I know, I know, you’re thinking what the heck is a Pig Picking Cake? Well, first I want you to set aside any hang-ups you may have about a cake that is not entirely made from scratch. Next, I want you to imagine for a minute that you are about to taste the best cake ever invented. Pig Picking Cake, as far as I can surmise, came from the Southern States and it’s a flavourful explosion of butter pecan, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. That’s right, Cool Whip.
It’s because of the Cool Whip in it that I also call this my Mad Men cake. Cool Whip became a household name in 1967 and so this cake, obviously, was the brainchild of some repressed 60s housewife. More Betty Crocker than Betty Draper though if you know what I mean.
I have seen this cake devoured by friends and family for over 20 years now. Just trust me on this one.
Pig Picking Cake
1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 10oz. tin mandarin oranges
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 packages Jell-o Vanilla Instant Pudding (4 serving size)
1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip
Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, and the juice from tin of mandarin oranges in large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds and then beat on medium speed 2 more minutes, scraping sides of pan occasionally. Stir in oranges and nuts. Divide evenly between two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.
While cake is baking, stir together crushed pineapple in juice and 1 1/2 packages vanilla instant pudding. Fold in Cool Whip and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When cake and frosting are cool, assemble cake. Decorate top with mandarin orange sections and mint leaves.