Mandarin Orange Cake

I will be the first to tell you that cake made from scratch is the best, but there are times that using a cake mix is a good thing.  This orange cake is perfect for the summer. It is cool, light, easy to make, beautiful to look at and very good!  What more could you ask for?  Make this and everyone will be asking for the recipe. 

At school when making this cake I use 3 8- inch round cake pans making the cake higher.  At home I use  3 9-inch cake pans which works just as well.  It is  important that you line the cake pans with parchment paper or wax paper because the batter will stick to the pan due to the fruit in the batter. I tell you this because I have peeled many half  layers from a pan.  Not a pretty sight.  If you are looking for an easier way to serve this to a crowd it can be made in a 9 x 13 inch pan, but you will have quite a bit of frosting left.  Just eat it with a spoon.  This was the last demo of the year for my classes and they were begging for the spoon and the bowl.  Which I did and then the fighting began.

For steps to making a 3 layer cake and removing it from the pans.  Check this out for  step by step photos.  And one of my favorite blogs to read is Barbara’s Moveable Feast.  She posted a chiffon cake very similar to this one around Easter.  Check it out here.

I am enjoying my summer so far.  Hope that you are.  Enjoy this cake just made for summer.

Mandarin Orange Cake

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Butter Cake mix
  • 1/2 cup Wesson oil
  • 1 11- ounce can mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs


  • 1 12 ounce tub of Cool Whip
  • small instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 16 oz. can  crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake mix, oil, oranges with juice, sugar and eggs.  Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees in 3 greased, floured and lined with wax paper pans for about 20 minutes or until center of the cake bounces back when touched.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on cooling racks.


When I first made this cake I used only pineapple packed in syrup.  Now I use pineapple packed in its own juice.  What you use will make a big difference.  If you using pineapple packed in syrup don’t drain it.  If using pineapple packed in its own juice drain about 3/4 cup of the juice unless of course you would like the icing to slide right off the cake.  Save the juice.  If the icing seems to be too thick you can use it to thin it out a bit.

Mix pineapple with the instant vanilla pudding.  Stir in Cool Whip.  Frost the cake according to these directions. Store the cake in the refrigerator.  I think it is better the next day.

All ready to cut.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks



Filed under Cake, Desserts

81 responses to “Mandarin Orange Cake

  1. Linda Stagner

    This recipe sounds very familiar. Has it been around for awhile? It looks like one I made several years ago and it was delicious. Well worth a try!

    • Donia

      Yes! I’ve been making this cake for 30+ years. I’ve won a few baking contests with this recipe! Long time family favorite!

  2. Hi there, it’s Louise from “Satisfied” – thanks for stopping by. I love the flavors of orange in anything…the frosting is my favorite part, I wanted to lick it off the screen…

  3. I’m all for short cuts, Wanda. Especially with a summery cake like this.
    My mother had a friend who made an orange sunshine cake (you used to be able to buy them ready made at the A & P!), and layered it with whipped cream mixed with fruit. I posted it a while back. Always has been my favorite summer dessert.
    Now, instead of making the orange cake from scratch, I’m going to use your recipe!

  4. what a gorgeous cake, wanda! really, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen when it’s so freakin’ hot and there are so many other tasks to be done OUTSIDE? lovely work. 🙂

  5. RadianceM

    this turned out to be good! I really enjoyed your class!!!!! I can’t wait to stop by your classroom nxt year!!! [:

  6. Adam

    I learned that you shouldn’t thaw Cool Whip in the microwave.

  7. Denisse 2nd

    this cake was tasted amaizing!. i wouldnt have imagined putting pineapple in the frosting for the mardaring cake that really gave it a good tropical twist!. 🙂

  8. Daniel Vinson

    i didnt know oil went into cake

  9. Le'Keitha

    I learned that mixing the cake mix too much will produce too much air.

