I knew I wasn’t going to have time before my birthday to do the big cool ballet cake I want to do so I just didn’t think about doing anything this year. I kind of decided last minute that I wanted something and dug around in my cabinets to see what I could come up with, which wasn’t much as I really needed to get to the store. I saw my box of orange Jello and decided that was perfect, but I didn’t have a cake mix. I had pretty much everything else, but not that. The recipe I was modifying used a box mix and I wasn’t sure what would happen if I tried to do the whole thing from scratch, so I begged Hubby to make a quick run to get my mix.
The base idea for this cake comes from my Strawberry Jello cake. The only real difference is in the kind of Jello and fruit used.
Pineapple Orange Jello Cake
1 – Box White Cake Mix
1 – 3oz Box Orange Jello (dry)
½ – C. Cooking Oil
½ – C. Water
4 – Eggs, Well Beaten
2/3 – C. Mandarin Oranges (drain off juice)
1/3 – C. Crushed Pineapple (drain off juice)
Beat together with mixer on low until completely blended. Beat for another 2 minutes on medium high. Prep pan with grease and flour. Pour mix into pan and bake at 350º for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. If baking as layers in two pans, check after about 20 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: Apx. 45 minutes
I ended up being really pleased with how this turned out. There were only a couple of things I would do differently in making this a second time. I’d probably up the orange content to a full cup, keeping the pineapple where it is and I’d swap the water with pineapple juice. This was good as is, but it didn’t have quite as strong a fruit flavor as I was expecting in comparing to the strawberry version. If you like it to be on the lighter side, then this is perfect the way it is. Another thing you can do, but this is strictly a personal preference kind of thing and one I CAN’T do as my kids and Hubby would hate it, is to add the fruit after you have fully mixed everything else and only lightly beating until the larger pieces break up a little. Doing that would leave you larger pieces of fruit in the finished cake. Adding it before mixing, breaks the fruit down until you very rarely ever get any kind of solid piece of fruit in a bite.
The other thing I’d do differently is the icing. I followed the unclear instructions I had with my original strawberry cake (a recipe I got from a friend years ago). I ended up with way too much butter in the butter cream and had to really work to get it balanced out. The buttercream itself, which also has oranges and pineapple in it, was really good once I got the right sugar/butter ratio fixed. It was good on the cake, but… I was hoping for something a little lighter and less sweet. If I were to make this as a summer dessert, it would have been too heavy. This would do so much better with a lighter, whipped cream type of icing.
Everyone ended up really liking this as it was. I only note the changes I would make because I know what I had in mind when I planned this and it didn’t quite hit that mark. That said, it was pretty amazing and I’m definitely making it again.