Mandarin Orange Cake

If you want a super-easy cake that people will rave about, Mandarin Orange Cake is the recipe for you! This is the cake to make when you?re in charge of taking a dessert to a potluck event. It?s easy to make, it travels well, and everyone is crazy about it!

Mandarin Orange Cake will not be the most beautiful cake at the party, but its homely looks are quickly forgotten as soon as people taste it. It really is that good! The mandarin oranges are the ?secret? ingredient?they are not detectable in the finished cake.

My family got the recipe from the The Arboretum Restaurant in Chaska, MN. My mom enjoyed having lunch there in the ?70s; she either got the recipe from the restaurant, or it may have been published in the Minneapolis paper.

Last weekend I made half of the recipe for Laura’s birthday and I baked it in a 9-inch round cake pan. An 8×8-inch square pan would have worked equally well. The full recipe is baked in a 9×13-inch pan.

Mandarin Orange Cake
(Adapted from a recipe from The Arboretum Restaurant in Chaska, MN)


(print the recipe)


Makes a 9×13-inch cake (cut the ingredients in half to make a 9-inch round or an 8×8-inch square cake)


For a 9×13-inch cake:

2 cups flour

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups drained mandarin oranges (two 11-oz cans)


1. Preheat oven to 350?.

2. Combine all of the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat with a mixer until well blended. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch pan.



 Half of the recipe in a 9-inch round pan


3. Bake for 35 minutes. When the cake is almost done, make the glaze.


For the Glaze: (This is for a 9×13 inch cake; cut in half for a half cake)

1½ cups brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons milk


Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes. Poke holes in the hot cake and ladle the hot glaze onto it until all of the glaze has been used.

Hot brown sugar and butter glaze


Pouring the hot glaze over the hot cake


Ready to eat!

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