My mother went to a baby shower last month and had this cake which she raved about for 10 minutes or so on the phone to me the next day. Now, just because my mother raves about something for 10 minutes doesn’t really mean anything. She can go on and on about nothing for at least a good half hour. What can I say, it just one of her many talents. I have never tried the cake until now for two reasons. First, mandarin oranges rank up there with raisins on my husband's very short list of foods he does not like. Secondly, I have made an attempt on this cake before, different recipe, and it was simply awful. So, my first thought was to get the recipe that she tried but I did not have time and instead went online and did the best I could.
When I asked my mother what the cake was like she told me her piece was the size of her plate, the cake was light and soft and the frosting was very light and fluffy. So, from these clues I knew a few things. 1. The cake must have been made with at least 4 eggs because the layers were tall. 2. Oil must have been the fat used instead of butter because oil makes a cake mix light, fresh tasting and soft. Finally, the frosting must have been made with Cool-Whip because sweetened whipped cream would have had a hard time remaining stable for that long.
Funny thing, all the recipes I found were pretty much alike but different from what I tried before. My mistake was going the self-rising flour route before which will mess you up every time if you are looking for something light and airy. Self-rising flour should be reserved for hearty things like bread, coffee cake, and cobbler in my opinion.
The cake was wonderful! Just as my mother had described it. I will say that it needs to sit in the refrigerator at least a day before serving. It was much better the second day once all the flavors had time to meld together.
Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake
1 pkg.yellow cake mix
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges with juice
3/4 c. oil
1 (13 1/2 oz. or 16) Cool Whip
1 (3 oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
Mix cake mix with mandarin orange with juice and oil. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Grease and flour 3 (8 inch) cake pans. Divide batter evenly into 3 pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes minutes. Cool thoroughly.
Mix Cool Whip, pudding and crushed pineapple with some juice. Return to refrigerator for 10 minutes. Frost cake and keep in refrigerator.