If you are looking for a light, fresh, summery, deliciously fresh and sweet dessert, this is a great option. I made it for our small group, and everyone except Grant (my husband who loves hard chocolate) thought it was great.
It’s so quick and easy, wonderful to make in advance (even better, maybe, if made a day in advance), and just makes your mouth happy. I’m not kidding!
The original recipe called for a cup of oil and 4 eggs – you could make it that way, I guess, but why? Applesauce is a great substitute for oil, which makes the cake so much lower in fat and still lucidly moist. I cannot figure out why you need 4 eggs ….. it worked out perfectly well with 3.
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, undrained
1 cup applesauce
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9″ pan.
In a large bowl, mix cake mix, eggs, applesauce and oranges with juice.
Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
To make filling: Drain at least 1/4 cup pineapple juice. Mix the dry pudding mixture well with the pineapple and let stand for a few minutes.
If you wish to add some of the reserved juice, you can, just be careful not to add too much or the icing will be too runny.
Stir in the whipped topping until incorporated. Spread over top of cake and refrigerate until serving.
Excellent made one day ahead – cake is best when cold. Sweet toasted coconut would be a great addition to the filling, if you wish.