The author and cook, Heather

Pig Pickin' Cake

Whole Hog BBQ

Pig Pickin' Cake is a standard here in NC, just as much as pig pickins themselves are. I am sure each family has its own little twists, but the basics are the same: it's a yellow box cake mix, doctored up with mandarin oranges and frosted with whipped topping (store bought, no freshly whipped cream here) mixed with pudding mix and pineapple. This makes a pretty sturdy cake that won't immediately wilt in our southern heat.

I could not find this particular recipe online, but there are several to choose from that would result in a similar cake, though most use only one box of cake mix so it won't be quite so huge.

This one is a good basic recipe:

This one adds pecans:

This one suggests you make it a sheet cake, which is more like my husband is used to:

The nutrition information on this recipe will vary depending on the cake mix you choose and the additions it recommends.


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with Heather today we're going to be
[00:08]: working once again out of the Sam Jones
[00:10]: uh book Whole Hog Barbecue and we're
[00:13]: going to be making a pig Pickin cake so
[00:17]: if you're not from Eastern North
[00:18]: Carolina you might not know what this is
[00:20]: but it's a generally a yellow cake with
[00:24]: mandarin oranges and pineapple and
[00:28]: uh my husband says he's always seen it
[00:31]: as a sheet cake but he says it's always
[00:34]: a three layer or a layer cake
[00:39]: but we're so we're gonna make it the way
[00:40]: you know he says to make it as we do on
[00:43]: this channel
[00:44]: and um
[00:47]: it's it's just always a thing especially
[00:50]: in the summer uh
[00:53]: and at Pig Pickens that's why it's
[00:55]: called a pig picking cake so
[00:58]: this is a
[00:60]: cake made
[01:01]: like all of the Southern cooks that I
[01:03]: know make cake which means we're going
[01:06]: to be using a box cake mix and doctoring
[01:10]: it up
[01:11]: so we're starting with two boxes of
[01:14]: yellow cake mix
[01:17]: so I'm just going to dump these in my
[01:19]: bowl
[01:26]: I have chosen my next to largest bowl
[01:28]: hopefully that'll be fine
[01:33]: and I deliberately chose the
[01:37]: cake mix that did not was not the butter
[01:40]: recipe because he says to use vegetable
[01:43]: oil as or as directed on the package the
[01:47]: amounts so mine
[01:49]: calls for eggs oil and also water which
[01:53]: his recipe doesn't call for so I'm not
[01:58]: sure if I'm going to need all the water
[01:60]: or use all the water but it does say
[02:03]: eggs oil
[02:06]: um
[02:07]: and of course the Mandarin oranges so
[02:11]: I'm going to go ahead and put the oil in
[02:13]: here
[02:14]: and since I'm mixing this by hand
[02:18]: this should be fine and he says to
[02:22]: lightly
[02:23]: beat these eggs so I think I'm gonna do
[02:26]: that just
[02:29]: to make them mix a little bit easier
[02:31]: because sometimes you get
[02:33]: it's hard to to get the yolks broken up
[02:36]: when you're
[02:39]: um
[02:40]: just doing this
[02:44]: all together
[02:46]: I'm going to
[02:49]: be crack all of my eggs into this
[02:53]: measuring cup
[02:56]: and I'm going to get
[02:58]: fork and just sort of make sure all the
[03:01]: yolks are broken and everything's sort
[03:03]: of mixed together not great but a little
[03:04]: bit
[03:09]: so that's a good start
[03:13]: and now I'm going to pour this in here
[03:15]: oh I missed one
[03:18]: we're going to use this this can of
[03:21]: Mandarin oranges with the juice so I'm
[03:24]: going to start with maybe half of the
[03:27]: water
[03:28]: for both
[03:31]: of the packages just to see if I'm going
[03:34]: to need all of it
[03:37]: um once I add that juice I just don't
[03:39]: want it to be too Thins
[03:43]: and he doesn't call for water at all in
[03:45]: the recipe but he does say to mix it
[03:47]: according to the package directions
[03:51]: like I said the package my package says
[03:54]: to use water
[03:59]: and you can use a mixer here
[04:03]: um
[04:05]: the package directions say that's okay I
[04:08]: just decided I was going to do it by
[04:09]: hand
[04:10]: um
[04:11]: all right we're going to add this he
[04:13]: says to fold this in with its juices
[04:15]: after you've mixed everything according
[04:17]: to the package directions
