Pig Pickin' Cake


The perfect finale to a barbecue feast, this light and fresh Pig Pickin' Cake will be a new summer staple. Layers of yellow cake are stacked with a fruity mixture of whipped topping, pineapple, vanilla instant pudding, and pecans to form a cake that's as unique as its name. While nobody is quite sure where this cake earned its name, the Pig Pickin' Cake pays homage to the traditional Southern Pig Pickin', a hog roast that's essentially an early version of the barbecue. This light, fruity cake undoubtedly pairs well with a heavy, meaty meal. This cake uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, from boxed cake mix to canned pineapple, to create a dessert that's utterly unique. It's easy to make and an impressive offering to bring to a summer celebration. Leave the sides unfrosted to reveal all the creamy, fluffy goodness of the cake's thick layers. The fuss-free presentation earns this cake a spot at all of our casual cookouts and potluck parties this season.

Pig Pickin' Cake
Photo: Southern Living
Active Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins
12 serves


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Garnish: chopped pecans


  1. Beat first 4 ingredients in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Stir in oranges. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans. (Layers will be thin.)

  2. Bake at 350º for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove layers from pan, and let cool completely on wire racks.

  3. Stir together crushed pineapple and next 3 ingredients. Spread pineapple mixture evenly between layers and on top of cake. Chill cake 3 to 4 hours. Garnish, if desired. Store cake in refrigerator.

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