all the cake ingredients until well blended.  Spray 3 (9 inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Fill each cake pan with about 2 cups of cake mix.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes checking for doneness as ovens vary.  Your layers will be thin. Remove from oven and let cool.

Combine all the frosting ingredients and mix together with a spoon.  I don’t use a mixer for the frosting.  Frost cake adding frosting between the layers.

Note:  The original recipe for this cake called for an 11 ounce can of mandarin oranges for the cake. I used a 15 ounce can so I would have extra oranges to decorate the cake with and it worked great. I used all the juice from the 15 ounce can, too. It did not seem to make a difference. You could also bake this cake in 2 layers. You will just have thicker layers. My layers were only about an inch thick. You will not have big layers.

Mandarin Orange Cake

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You might also like the following recipes:

Blueberry Cream Cheese Butter Cake

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Nutty Pineapple Pistachio Cake 


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  1. Betty Smith says:

    I have enjoyed, this snowy evening, looking at your website and several new cake recipes. They all sound delicious and I’m anxious to try them. Thank you so much. This site is the easiest to use that I have found.

  2. Eydie Lasham says:

    This is the best cake I ever made. It was so light and fluffy. It was not too sweet. My family loved this cake!

  3. I’ve made this cake for years. The only difference is I drained the juice from the oranges, tossed them in some flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake and left them whole and layer them on top of the batter before cooking. For the frosting I use one can of the crushed pineapple and put all the ingredients in my stand mixer and whip it all together until the pudding is incorporated and not grainy and the frosting is light and fluffy

  4. CAROLYN BUSCH says:

    Does this cake slide on you with the layers? I’ve always made it into a sheet cake. Frosting seems to be too runny to set up.

  5. From South Carolina….Hey Samantha !
    I think it is probably a typo from somewhere along the way. But should be… “Pig PICKIN”..
    .when you BBQ a whole hog (usually in a large smoker of some sort) and then when done, remove portions of the meat (Pickin”) to eat. Never heard of Pig Lickin before lol. And yes, it was a favorite at those occasions! 🙂 I could also see it being a treat when you were shelling peas!

  6. Samantha McDaniel says:

    I don’t know who started the “Pig Lickin’ Cake”, but it is most certainly a PEA PICKIN’ CAKE! We pick peas,but we don’t lick pigs! Family favorite cake – one of the few desserts that is better the next day!

  7. Can white cake be used instead? If that’s what you have on hand in a pinch?

  8. I saw this recipe in a local magazine here in Louisville. Just made the cake but haven’t tried it yet. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome!!! I assume it needs to be refigerated??
    All your recipes look amazing! I’m so glad I found your website!

  9. I have baked this recipe for ever it seems, I use Dream Whip in place of cool whip, french vanilla instant pudding, On occasion I double the the whip topping, and add 8 oz. pineapple w/ juice, small jar of Maraschino cherries ( halved)**well drained**, 4-6 oz.’s coconut, and a small 6oz. can of Mandarin Oranges well drained. It’s like ambrosia salad w/ yummy cake. Also you can change the fruits by what is in season, I’ve used Blueberries, Strawberries…It all taste yummy 😀

  10. I add an extra one third of a cup of cake mix flour because they have reduced the size of the boxed cake mxes.

  11. Am I understanding this recipe correctly, The whole can of Manderin oranges juice and all gointo cake batter along w/oeggs, oil. and what is called for on the box. This cake sounds so good as I read it my mouth is watering. A must try.

  12. if using a 9×13 pan is the receipe still the same

  13. A real tasty suggestion… I often make what I have come to call “orange fluff” which is a package of orange jell-o prepared with 1 cup of water instead of 2, let it set just until it gets soft jiggles, then beat it until fluffy, then fold in cool whip and mandarin oranges. You could use this as the frosting to add more orange flavor! It will firm up once chilled.

  14. This has been a long time favorite of mine, but we call it a Pea-Pickin’ Cake. I always prepared it in a 9×13 pan. It’s perfect for family gatherings or potlucks! <3

  15. for mandarin orange cake, do I prepare pudding to its package then mix or use the pudding dry with coolwhip and pineapple

  16. I’ve made this cake for many years, though the name of the recipe was “Pig Lickin’ Cake”…I always thought that was a strange name – but this cake is sooo good!