[04:20]: I'm gonna mix this in and see what I
[04:22]: think about the
[04:26]: thickness of
[04:33]: or cake batter
[04:39]: I think that that is fine I've
[04:41]: definitely had thicker cake batters and
[04:43]: I'm not going to use all of the water
[04:46]: as instructed in my package directions
[04:52]: and I'm pretty sure that is how most
[04:54]: Southerners would do it too
[05:01]: because a lot of things happen by feel
[05:03]: or by what you think looks right so I'm
[05:06]: going to clean up a little bit over here
[05:09]: um dump this out because I don't think
[05:11]: we need it and we're going to deal with
[05:14]: our pans in just a second
[05:16]: so now I have three pans these are
[05:18]: supposed to be uh
[05:20]: greased and floured I took the southern
[05:23]: way out since I happened to have it on
[05:25]: hand and I used my baking spray with
[05:28]: flour
[05:30]: so that should be good
[05:33]: should be absolutely fine here
[05:35]: and now I'm supposed to split this
[05:39]: evenly between
[05:42]: these three pans
[05:47]: and I might have some left over
[05:50]: which
[05:51]: is not very helpful
[05:53]: but mostly you don't
[05:57]: fill cake pans above like two-thirds of
[06:01]: the way
[06:02]: so I'm gonna
[06:06]: see where we are
[06:09]: see if I can use it all or not or if I
[06:12]: shouldn't
[06:13]: it looks like we're gonna be fine with
[06:15]: using all of this with these three pans
[06:19]: I'm not sure I mine might be a 10 inch
[06:23]: pans I have measured them previously but
[06:26]: I don't remember but they're what I have
[06:29]: three of that are the same so that's
[06:31]: what we're using he says to use nine
[06:32]: inch whatever put this away
[06:36]: so if if like me you are not good at
[06:40]: judging
[06:41]: uh which ones if they're the same or not
[06:45]: what I do is just set my scale to grams
[06:51]: usually and weigh them
[06:55]: this one is over a thousand
[07:00]: try to get them approximately the same
[07:04]: this one is nine a little over 900.
[07:08]: and this one is
[07:12]: a little over 900 so both of these need
[07:15]: a little more so let's
[07:19]: try to get everything to be a little
[07:21]: under a thousand
[07:28]: I think we'll be about right there
[07:33]: as I
[07:35]: spill some
[07:41]: you know it's about 9.75 ish
[07:58]: which may be too much
[08:11]: all right let's see how much this is
[08:15]: out
[08:19]: all right
[08:23]: one's a little less
[08:26]: by about 25 grams but I don't think
[08:29]: that'll make a huge difference so all
[08:31]: right I'm going to just wipe down the
[08:34]: edges a bit
[08:36]: uh and these are going to go in the oven
[08:38]: it's heated to 350 degrees
[08:42]: um for he says 25 to 35 minutes my
[08:46]: recipe says 24 to 29 so I'll check them
[08:50]: at about 25 minutes
[08:51]: or until
[08:54]: a toothpick inserted into the center
[08:57]: comes out clean so usually
[08:59]: when a cake is done the edges kind of
[09:02]: start pulling away from the sides it
[09:04]: looks a little golden on top and
[09:07]: definitely a
[09:09]: toothpick comes out clean so we're going
[09:12]: to get these all I think I can fit them
[09:14]: all on one
[09:16]: level in my oven if not if you can't you
[09:21]: really need to rotate them so about
[09:23]: halfway through you'll switch the top to
[09:26]: the bottom and the bottom to the top and
[09:28]: just to make sure they cook evenly but
[09:31]: we'll be back in about half an hour and
[09:34]: I'll show you what they look like when
[09:35]: they're done and I was wrong I could not
[09:37]: fit all of them on one level so I put
[09:41]: two in the back on the this one level
[09:44]: above and one underneath and I'll rotate
[09:47]: those in about 15 minutes these have
[09:49]: been in the oven for 25 minutes and they
[09:51]: seem done
[09:54]: the uh
[09:56]: toothpick came out clean you'll you can
[09:58]: see they're kind of pulling away from
[09:59]: the edges
[10:00]: I had a bit of a disaster with the other
[10:03]: one because cakes rise and it touched
[10:07]: the bottom of the
[10:09]: rack on top of it which I've now moved
[10:13]: but anyway
[10:15]: I'm gonna check that one real soon but
[10:18]: we're gonna let these cool for five
[10:20]: minutes in the pan and then we're gonna
[10:23]: turn them out onto a rack to cool
[10:25]: absolutely completely before we ice them
