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Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe

5 from 3 votes

posted: 02/17/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe is the stuff of legends. Everyone who tries this cake needs the recipe and then is shocked by how few ingredients you need to make it.

mandarin orange cake recipe on a white plate

You only need SEVEN ingredients to make this orange pineapple cake, and that includes the frosting!

This is a classic cake recipe that lot os of you grew up eating and loving at family gatherings, church picnics, and back yard BBQs. I got this recipe from my neighbor and fell in love immediately.

What is your favorite classic recipe?

Anywhere she takes this cake people need the recipe. And for good reason. It is moist, packed with flavor, and best of all it is super easy to throw together.

overhead view of three pieces of orange cake recipe on plates


One of the best parts about this cake is how few ingredients you need to make it!

  • yellow cake mix
  • mandarin oranges
  • oil
  • eggs
  • cool whip
  • vanilla pudding mix
  • crushed pineapple
piece of orange cake on a white plate


I have lots of great dessert recipes that take short cuts from store bought ingredients. I love baking from scratch, but I love how fun and easy these are for the kids to make too!

If you make this great orange pineapple cake or any of my other desserts be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

fork going into a piece of orange pineapple cake
mandarin orange cake recipe on a white plate
5 from 3 votes

Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe

Serves: 20 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
This Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe is the stuff of legends.  Everyone who tries this cake needs the recipe and then is shocked by how few ingredients you need to make it.  Only SEVEN ingredients to make this orange pineapple cake, and that includes the frosting!


For the Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (just the dry cake mix – 15.25 ounces)
  • 1 15 ounce can mandarin oranges (undrained)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

For the Frosting

  • 12 ounces cool whip
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple undrained
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix (just the pudding mix)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the yellow cake mix, the can of mandarin oranges, the eggs and the vegetable oil.  Pour into the prepare pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, being careful not to over bake.
  • Let the cake completely cool.
  • In a large bowl whip together the cool whip, pineapple, and vanilla pudding mix.  Spread over the cooled cake and serve!
Calories: 282kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) Protein: 2g (4%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 37mg (12%) Sodium: 229mg (10%) Potassium: 81mg (2%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 22g (24%) Vitamin A: 200IU (4%) Vitamin C: 26.4mg (32%) Calcium: 30mg (3%) Iron: 0.7mg (4%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
mandarin orange cake recipe on a white plate

did you make this

Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Nickie Stoffers says

    Hi Lisa!
    I think this sounds amazing. Oddly enough, some people like chocolate and orange. Have you tried it with chocolate chips cake and pudding? I know it will be great with whipped cream in place of Cool-Whip.
    k ,

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried it that way yet! If you do let me know how it goes, I love chocolate and orange!

  2. Linda Myatt says

    5 stars
    I have used this recipe many times. Always comes out delicious! The guys go crazy over it. The only thing I do differently is buy two cans of mandarin oranges, one to go into the cake and one can for the top to decorate with. Sooo good.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I love the idea of decorating the cake with one!

  3. Michelle says

    Oranges/pineapple in juice or syrup

    • Lisa Longley says

      I did in juice! But if you can only find in syrup, that will be fine.

  4. Mo says

    This recipe was awful. The batter had too much liquid. I followed the directions exactly. The first fine I
    Made it I thought maybe I set my timer wrong and baked it too long. But no, the second time I made it it was again flat and over cooked. I then looked at other recipes and found half the liquid as this recipe calls for. So it was a flop, it was expensive, and I am so disappointed. I had to go out and buy a cake as I ran out of time.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m really sorry you didn’t like it, Mo. This is a tried and true recipe so I’m not sure what went wrong.

    • Shan says

      Hi. I haven’t made this cake yet but I plan to today actually. I’m replying because I have made cakes before where I used jarred fruit. What I do is I make the cake up exactly how the box says but use the liquid from the fruit instead of the water that most boxed cakes require. I drain in a measuring cup to the exact amount and discard the rest. I do hope this is helpful. I love baking from scratch but sometimes I need something simpler because of time. Sorry you’ve had such a bad experience.

  5. Alice says

    5 stars
    Really Delicious! The cake sounded good so I thought I’d
    try. Had everything but the cool whip, so we ate the cake
    just to try and we weren’t disappointed ????. Next time
    will try with the topping! It’s a keeper ????????. Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad you guys liked it Alice!

  6. Cindy says

    What size of cake mix was used to make this cake…15.25 or 18.25 as now the 18.25 is unheard of and no one makes it anymore.

    • Lisa Longley says

      15.25 ounces

  7. Melinda Franks says

    Anyone ever tried this with banana pudding instead of vanilla pudding?

  8. jabeve says

    Yes, 1 cup of oil is too much. Only use 1/2 cup.

    • Lisa Longley says

      We will have to agree to disagree.

  9. Terri says

    Is this good when made a day ahead or should I wait and make it the day we’re going to eat it?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can make the cake the day before, but I would wait to frost it.

      • Terri says

        Thank you!

        Going to serve it tonight and just trying to wait as long as possible to make the frosting.

  10. Maria Iyotte says

    5 stars
    I made this cake and it tastes delicious. since I had no cool whip at home I made some yogut n pudding and put it on the cake as frosting. tasted great. today I am trying your recipe with a lemon cake mix

    • Lisa Longley says

      Glad to hear it, Maria!

      • maria says

        today I make this recipe with a german chocolate cakemix and will top it with chocolate yogurt n pudding.
        I like to experiment and give recipes a twist

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