pea pickin cake with mandarin oranges

Pea Pickin Cake

Cakes & Cupcakes, Southern Desserts
This Pea Pickin' cake is a good old fashioned southern dessert served at potlucks, barbecues, and family gatherings.
pea pickin cake with mandarin oranges

Here you’ll find a moist winning recipe for Pea Pickin’ cake. Whether this is your first time cooking this or you’re trying to re-imagine an old family favorite, you’ve come to the right place.


Using easy to find ingredients at your local grocery store, you can make this moist refreshing cake in under an hour.

It’s nostalgic and a crowd pleaser. 

Much like our chocolate chip cake.

My grandmother used to make Pea Pickin’ cake for my mom and aunts as they grew up. When we were thinking up awesome Southern Recipes, this one made the list!

Before we move on…

Some people refer to this cake as Pig Pickin’ Cake (or Pig Picking Cake if you don’t like when words end with n’…) which… I don’t know… is not how my grandmother referred to it so there.

Psst… my grandmother also loved pecan praline! Did yours?

Pig Picking or Pea Picking?

I have so many memories of my grandmother ACTUALLY shelling peas. So… I’m thinking she clocked so many hours sitting down in her chair with those peas, that she made up a cake to celebrate when she got done.

Either way, we have two names for one delicious cake.

So now let’s dive in.

The Pea Pickin’ cake is an old fashioned traditional southern dessert often served at barbecues, picnics, or other gatherings of groups of people.

You may also love our Peach Dump Cake.

white pea pickin cake, mandarin orange cake pig pickin cake

What We Love About The Pea Pickin’ Cake

  • It’s super moist!
  • It’s easy to cook.
  • Ingredients are easy to find.
  • It’s inexpensive!
  • It’s a southern nostalgic favorite!

That was a lot of exclamations.

What’s In The Cake

At its base…. a pea pickin’ cake is a standard vanilla layer cake topped with some mandarin oranges that give it a citrus kick. It is light and airy and a great after-dinner dessert.

What’s In The Frosting

The frosting in the pea pickin cake contains the following.

  • Whipped topping (cool whip is an option)
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Instant Vanilla pudding mix
  • Mandarin oranges

So without further ado… here’s how to make the Pea Pickin’ Cake.

Ingredients

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drain half
  • 1 (9 oz) tub of whipped topping (cool whip, for example)
  • 1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 large vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 small can of mandarin oranges (or fresh if they’re in season!)
  • coconut flakes for garnish

Here’s the basic process.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Bake the cakes for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool completely in pans for 15 minutes.
  5. While cakes are cooling, mix whipped topping, crushed pineapple, coconut flakes, and pudding mix.
  6. Put one cake on your cake plate, then put a layer of frosting.
  7. Top with the second cake and frost the whole cake.
  8. Garnish with coconut flakes and oranges and enjoy!

How Long Will The Pea Pickin Cake Keep?

Because this cake is so moist, it’ll taste best eaten within a couple of days. After making, store in the refrigerator covered so the moisture doesn’t escape and cause you to lose one of the best features of the pea pickin cake itself.

It can be frozen as well, but it’s best to use within 3 months. The icing will not be at its best when you thaw it out, so if you are wanting a cake you can make ahead, I’d suggest another type and leave this one for a day when you can cook it fresh, then eat it quickly.

It’ll go quickly once it’s up for serving, that’s for sure!

What Foods Go Well With A Pea Pickin’ Cake?

This cake is great for potlucks, barbecues, and family gatherings. Particularly during the summer. Here are a few things that would pair well with a pea pickin’ cake for fun times together.

  • Fried Chicken
  • Potato Salad
  • Barbecue Pork, Beef, or Chicken
  • Baked Beans

Or…. anything else you feel like cooking!

Psst… try our chocolate sour cream pound cake  or the whipping cream pound cake or our pecan praline while you’re at it. And, the orange pound cake, which is a crowd pleaser.

pea pickin cake with mandarin oranges

Pea Pickin’ Cake

This Pea Pickin' cake is a good old fashioned southern dessert served at potlucks, barbecues, and family gatherings.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: mandarin oranges, coconut
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 335kcal
Author: Rachel Norman

Ingredients

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges drain half
  • 1 9 oz. tub whipped topping
  • 1 large vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 small can of oranges mandarin, for garnish
  • coconut flakes for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Bake the cakes for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes.
  • While cakes are cooling, mix whipped topping, crushed pineapple, coconut flakes, and pudding mix.
  • Put one cake on your cake plate, then put a layer of frosting.
  • Top with the second cake and frost the whole cake.
  • Garnish with coconut flakes and oranges and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 3mg

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