[10:28]: so we will see you back when it's time
[10:30]: to make the icing
[10:31]: [Music]
[10:38]: our cakes are completely cool I went and
[10:42]: ran an errand so it's been probably at
[10:43]: least 30 minutes
[10:45]: maybe more like an hour I don't know I
[10:47]: wasn't gone that long but it's time to
[10:50]: make the icing for our Pig picking cake
[10:53]: and I would like to uh
[10:56]: well my husband would like to register a
[10:58]: complaint he does not like Cool Whip we
[11:01]: generally prefer
[11:03]: real whipped cream but we're gonna do it
[11:06]: like the
[11:08]: recipe says because that's what we do
[11:11]: here
[11:12]: um and that's this is probably what most
[11:14]: people would actually use so the base of
[11:18]: our icing
[11:20]: is Cool Whip he calls for these the
[11:23]: smaller two of the smaller containers
[11:25]: but the larger container is exactly the
[11:27]: same size as two small ones so
[11:30]: this should be fine
[11:34]: I'm just going to dump it all
[11:36]: into this very large bowl
[11:39]: now this was in the freezer until
[11:44]: before I started making the cakes so
[11:46]: it's still a little Frozen in the middle
[11:48]: I'm gonna put it in the
[11:51]: refrigerator before I started making the
[11:53]: cake so it's it's only been there for a
[11:55]: couple hours at this point
[11:59]: but that's okay
[12:02]: um
[12:03]: it will now that we've sort of spread it
[12:05]: out and put it in this metal Bowl it
[12:07]: will warm up a little bit more quickly
[12:09]: I'm going to move this out of the way
[12:10]: and then
[12:13]: the other
[12:15]: parts of this recipe
[12:17]: is instant vanilla pudding
[12:22]: mix
[12:23]: again two boxes
[12:26]: two of these small boxes actually I
[12:29]: think one of the larger ones would have
[12:31]: been more exactly what he calls for he
[12:33]: says three ounce boxes these are
[12:38]: um
[12:40]: 3.4 but we're going to go ahead and use
[12:43]: all of both of them
[12:49]: all right
[12:55]: all right so we're going to mix this
[12:57]: together
[12:59]: I don't know if I will
[13:01]: need
[13:03]: a mixer or if this should mix fine
[13:08]: by itself
[13:16]: it's definitely looking way less white
[13:23]: than the picture
[13:25]: but that's okay
[13:28]: I mean Cool Whip is already pretty
[13:30]: stable but the um pudding
[13:34]: probably stabilize it even more and make
[13:38]: it sweeter
[13:40]: all right so that is
[13:42]: mixed up
[13:46]: pretty well and now
[13:50]: we're going to stir in pineapple this is
[13:55]: crushed pineapple we my store did not
[13:58]: have the size can that he said it had a
[14:01]: slightly larger can
[14:04]: um I'm just going to use all of it I
[14:06]: don't care
[14:09]: and we did
[14:11]: strain that take out the
[14:13]: liquid
[14:16]: and it is going to loosen there is still
[14:18]: liquid in it it's going to loosen this
[14:20]: up
[14:21]: a bit
[14:22]: and there we have it
[14:27]: all right so now all we have to do is
[14:30]: put this together
[14:34]: I don't know how this would work with
[14:36]: actual whipped cream
[14:38]: you would definitely have to stabilize
[14:41]: it some way
[14:44]: anyway I'm going to set this aside and
[14:47]: I'm going to use this later I don't know
[14:49]: what for cocktail pineapple orange juice
[14:51]: who knows we do have orange juice
[14:53]: now
[14:57]: but it's much easier to put a layered
[14:59]: cake in my refrigerator on
[15:02]: just a regular plate and and my layers
[15:05]: will fit on here I've done this before
[15:08]: stabilize it a little bit
[15:11]: there we go
[15:17]: and here's gonna be my first layer
[15:20]: talked about how I had a bit of an issue
[15:24]: and that was this one you can kind of
[15:26]: see
[15:28]: the top was messed up but it's perfectly
[15:30]: fine because we're going to put that
[15:32]: down on the bottom
[15:34]: there we go and then
[15:39]: um
[15:40]: I'm going to spread it with some icing
[15:46]: get my offset spatula go I'm gonna go
[15:51]: with a little less than a third
[15:54]: just by eye
[15:57]: here because I think we want more on top
[16:02]: that's what the picture looks like
[16:04]: anyway but we're
[16:06]: um this is going to be a very rustic
[16:09]: kind of
[16:11]: cake we do not have to frost the sides
[16:15]: the picture does not have frosted sides
[16:17]: and I'm gonna
[16:19]: take that as a win
