Pig Pickin’ Cake

August 25, 2015

Baking is a form of meditation for me. I love the process of mixing ingredients and watching them morph into something delectable. When I feel blah I whip up a batch of cookies. It is better than popping a pill or scheduling a counseling session for me.

In the fifth grade Mrs. Morris let me use a cookbook as one of my book report projects – I brought in cookies for the entire class and the office staff too.

In my early years as a fulltime mom I baked in between nursing, diaper changes, nursery school drop offs. My baking became popular and so I started selling cakes and cookies for events. I eventually started my own little baking business from my home – Leigh Anne’s Southern Sweet Tooth.

Many of the cakes I baked were from box mixes in the beginning. Rob encouraged me to work from scratch. Back in the 70’s or 80’s there was a trend to doctor up boxed cake mixes. A quick internet search shows a whole host of books and websites dedicated to this practice.

Growing up in North Carolina we had pig roasts and barbecues called Pig Pickin’s, you know, you pick at the pig! I do not know why but there is a specific cake called a Pig Pickin’ cake. There is no pig involved in the creation of this cake. We often brought these to family reunions.

Pig Pickin’ cake is one of those cake mixes that gets all doctored up. Well, my challenge was to make this delicious orange and pineapple dessert.

It became one of my top sellers. I even made it for a wedding!

pig picking cake for wedding

pig picking cake for wedding

I made it recently for a family reunion. This was for the Northeastern segment of my family (yes, I come from a mixed marriage, Daddy is from the north and Mama from the south!) I was shocked that my younger children had never tasted it. I had not made a Pig Pickin’ cake in so long.

Well, I decided to share the joy of a homemade traditional southern dessert.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 ½ cups sugar

4 eggs

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup oil or melted butter

8 ounce cans of mandarin oranges

Frosting:

1 cup of cream for whipping

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounce of cream cheese softened

1 can crushed pineapple

8 ounce can of mandarin oranges

Preheat oven to 350

Butter two 8” cake pans

Take out cream cheese to soften

Combine sugar and eggs, beat for 30 seconds on high, add remaining ingredients and blend for one minute until all is combined

Bake about 25 minutes – until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean

Let cool (I often place my cakes in the fridge or even freezer if I am in a hurry to cool!)

Whip your cream and the vanilla until fluffy – do not over mix or you get butter 😦

Drain the pineapple and blend with the softened cream cheese, when these two are combined gently fold into the whipped cream.

Frost your two layers and place the drained mandarin oranges in any pattern you please.

IMG_8425

Then watch out! This cake will disappear quickly!

Enjoy!

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