  17. Elizabeth just read your comment on the Mandarin cake. You said can make in 9×13 pan how long do you bake it!!I am making it for a funeral etc. thought your way would be easier to transport. Thanks

  18. Mary calhoun says:

    Temperature in a 9×13 pan?

  19. Your recipes look sooo delicious, I am anxious to try some of them ! !

  20. I had this cake years ago, and it was a my favorite, but I wasn’t sure how to make it. I’m so very excited to try this recipe!!! Thanks so much for sharing

  21. Sharen Young says:

    Have made this cake for years. One of our local cake shops charge a fortune for these so when I found the recipe I have shared with so many friends. We always have this in the warm weather we our group gets together. Husbands favorite.

  22. Bea Yurkerwich says:

    Your recipes are awesome! A favorite site I go to most often…Many Thanks. Bea

  23. Do you crush the mandarin orange sections for the cake batter? Or are they just whole?

    • The Southern Lady says:

      I don’t crush mine, Heidi, but you could cut them into pieces if you like. I don’t think I would crush them though.

      • I crush them in the batter with the mixer. They are easier to eat that way I also use the orange supreme cake mix!.

  24. Malinda Bischoff says:

    The reason the layers are not very thick, I believe, is because the size of the box of cake mix has shrunk over the years. We have been making this cake for over 50 years and the layers were thicker. We also call this cake “Mama’s Cake” and it was served at my baby shower for my daughter. It is her favorite to this day! Love it!

  25. Hoping to experiment with the recipe, as British shops don’t sell the same cake mixes. With a bit of trial and error I might come up a tasty cake?

  26. Can u use mandarins oranges for frosting also instead of pineapples. ….tucker

  27. This is a family favorite passed onto to many generations. My grandmother called the recipe pig linkin cake! Not sure where she got the name from. This is a very yummy cake!

  28. Do you prepare the vanilla pudding or just add to the cool whip?? Want to make this for my birthday!!!

  29. I made this cake today with the Orange Supreme cake mix–it is soooo good!! Use to make an orange cake with the candy orange slices–but this is easier for there is not cutting up or stickiness from handling the candy!!

  30. This thing is simple yet sinfully good! Licking my fork as I type! So moist!

  31. Hello again, this was a great cake and my family have found a new cake they want me to bake. It was easy and delicious. I made a fabulous meal with Mango Pork Chops and then for dessert the Mandarin Orange Cake. It was GREAT!!!! Now on to another recipe….

  32. This cake sounds like spring and summer rolled into a cake! I’ve never heard of it, but will be trying it soon! Thank you for sharing and it’s pinned 🙂

  33. I am a diabetic and my husband is pre-diabetic. I bought some Slenda half and half. Is that okay to use in this cake?

  34. I always use a 9 x 13 pan for this wonderful cake! We used to have pig pickings in our younger years and it was always a hit. I made it as a layer cake – once – and it seemed that we literally had to lick it off the plate, it was so moist. Always a favorite for any occasion when a cake is needed. Health nuts never turn up their nose simply because of all the fruit in the recipe so it is a win-win for everyone. I will say that I sent it to my husband’s office and they would not touch it until he explained that ‘pig picking’ was only the name of the cake. They aren’t from the south and believed I had added bacon to the cake…unreal! But once they tried it, the cake lasted less than an hour.

  35. I have been making this cake for over thirty years in a sheet cake pan, but I like the looks of this layer cake.
    This has always been my favorite cake.

  36. Going to try the cake for Easter. I tried your baked chicken recipe tonight. You have opened a whole new world of cooking for me. Thanks.

  37. The Southern Lady says:

    Yes, you could do that.

  38. Judi Richards says:

    This looks perfect for my Easter gathering. I can always count on you for the right treat to wow!

  39. I pinned this to make for Easter. Thanks for the recipe.

  40. This is one of my favorites….and I can pig out on it too….no pun intended! Sheila

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