Mom’s Orange and Pineapple Cake

Orange and Pineapple Cake Full Cake Picture

I finally started to read Maeve Binchy’s last book “A Week in Winter”. As I mentioned in my Irish Scone posting it is difficult to start reading her last book. It has been sitting on my reading table since I received my pre-ordered copy. Maeve passed away in July 2012 a couple of weeks after she completed this book. She was working on her final changes, which her editor finished. If you read any of her books you know about her rich characters and storylines. Many of the characters are brought into multiple books building a true Irish community through the written word.

I will not say too much about the plot except what is generally already written about the book. Chicky Starr transforms an old, decaying mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and turns it into a hotel for vacations by the sea. She purchased the mansion from Miss Queenie who takes us back to a time when women wore gloves and a hat whenever leaving the house. Riggy, a troubled teen, and Orla, Chicky’s niece, helps with the renovations and planning. We have a wonderful blend of the generations working together and an adorable cat Gloria that transform Chicky and Miss Queenies’ dreams for the hotel. We have older traditions mixing with the technology of Twitter and Facebook! There is a cast of characters who spend opening week at the new hotel. In Maeve wonderful writing style she is able to blend multiple characters and stories together to keep us spellbound! I will spend this afternoon getting lost in her last book!

Orange and Pineapple Cake closeup

Today I am sharing the Orange and Pineapple Cake recipe that my mother made for Easter. When I shared our Easter day pictures I had requests for this wonderful cake. It is light and delicious – you will not feel guilty if you have a piece… or two… You can decorate it based upon the purpose of the dessert. For Easter my mother used the marshmallow chicks with a chocolate base and jellybeans. It made a beautiful, festive cake for Easter. If you are making it for a dessert with no particular theme, consider using mandarin oranges for decorations.

Orange and Pineapple Cake closeup with coffee

Cake Ingredients
1 yellow cake mix
1/4-cup oil
1/4-cup applesauce
4 eggs
1 small can mandarin oranges, with juices

Icing Ingredients
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 small container Cool Whip, 8-ounce

Mandarin Oranges or topping of your choice

Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, applesauce, and Mandarin oranges including juices. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until toothpick is clean. Chill cake for 2 hours.

Mix together Cool Whip, instant pudding, and pineapple including the juice in a large mixing bowl. Spread icing over cooled cake. Decorate with desired toppings. Refrigerate leftovers.

Orange and Pineapple Cake frosting with pineapples added

Orange and Pineapple Cake frosting blended together

Orange and Pineapple Cake start frosting the cake

Orange and Pineapple Cake frosted

Orange and Pineapple Cake add decorations


    1. Yes the cake was wonderful! I do hope you enjoy Maeve’s last book! Let me know when you read it and what you thought of it. I do not want to say too much in my postings to ruin it for anyone. 🙂

  1. This looks so good and fresh tasting with the addition of the pineapple. I think this would be a nice cake for company or after Sunday dinner. I’ll have to put this on my must-try list!

    1. It was really good and you really can add your own touches to the cake. It was a light dessert which I prefer. I am not much for icing but I did like the cool whip plus you could buy the low-fat version and it is still good.

  2. We call this cake, in our area, Pig Pickin’ Cake – it always shows up at pig pickin’s (and other times) because it is so very good. We don’t add applesauce however but instead, a large can of the mandarin oranges.

    1. Wow! That is quite a name for a cake – I will need to tell my mother as she will get a kick out of that! It is a fun cake since you can do so much with it. I really like mandarin oranges – fun to decorate with and then eat!

      1. I did a post in the summer on salads. Mandarin oranges play a major part in the 5 cup salad. But I like to just chill and eat them as well.

      2. Summer salads sound great right now! I will have to check out your series when we transition into salad mode. Grilled chicken and a nice salad sounds good to me!!

      3. A raspberry vinaigrette made with the oil and used with those oranges with greens and grilled chicken would be so good.

        Realistic Cooking Ideas for Busy Peop

      4. What nice weather! Our days start in the 30s and maybe get to the 50s. But it has been rainy, cold, and a bit damp. Still a bit too nasty for us to grill…. hopefully in a few weeks!!

      5. Cooler damp weather has moved in for another few days. In July, it will be too hot to grill outside – so while the weather is nice, we will make hay while we can. By end of June, we’ll be looking at 103-110 heat indexes.

      6. Wow! That is incredible the temps you get in the summer! I can’t even imagine. We might hit 90 – but only if we are lucky. 🙂

      7. We also have frequent days of very high humidity, which often makes going outside like walking into a bowl of hot oatmeal. In July and August, the air quality frequently is a code red and we have on an average, 10 people per summer die from heat exhaustion or breathing issues. And people wonder why Southerners move so slowly – it is for survival!

      8. We get a lot of humidity too – and that can be miserable. I like it warm and dry. Your summer code red is like our winter “code blue”. Dangerous weather at either extreme. Greg and I went to NC many years ago to purchase furniture. It was in March/April timeframe and we were surprised at how slow people were moving. It really wasn’t hot at all. Then one year we got a brutally hot summer – then we realized even though it was not that hot, the people were most likely use to moving slow. I remember we “melted” that summer. I was so concerned about my iPhone because I thought it would literally melt in the heat. We went to Ohio for drag racing – and it was so hot I did not enjoy it. I kept finding shelter to cool down. It was miserable, ha ha

      9. I know. I think Southerners have evolved into slow movers. Even during very cold weather, they will be walking and shivering….slowly. Why we drawl, give several syllables to one syllable words. Basically, in dread summer, I go into hibernation. I leave the beach, sporting events, social events, etc. to others until the fall. I have severe asthma and I burn to a crisp easily. So….I hide! Errands are done early in the day. Back in the day when old houses were built, they were designed for ventilation. I remember many days of sitting on our side porch shelling butterbeans, reading, etc. Home used to have sleeping porches as well. Ours was on the 2nd floor, screened in, and had non-electric (lonnnng pull chains powered) spaced on the ceiling and porch swings, along with space to pull out cots or make pallets to sleep. many street festivals have cooling stations.

      10. Thanks for all the interesting information! I like it warm but not brutally hot. I can understand running your errands really early. When we do get those hot summers with high humidity it can be too hot by 10:00. And our temps don’t get near what you experience! The sleeping porches are interesting!

      11. They aren’t so common nowadays. Most folks prefer an airconditioned room. Our house was so big and the ceilings so high, the air just circulated about, making it cool. And the thick walls that kept out the heat. I had good times with friends and my cousins on those porches. Good overflow for visitors too! The ceiling fans were installed before the house was wired for electric. A floor length chain with a ball on the end was part of the fan. there was a special long hook to reach up and pull the chain down. As it traveled back up, the fan circulated. As an engineer in later life, these things fascinated me anew. I told someone about it and they actually researched and installed in a renovated old home they bought. they love them!

      12. That is a fascinating story! I remember someone building a home here that was southern style with high ceilings and was cooler without air conditioning. I could not imagine living in the south without air conditioning! Imagine back in the day when women wore long dresses and men wore suits! Had to be so darn hot!!

      13. Yes, and sleeves for the women at least down to the elbow. I think I would have just died…. I don’t do well in the heat. I’ve been known to do yard work at night!

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