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Mandarin Orange Cake – Made From Scratch

This beautiful made-from-scratch Mandarin Orange Cake is easy to make, especially with the help of little hands. This post is sponsored by Cuties, one of our favorite snacks!

Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe Made from Scratch without a Cake Mix

I love the holiday season and all of the parties, traditions and family fun that comes along with it. For a moment, it seems everyone is more focused on family, friends and giving – the way it should be all year. It brings me so much joy.

how to decorate a cake for Christmas

The holidays remind me a lot of my mom and the fun we shared together during the holidays. I feel blessed that my sister has been joining me in the kitchen for a little family fun and the girls enjoy holiday baking as well. My sister, Isla and I made this beautiful Mandarin Orange Cake to celebrate. It’s a fresh twist on an old favorite, because it’s made from “scratch”.

easy to peel oranges

My mom always made Mandarin Orange Cake with cake mix, Cool Whip, and canned pineapple, but I’m convinced that’s simply because the 80’s made everyone feel like they couldn’t do it on their own. This Mandarin Orange Cake recipe is truly quick and easy and worth the extra steps for fresh flavor. It’s now one of our summer favorites as well!

lifestyle and mom blogger Julie Blanner

I was so excited when I discovered that Cuties are back in store, ripe and ready to enjoy. It truly is the most magical season.

Cuties mandarin oranges

I couldn’t decide how to decorate the cake – to use Cuties whole, quartered, sliced or peeled. So Isla peeled a few for me to test with – and snacked on them to reward herself for her efforts. That’s one of the many things we love about Cuties, the kids can peel them themselves! After a few trials, we decided we liked using them sliced to create a star and garnishing with rosemary to make the Mandarin Orange Cake feel festive for the holidays.

how to decorate a mandarin orange cake

how to make mandarin orange cake from scratch

A fresh twist on an old classic - Mandarin Orange Cake made without Cool Whip or cake mix. Just fresh, flavorful, beautiful cake without a lot of effort.

easy festive cake recipe | mandarin orange cake

pig pickin' cake aka mandarin orange cake recipe

For more clever ideas, follow along on  Instagram and Facebook!

mandarin orange cake recipe

The easy Mandarin Orange Cake recipe:

Mandarin Orange Cake

Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 25 mins Total Time 50 mins
Serves 12




Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8" round pans and set aside.

In a large bowl/mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, Cuties and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together.

Gradually incorporate into wet mixture alternating with milk until just incorporated.

Pour into baking pans and bake 25-28 minutes when cake springs back after being touched. Allow to cool 20 minutes before turning onto rack or pedestal.

Beat heavy cream until stiff. Add powdered sugar, vanilla pudding mix and crushed pineapple. 

Place one layer of cake onto your serving dish and fill with icing before placing the second layer on top. Ice, garnish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes


4.8 rating
13 reviews
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a fresh twist on a southern favorite | Mandarin Orange Cake made from scratch

Wishing you and your family #100DaysofSunshine and plenty of quality family fun time baking this season.

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner

22 comments on “Mandarin Orange Cake – Made From Scratch”

  1. What a gorgeous cake! I have never thought to use cuties for baking, probably because they are usually gone within a day of buying them in our house!

  2. Such a simple, lovely cake! I want it.

  3. This cake looks great and seems fairly simple to make. Really reminds me of a cake that my mother used to bake.

  4. What a “cutie” alright….sweet girl! I bet the cake is wonderful too! 😉

  5. Have you ever made the cake layers ahead and frozen them? I’d like to serve this on Christmas, but if it’s freezable it’ll save time on Christmas Eve.

  6. It reminds me of a pig picking cake that my mom back in the day!!!!

  7. As always, THS cake to looks amazing.  Happy Holiday’s

  8. Hnnn, Crushed cuties? Processed in the food processor or crushed with a potato masher?

  9. Looks joyful, elegant and delicious! 

  10. So much better than the original!

  11. I love anything with citrus, I’m drooling 🤤 

    5.0 rating

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