The Boss’s birthday is on Tuesday, but over the weekend, MIL wanted to have an early birthday lunch/dinner for him. She prepared one of The Boss’s favorite Indian dishes, and I was in charge of the cake. I had a really yummy recipe for a pineapple, orange and vanilla cake from my friend Juhi, so I put myself to good use. Make this cake the next time you’re in the mood for something sweet. It’s light, refreshing, and a nice change to over-iced cakes with excess amounts of fondant that no one ever wants to eat.
What you need:
- 1 box of yellow cake mix, or make your own batter if you prefer
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 (one and one fourth) cups of water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Note: The number of eggs, and amounts of water and vegetable oil (okay, Canola) I used were part of the ingredients listed on the boxed cake. If you’re making your own batter then you probably have your own recipe for how much of what you’re going to use regarding oil, eggs (if you’re using them) etc.
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix. It’s a powder, NOT ready-to-eat pudding
Note: If you follow any dietary guidelines, check the box for ingredients as they tend to vary from label to label.
- 1 small can of mandarin oranges (do not drain)
- 1 regular-sized can of crushed pineapples (drained)
- 1 container of Cool Whip (8 oz)
- Non-stick cooking spray (I used Canola oil, but you can use Olive oil, or vegetable, etc.)
What to do:
Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add cake mix, eggs, oil, and water into a bowl (or start with your own batter) and mix together really well. Once the batter is mixed, add the mandarin oranges WITH the syrup. Pour the batter into a cake pan, and bake according to the type of pan you’re using. The first time I made this cake, I used a standard baking pan, and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes. But since we had that fancy birthday plate! this time around, the cake stayed in the oven for roughly 40 minutes. I always like to set the timer for a little under what the directions call for so I can check my cake, and bake it longer than I have to. It’s easier to reset the timer than it is to un-bake a cake! Spray your pan with the non-stick cooking spray, and put your cake in the oven.
While your cake is in the oven, get started on the frosting. Dump the Cool Whip into a bowl, add the crushed pineapple (don’t forget to drain them!) and the instant vanilla pudding mix. Give everything a good mix so the pudding powder doesn’t cause you or your guests to get that gritty taste/feel in your teeth. Once the frosting is mixed, put it in the fridge.
Next, check on your cake! Use a long stick, or sharp knife to see if your cake is done by poking the knife/stick into the cake, and then gently pulling it out. The sharp and dangerous object you’re using should come out without any batter or crumbs on it, but be just slightly moist. If you’re getting little patches of sticky batter on the knife/stick, put it back in the oven for five-minute increments so you don’t over cook it!
Once the cake is done, AND cooled, set it on a serving dish, and ice the cake. MIL happened to have an extra serving of mandarin oranges in the fridge, so I added a few to the top of the cake. If you don’t have extra oranges, no big deal. You can always decorate the cake with a message, or serve as is. Keep the cake in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. It’s best when chilled!