  10. Kelsey Reid

    i didnt know it was that simple to make a 3 layer cake

  11. Leka Labat

    I learned when adding the mandaran oranges into the cake mix it did not really change the flavor.

  12. anissa g beason


  13. miya dixon 1st

    this was really good and the icing was good to

  14. Myah Edwards

    I really enjoyed this cake! For the icing could you use mandarin oranges instead of pineapples?

  15. Savoi G

    Would whipped cream have the same flavor and texture in the cake as the cool whip?

  16. Shiya

    I didn’t know that you use pineapples in a mandarin orange cake.

  17. alaina blackstock 2nd

    i learned that the cake is done when you can touch the middle and it bounces back, with no print!

  18. austin whiteley 2nd

    i learned that is usually taste better the next day!

  19. The Don Burney

    could you substitute orange slices for mandarin?

  20. Chase DuCharme

    I learned that you can use real fruit in icing and it will actually make it taste better.

  21. Thomas Harris

    I learned that you can use real fruit in the icing

  22. OG_Sethyy

    i think maybe we could make these into a cookie! do you think that would be possible?

  23. Abigail Kremer

    I have never heard of Wesson oil.

  24. liz

    it had a nice tropical taste and i learned pineapples and tangerines are a good mix

  25. Jenna Hanson

    I learned that you use pineapple packed in its own juice.

  26. jamal turner

    i learned that you can make icing out of cool whip

  27. Kaytlyn 2nd

    This tasted really good. It tasted like something my grandmother use to make!! I like how you combined pineapple and oranges.

  28. Healani

    OMG! Let me tell you guys that when I usually bring a cake to a party NO ONE EATS IT LOL! But I am here to tell ya that this disappeared! When I make this there is never any left! Moist and delicious my friends beg me to make this all the time! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  29. Kaitlyn C

    i learned that , you can make the icing out of cool whip 😀

  30. Kaylon Hendrix

    If you don’t use parchment paper the batter will stick to the pan because of all the fruit. This dessert is perfect for spring and summer. Its very light and cooling! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Summer

    i learned that you should line the cake pans with parchment paper because the batter will stick to it.

  32. Alex

    I learned that for the icing, you have to use pinapple packed in it’s own juice, NOT packed in syrup. It makes a big difference.

  33. gabby c. 1st per.;2nd sem.

    This reminds me of a cake that my granny makes and I see that making a 3-layer cake doesn’t seem as hard as it did before reading this blog.

  34. miracle

    I love cake and i never had Mandarin orange cake but this looks delicous and makes me wann go and try it, I learned that what ever icing you make will make a big differnce

  35. amber w

    I did not know that the fruit will make the batter stick to the pan. This cake looks amazing!

  36. Alison C*

    I learned that if you use pineapple packed in syurp then you dont need to drain any of the juice.

  37. Gifty

    I was very pleased when i saw the ingredient list and saw Duncan Hines, one of my favorite cake mixes! I felt that the pineapple and cool whip gave the cake a bit of a twist and uniqueness, pluss im picky about frosting so the cool whip would suffice!

  38. candi

    this cake looks very tasty!! i love cake and i didnt know you could mix oranges in with the icing..

  39. jessica v

    3 8- inch round cake pans make the cake higher

  40. Chelsea M

    This is a beautiful cake and looks so tasty! By reading this I learned making this cake isnt’t that hard to make, and that you can decorate it however you want and make it look gorgeous just like yours ! 🙂

  41. charity

    i learned you should cook each layer serparatley

  42. Marissa 1st period

    I learned that it is important that you line the cake pans with parchment paper or wax paper because the batter can possibly stick to the pan because of the fruit in the batter.

  43. jessica n

    the icing sounds amazing i love pinapples, and i love cakes. this would be a good thing to make at my house

  44. alyssa baldwin

    I figured it wouldnt matter if I put cool whip in the microwave to thaw out instead patientaly waiting for it, but I guess now I know I should just wait for it to thaw out.

