This cake is simply fantastic. Every time I serve it, people comment that they need the recipe. So here you go! It's light and refreshing, but really yummy. I got this recipe from an old Southern cook and it's sort of a "dump it all in and mix it up" kind of recipe. Easy and delicious!
1 yellow cake mix
1 can mandarin oranges, not drained
3/4 c. canola oil or butter
16 oz. cool whip
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained)
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Directions: Mix together cake mix, mandarin oranges, oil (or butter), and eggs until thoroughly mixed. Pour into two or three round cake pans. (Three layers just makes the cake look fancier, but two works just as well.) Bake at 350 degrees. For two pans, it takes 30-33 minutes; for three pans, it takes about 25 minutes. (Ovens vary, so be cautious. A sure way to dry out a cake is to overbake it. I like to err on the side of slightly underbaked.)
For frosting, combine cool whip, crushed pineapple, pudding mix, and walnuts and mix well. If cakes aren't cooled yet, put frosting in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Cool cakes, and frost between layers, sides, and top. I like to garnish with pineapple or walnuts. Last night I used raspberries, since I had them and it looked great. Just use whatever you have on hand. Refrigerate until serving.