The winner of my Have Your Cake and Vegan Too drawing was lucky #12- Jodie! Rest assured there will be more drawings to come!

One my favorite cakes growing up was a Midwestern classic- a box of this, a tub of that. Nothing fresh, all chemical. Americana at it’s finest. :)

It was a boxed yellow cake mix with a can of mandarin oranges pureed into it, topped with Cool-Whip mixed with crushed pineapple and vanilla instant pudding. Oh yeah, baby. We’re talking potluck to the max. I even loved it more than the summertime classic “Better Than Sex Cake”. It was serious.

While the idea of it now makes me shudder to think of the chemical compounds involved, the flavors of it still evoke memories of summer, swimming in my aunt’s swimming pool (Maple Grove, 4ever!), and being eaten alive by mosquitoes. *insert nostalgic, wavy memory interlude here*

This version of that classic cake is delicious and light, sun-kissed with sweetness and retains those same flavors of pineapple and mandarin oranges. Only it’s from scratch, has whole grains in it and has no conventional sugar. It is solely sweetened with fruit and agave. Summer FTW!

Midwest in My Mouf Cake

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat or spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/8 teas. salt
1- 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, with the juice (in pineapple juice, none of that syrupy junk!)
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. agave (or brown rice syrup)
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
2 teas. vanilla

2 cans of mandarin oranges (10 or 11 oz. cans)
2 tbsp. coconut cream (easily scooped from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 12 pan (or 8 x 8 for a taller cake) or line with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, soda and salt. Reserve 3/4 cup of the crushed pineapple. In a food processor, blend remaining pineapple, with juice, until smooth. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple puree, crushed pineapple, oil, agave and vanilla. Mix well. In batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet until just mixed.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes for the 9 x 12 pan or 35-40 for the 8 x 8 pan, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the topping- drain the mandarin oranges. Place 1 can of mandarin oranges and the coconut cream in a food processor and puree until smooth and frothy. Remove mixture to a bowl and add the other oranges. Chill until slightly thickened, about a hour.

Serve slices of cake topped with mandarin cream sauce. Store leftover sauce in the fridge, and leftover cake loosely covered at room temperature.

Yields: 12-16 slices of cake

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5 Responses to midwestern cake, with a fresh twist

  1. Josiane says:

    Your description of the original leaves me speechless! Your fresh twist on it, however, sounds amazing. Way to go and improve that old fave of yours!

  2. My birthday is coming, and my goal was to make myself a cake. I think I found the one! Thanks!

  3. Courtney says:

    I have never heard of such a cake before, but your new updated twist on it sounds SO much better than the original, lol.

    And I used to live in Maple Grove!!


  4. FoodFeud says:

    Wow, this sounds delicious and looks gorgeous! I definitely want to try this, soon!

  5. Dave says:

    I was looking for a mandarin cake and yours looks amazing. I’ll try it! By the way, I love your description of your childhood cakes. I remember a giant boxed cake my Mom made (with the best intentions!) that was covered in peppermint balls. My god, it’s amazing we all lived to be adults. Thanks for the recipe.