Birthday Cake

May 5, 2010

I have been absent from blogging for a while, but it’s not because I don’t love you, my two very loyal followers (you know who you are!). I found myself somewhat unexpectantly at the end of the semester and staring down a managerial accouting final worth 60% of my grade. I would love to tell you that I buckled down (think “Eye of the Tiger” montage with clips of me at my desk, books piled around, calculator smoking, stubs of used pencils, etc) and beat the test into submission. I have a feeling it was more like I eeked by and whined a lot to the people around me who had the misfortune of being within earshot. Whatever the case may be, I passed.. THANK GOD. I think when I started this MBA, I failed to realize just how much math would be involved, or maybe just fooled myself into thinking that graduate level math wouldn’t be as bad as other math (it’s reasoning like that that probably hinders my ability to do complex math problems).

Anyway, math is over. New classes start next week, and this week I get to play. Yay!

My coworker, Scott, turns 40 today. I made him a cake. I don’t know the cake’s actual name, but it has mandrin oranges in the cake mix and pineapple, Cool Whip, pudding frosting. It is a fruity, sweet monstronsity and so ridiculously easy to make, I feel almost guilty about making it.

Scott's Birthday Cake

I got the recipe from my mom, and I’m not entirely sure where she got the recipe to begin with. I do know that my mom’s English neighbors LOVE it. She is quite close to them and they invite her over to parties and such all the time. When they had family visiting from England, she made them the cake and quickly gained somewhat limited, but nonetheless shiny fame when the cake was dubbed the “Marilyn Cake.” My mom, is obviously named Marilyn… although the name almost sounds like she’s in the cake.. which I assure you, she is not.

Anyway, the cake is so popular, that when Julie (that’s my mom’s neighbor) went back to England for a visit, she took the ingredients with her in a suitcase (she did substitute Dream Whip mix for the Cool Whip though). I can only imagine the custom’s officers’ faces when they opened her bag to check it for contraband.. and found cans of crushed pineapple and little boxes of instant pudding. So classy!

Scott's Birthday Cake

Anyway, without futher ado, here is the recipe. It is deceptively simple to make, but the results are really good. Promise!

Marilyn Cake

1 yellow cake or lemon cake mix
1 10 oz can mandrin oranges
1 16 oz can crushed pineapple
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 12 oz containers of Cool Whip

Prepare cake according to directions, using juice from oranges and
enough water to meet recipe. Beat as directed for 2 minutes. Add
oranges. Beat until chopped. Bake according to directions in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Cool cake completely before frosting.

Frosting: Mix drained pineapple and pudding mix. Gently fold with Cool Whip.



  1. This looks so good! And I love that hardly any of the ingredients are perishable. I’m incredibly lazy and also impulsive in the kitchen department, so I like that I could keep the ingredients in the pantry until I get the impulse to make cake πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Meghan πŸ™‚ It was really well-received at work. And you’re right – it’s the perfect pantry cake.

  2. perfect! i needed to bake something quick for my MIL on sunday. They are the type that are impressed with easy stuff and completely unimpressed with complex receipes. so im not going to waste my time with the complex yeast based dough for lemon bowties i was going to make and do this.

    and I have a can of crush pineapple and some instant pudding mix in the pantry as we speak. only need cool whip and mandarin oranges.

    • Sweet πŸ™‚ You will have to tell me how it is received!

  3. Okay. I’m English and I’m practically salivating at the thought of this cake.

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