Grandma’s Cake

My Grandma Betts made a cake that was kind of special because I remember only having it at Easter. It’s light and fluffy and tastes like spring.

It’s the simplest recipe in the world and I’ve seen it called a lot of different things, often on a Cool Whip container or magazine ad for canned pineapple.

We call it Mandarin Orange Cake.

She’s been gone for more than 25 years now. I was a freshman in college when she passed so I’ve lived more years without her than I did with her. It’s strange to think of it that way but she’s still with us when we have her cake.

Somewhere along the way. I picked up the tradition and always make it for Easter. I get a little heavy handed with the icing but that’s the best part, if you ask me. In fact. I like to make extra and just eat it off a spoon.

Yes, it’s that good.

Anyway, it’s not a state secret even if I do consider it a kind of family heirloom. If you’re interested, read on and give it a whirl for yourself.

Grandma Betts’ Mandarin Orange Cake

For the cake:

1 package of golden butter cake mix (any brand)

4 eggs

1 small can of mandarin oranges and their juice

1/2 cup of oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients by hand until oranges are broken up and mixed well into the batter.

Grease and flour three 8″ cake pans. Split batter equally among the three pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

* the recipe doesn’t specify but I mix the wet ingredients first before adding the cake mix.

For the icing:

1 large package of instant vanilla pudding mix

1 can of crushed pineapple (drain off about half of the juice)

1 large tub of Cool Whip

Mix all together.

Note: A three layer cake is a relatively tall cake. I bake the cakes the day before Easter and mix up the icing to allow the flavors to marry nicely. However, I assemble the cake on Easter morning so that it isn’t monopolizing fridge space for a long time.

We all have those flavors that represent a special time, place or person. This is mine. Hope you enjoy yours, whatever it may be.

Happy Easter!

Mandarin Orange Cake

Yesterday’s post was pretty heavy. Very heavy. So it seems appropriate to lighten the mood a little and what’s happier than a good dessert? This is a popular family recipe and one that is easy to prepare if you have company coming. My grandma always made it for Easter and other special occasions but I like to pull out the recipe for everyday too.

Mandarin Orange Cake

1 package Golden Butter Cake

4 Eggs

1 small can Mandarin Oranges

1/2 cup Oil

Mix all ingredients together until oranges are mixed well into the batter. Grease and flour three eight inch cake pans. Divide batter evenly among pans and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool before frosting.


1 large package instant Vanilla Pudding

1 can Crushed Pineapple

1 large container Cool Whip.

Drain some juice from the pineapple. Mix all ingredients together. Spread icing between layers, on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake before serving.

I like to serve this on a pretty cake plate and sometimes with a little edible glitter sprinkled on top. Enjoy!