  45. Patrick Hogan

    i learned that you shouldnt thaw cool whip in the microwave

  46. Lindsey Harley, 2nd block

    I learned that even though its a mandarin orange cake you can add icing with a pinapple flavor. Also that the cake will not turn out right and fluffy if you mix it to much

  47. carmen g

    i learned that you could use cool whip and pineapples in your icing!

  48. Chelsea Gray

    This cake is best served chilled.

  49. ashton kell

    i learned this was really really sweet!

  50. lauren bowman

    i learned you need to line the cake pans with parchment paper.

  51. Jordan Griffin 2nd block

    I learned that you put vanilla pudding mix in the icing.

  52. melissa cuevas

    i learned that you shouldn’t thaw cool whip, but the cake looks absolutely amazing!

  53. Sarah Michalke 2nd

    I learned that you can use oranges and pineapple. I love both of them. It sounds like a great treat.

  54. Brittany Smith

    I learned that adding the pineapple juice to the icing of the cake gives it a fruity twist of flavor!!!!!

  55. galia sayyar

    I learned that you shouldn’t thaw out cool whip in the microwave!!

  56. julie o

    this recipe sounds amazing and i am going to cook it at home

  57. Brooke H

    I learned that the cake usually tastes a little better the next day.

  58. I made my first Mandarin Orange cake today and it was fabulous! Who knew such an impressive and delicious cake could be so simple to put together. It was able to snap a quick pic of it before it was devoured! Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  59. Janice

    I remember this cake from years ago. Musician Barbara Mandrell shared it in a Woman’s Day or Family Circle Magazine article. She called it a “Pig Pickin’ Cake” and my family loved it!

  60. Amy Vazquez

    I did this cake adding a second can of the oranges in the topping. I also used heavy whipping cream whipped instead of cool whip:-)!! Oh my was it ever good…….Today I am doing a similar version with peaches instead of the oranges and instead of the vanilla pudding using peach jello in my whipped cream……can’t wait to taste it:-)

    • theteachercooks

      What a great idea using peaches! I really need to try that with some fresh Georgia peaches in the summer. Love the whipped cream idea. I’m really not a fan of cool whip.

  61. Sharon

    Do you think this could be done is 1 9 x 13 pan?

    • theteachercooks

      Yes most definitely!

      • sharon

        would I have to change anything with the recipe and with the baking time?

      • theteachercooks

        Change nothing except cooking time. It will take a little longer to bake. Around 10 min depending on the color of your pan. Check doneness with a cake tester or when pressed in center with your finger and the cake bounces back. I would pay close attention as the baking time ends as oven temperatures vary wildly.

      • sharon

        Thank you!

  62. Iris Moebius

    I loved the cake. I substituted fresh fruit for the canned, used Whipping Cream, instead of Cool Whip (allergic), and made pudding from scratch, using an old Creme Brûlée recipe. To die for.

  63. Faith

    Could I substitute vanilla pudding with cream cheese

  64. Denise

    My Momma used to make this a lot for church functions. We always loved it. She made me one for my 30th birthday, more than a couple of decades ago. I’ve got cousins in town and the layers are in the oven now. I know they will fall in love with it!

  65. Kat

    I have this old recipe. We called it pig eating good Bc it was hard to stack and slice. We always make in a large clear bowl. It’s easy to carry to church functions etc. And to serve. Bake as instructed in 3 layers. Tear 1/2 of one layer in bottom of bowl or punch bowl. Layer of the icing. One whole cake for second layer. Icing. Then top layer is last layer and 1/2. Icing. Refrigerates well if you make ahead

    • theteachercooks

      Sound similar to a punch bowl cake that I made years ago for my students. It is easy to make and easy to serve plus it taste great. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Wendy

    I make a cake just like this only it doesn’t call for sugar. It’s called a Pig Picking Cake.

  67. Glenda Buck

    Do you add the dry pudding mix, or do you mix it with milk first?

  68. Do you line the sides of the pans or just the bottom with parchment paper?

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