Pea Pickin' Cake works well as an after-dinner dessert. It's light. Not too sweet. The perfect ending to a long day at the office or in the fields...pickin' peas.
Making my way to baking all of Grandma's recipes is one of the sweetest ways to honor her memory. My Aunt Marge said Grandma would be so happy that I enjoyed her cooking. It really was fabulous. The memories of her kitchen are all happy ones.
I asked my mom why Grandma called this a Pea Pickin' Cake. She didn't have the answer. Mom said Grandma made so many cakes she couldn't keep up. I did some internet searching and found that this cake is very southern. No doubt. It has two names: Pea Pickin' and Pig Pickin'. The Pea Pickin' Cake is more appropriate in this scenario.
Quick Southern recap of the cake. The name Pig Pickin' originated from pig roasting at barbecues from years gone by. It was called a Pea Pickin' cake in honor of all those ladies who sat at their kitchen tables or on the back porch shelling peas in the summertime. The Ah-ha moment hit me.
Grandma had a large vegetable garden in her backyard. The white house was small. The backyard garden was huge. That's how it appeared to me as a child. The whole bunch of kids and grandkids loved purple-hulled peas. When visiting Grandma's house in the summertime, we pitched in to help Grandma shell the peas to get to the eating process quicker. Good days. Good times. Great memories.
Ingredients for the cake:
One box of yellow or white cake mix
15-ounce can of mandarin oranges sliced and drained
1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil
Directions: Oil and flour two round cake pans. Mix the ingredients together. Add even portions of batter to each pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let it cool down before adding the frosting. See the tip below.
Ingredients for the frosting:
One large tub of Cool Whip
One 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple
One large box of instant vanilla pudding
Directions: Mix and beat together and spread over the cake. Bottom layer first. Then, the top and sides of the cake.
Wrap the cake and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Tip: Grandma shared in her recipe that you could make up a box of jello and pour it over the cake while it's still hot, adding more moisture. The cake is already moist. I didn't do it. It's an idea, especially if you don't have time for the cake to sit in the refrigerator for 24-plus hours. The longer it's in the fridge, the more delicious.
Gorgeous summertime Pea Pickin' Cake