Wednesday, February 6, 2013

pig lickin' cake

It's a strange name, isn't it?  But anyone who's even remotely connected to the south knows everything one needs to know about this cake... it's g-oo-oo-d!

I first found the recipe in a cookbook my mother-in-law gave me for a kitchen shower just weeks before my wedding, and I decided to make it for John's birthday the year we married.  He raved about it so much, I've made it for the occasion every year since.  

This dessert makes a stunning addition to an Easter spread, Mother's Day event, or simple celebration of Spring.  Lucky us, John's birthday is a December one, so it's a ray of sunshine even in the midst of overcast days.   

Trust me on this one, folks.  Let in some light and whip this up soon - it'll put a smile on everyone's face!

Pig Lickin' Cake - makes one 2-layer cake or one 9x13**
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick margarine, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz.) mandarin oranges, juice reserved (plus more oranges if using to garnish)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 package (5 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 carton (16 oz.) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip)
~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour pan/s. 
~ Combine cake mix, margarine, 1/2 cup reserved mandarin orange juice, eggs and vanilla, 
    and beat well, about 3-4 minutes.
~ Add mandarin oranges and mix on low until broken up in pieces.
~ Pour batter evenly between pans (or into one if using 9x13) and bake until cake tester 
   comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
~ Set aside to cool.
~ For the frosting, combine pudding, pineapple and powdered sugar, adding about a 1/8 
    cup of pineapple juice to dissolve the sugar and pudding mix. 
~ Fold in the whipped topping until thoroughly mixed.  Add more pineapple juice if 
~ Frost top of first layer and place second layer on top.  
~ Frost top of second layer and sides.  Garnish with mandarin oranges.**
~ Refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is best).**

**Tips and Tricks
I have deep 9-inch round cake pans, so I chose to use two of those and cooked the cakes longer than directed to accommodate.  One could certainly do three smaller pans.  It makes a beautiful presentation.  Level them for better, more even, stacking.

Many recipes call for dumping the entire 20 oz. can of pineapple with its juices when making the frosting.  I prefer to reserve the juice and add it in smaller amounts, as needed, so that the frosting doesn't become too runny.  It's not as necessary with the 9x13 option, but you definitely want a good consistency if choosing to do a stacked cake.  

Making this in the dead of winter, I don't have my abundance of fresh mint at my fingertips.  If making this during the spring or summer, mint leaves tucked beneath each orange slice is gorgeous (in my humble opinion).

Like the coconut cake I posted a few weeks ago, a good day in the fridge before cutting will serve you well.  The flavor deepens with time.