Pig Pickin Cake

Pig Pickin’ Cake is loaded with mandarin oranges and topped with a fluffy pineapple coconut frosting. This cake is also known as a mandarin orange cake. This moist and delicious one-layer sheet cake is the perfect cake for potlucks, picnics, barbecues, and holiday celebrations.

pig pickin cake on a plate and in a baking dish

Pig Out Cake

Jan Meeks generously donated this recipe. She says that you will eat so much of this cake, that you’ll make a pig out of yourself. This fruity cake is perfect for summer! It is cool and refreshing, you are going to love the fluffy pineapple frosting.

Whenever I have taken this cake to a potluck, the pan always comes back clean. This wonderful cake is now one of my favorite cakes, and it may turn out to be one of yours.

Southern Pig Pickin’ Cake is really so good you are going to want to pig out when eating it, what could be better than sharing good times with friends when you can enjoy a pig picking cake?

Pig Pickin Cake History

When I first heard about this kind of cake, I did some “googling” and discovered an interesting story about the origin of pig pickin’ cake.

In the southern states, such as Georgia and North Carolina, barbecue pork roasts are called pig pickings. These cakes are served at pig roasts. What happens is an entire a whole pig is roasted over a barbecue and then everyone picks off the meat. While this cake is served at pig roasts, it is great for any southern barbecue, or any time you want a traditional southern dessert.

These barbecues are special events, and everyone brings their favorite potluck dishes and desserts. This particular cake became a favorite dessert at these events and became known as Pig Pickin’ Cake.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Boxed cake mix – yellow cake, my favorite is the Duncan Hines Butter recipe
  • Large eggs
  • Butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Canned mandarin oranges, drain and save the juice for something else
  • All-purpose flour
  • Canned crushed pineapple, drain the juice and save for something else
  • Instant pudding mix – vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cool Whip
  • Flaked coconutt
pig pickin cake ingredients on a tray

How to Make Pig Pickin Cake

  1. Combine cake mix, eggs, butter, oil, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Then add in the mandarin orange segments into the cake batter and blend with an electric mixer on low speed.
pig pickin cake batter in a mixing bowl
  1. Pour batter into a 9 X 13-inch prepared cake pan,
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes to 25 minutes. The cake may not appear done but should be brown on top.
freshly baked pig pickin cake without frosting
  1. Cool the cake completely.
  1. Mix the pineapple (do not drain), pudding mix, and powdered sugar together really well. Let the mixture sit until it starts to thicken.
  1. Add whipped topping and coconut to the mixture and stir to combine.
  1. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
a slice of pig picking cake on a plate

More Names for this Cake

In Tennessee during the time of hog-killing and sausage and ham making, the cake got the name of Pea Pick’n Cake. Farmers would all pitch in and help each other out with the chore of picking peas at each other’s farms, and the ladies would provide a covered dish meal including dessert.

The cake recipe made its way into newspapers and women’s magazines, so when the 1980′s rolled around, this was already a very popular cake. It has been given many different names, including:

  • Pig Lick’n Cake
  • Celestial Snow Cake
  • Florida Sunshine Cake
  • Orange Pineapple Cake
  • Mandarin Magic Cake

It seems that Pig Pickin Cake is this same cake and that its roots are in the south.

Baking With Cake Mixes

Cake mixes are so convenient, and if you add top-quality ingredients to them, your cakes will taste 100% homemade. A cake mix is best regarded as a base for making all different kinds of cake.

There’s no need to make a Pig Pickin Cake from scratch. Using a cake mix helps to ensure the cake will have the right texture and moistness.

overhead view of pig pickin cake on a plate and in a baking dish

Like the convenience of cake mixes?

Here are a few more recipes for cakes using cake mix:

Favorite Fruity Desserts

Check out more of my easy cake recipes and the best family dessert recipes here on CopyKat!

pig pickin cake on a plate and in a baking dish

Pig Pickin Cake

This pig pickin cake is so good you are going to want to pig out on this cake.
4.65 from 14 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pig Out Cake, Pig Pickin Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 438kcal



  • 1 15.25-ounce box yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained


  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple do not drain
  • 1 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the yellow cake mix, eggs, butter, flour, vegetable oil, and drained mandarin oranges.
  • Pour the cake batter into a 9×13-inch baking pan, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. The cake may not appear done but should be brown on top. Let cool, and cover with frosting.
  • To make the frosting: Thoroughly combine the pineapple, instant pudding, and powdered sugar, and set aside until it begins to thicken. Mix in the whipped topping and coconut. Frosting must be refrigerated.


Notes about this traditional dessert.
  • Be sure to refrigerate this cake, when you are not serving the cake. 
  • This simple cake can be made in a layered cake if desired. No matter if you serve this delicious cake as a two-layer cake or as a sheet cake, this pig cake is bound to be one of your favorite recipes. I personally prefer this as the pig picking sheet cake, because you can get more servings out of the cake than a two-layer cake. 


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 11.5mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


    • Terry M

      You can use whipped heavy cream that has been lightly sweetened with some powdered sugar that’s been blended into the dry pudding. Whip the cream until it begins to thicken, then sprinkle in the pudding/sugar as you finish whipping the cream to sturdy peaks. How much sugar you add is up to you and how sweet you’d like your cake topping/frosting to be, I use about 1/4-1/3 cup but you can add as much as a full cup for sweeter frosting. Fold in the WELL DRAINED pineapple. Failing to drain the juice will cause the frosting to separate. When adding sweetened coconut in addition to the pineapple, I skip the added sugar. Real whipped cream is so much more delicious than frozen “whipped topping”, and not really that much extra effort.

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