[16:24]: I think that's probably enough
[16:27]: another layer here
[16:31]: I'm going to
[16:34]: try to
[16:35]: move that much easier get this centered
[16:43]: looks good to me
[16:45]: and then
[16:47]: put some more on here it's definitely
[16:51]: um
[16:52]: stiffening up a bit
[16:55]: since since it loosened up when we added
[16:58]: the pineapple with it with a little bit
[16:60]: of juice but now it's stiffening up for
[17:02]: sure which is what that pudding will do
[17:05]: honestly
[17:08]: goodbye
[17:10]: I'm gonna try to make this a relatively
[17:12]: stable base it's going to be a little
[17:16]: lopsided but sometimes if you do it
[17:20]: right you know your cakes are not all
[17:23]: straight you can
[17:24]: offset them correctly
[17:27]: the last layer I think is a little
[17:29]: taller on this side so I'm going to put
[17:32]: that on the side that needs a little
[17:33]: more height
[17:38]: we're gonna
[17:40]: call that good
[17:42]: I'm just going to put the rest up here
[17:45]: on top
[17:52]: I think I'm done it does look very
[17:55]: rustic but this is going to go in the
[17:57]: refrigerator for later but he does say
[18:00]: it's ideally served at room temperature
[18:03]: so I like my cake cold
[18:07]: generally
[18:08]: but um
[18:12]: we'll see we'll see if we take it out
[18:14]: long enough that it will warm up to room
[18:16]: temperature I doubt it but
[18:18]: I gotta go make room for this in my
[18:20]: refrigerator
[18:22]: and I'll let you know what we think of
[18:25]: it in just a minute
[18:26]: [Music]
[18:34]: on this episode of cooking the books
[18:35]: with Heather you watch me make a pig
[18:38]: picking cake from Sam Jones's Whole Hog
[18:41]: barbecue cookbook
[18:42]: uh this is a super easy cake it is
[18:48]: made from box cake mix and you throw in
[18:51]: some other things and
[18:54]: bake it
[18:57]: throw some things together for the
[18:59]: for the frosting and you don't even have
[19:02]: to cover it all up
[19:04]: super easy and this is I mean when
[19:07]: you're cooking a whole hog
[19:09]: and you want an easy dessert because
[19:11]: you've
[19:12]: babied a whole hog for hours and hours
[19:14]: this is great
[19:17]: um
[19:18]: and I am not a huge fan anymore of Cool
[19:20]: Whip I used used to love it but uh when
[19:24]: I've tried it lately it's not been my
[19:26]: favorite thing at all
[19:28]: um but this I think the vanilla pudding
[19:32]: that you add the pudding mix that you
[19:35]: add and the um pineapple sort of cuts
[19:39]: down the the flavors that I don't like
[19:41]: in in Cool Whip so it was actually
[19:44]: pretty good it was a pretty light
[19:47]: frosting the cake itself was pretty
[19:50]: heavy
[19:51]: uh I think it was about more than six
[19:54]: pounds of cake we we when I lifted it I
[19:57]: decided it was really heavy and I needed
[19:59]: to weigh it so it was about six pounds
[20:01]: cake so it will feed a lot of people he
[20:03]: says it's 8 to 12 servings
[20:07]: uh those are very large servings if you
[20:10]: are feeding if if you're only feeding
[20:13]: eight to twelve people so
[20:16]: I think it was probably more like
[20:18]: 16. at least
[20:21]: anyway
[20:23]: um yeah if you if you're looking to try
[20:26]: this kind of cake the one thing that I
[20:27]: will say is I don't know if
[20:29]: my can of Mandarin oranges was very
[20:33]: light on the oranges and heavy on the
[20:36]: liquid but it it just it wasn't soup the
[20:38]: cake didn't taste a lot like oranges to
[20:41]: me the pineapple was very prevalent in
[20:43]: the in the frosting but it just didn't
[20:45]: taste very much like Mandarin oranges so
[20:47]: I might try I'll try that a little bit
[20:50]: differently next time I did use all of
[20:52]: the the juice like you're supposed to
[20:54]: and sort of cut down on my water because
[20:57]: by cake mix called for that
[20:59]: um
[21:00]: so if you don't like orange you probably
[21:04]: still like this cake it's a very subtle
[21:06]: orange flavor and there aren't a ton
[21:09]: of the pieces in there
[21:11]: but super easy and if you've tried this
[21:15]: let me know in the comments down below
[21:17]: if you've enjoyed watching me make this
[21:19]: please give me a thumbs up hit the
[21:21]: Subscribe button and come back and watch
[21:23]: me make something else next week
[21:25]: [Music]