Mandarin Holiday Cake


Mandarin Holiday Cake

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    A simple—yet showstopping—holiday cake using a Hy-Vee cake mix. Layers of candied mandarins top this sweet and savory cake. No one will ever know it’s not from “scratch”.

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    Servings and Ingredients

    Serves 10
    Candied Oranges
    1 c. Hy-Vee granulated sugar
    1 c. water
    6 or 7 medium, firm mandarin oranges, cut into 1/8-in.-thick slices (about 24 slices)
    ¼ c. Hy-Vee unsalted butter, melted
    ⅓ c. packed Hy-Vee light brown sugar
    1 (16.5-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee extra moist classic yellow deluxe cake mix
    1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
    4 Hy-Vee large eggs
    1 c. water
    ⅓ c. Hy-Vee vegetable oil
    1 ½ tsp. mandarin orange zest
    ½ tsp. Hy-Vee ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus additional sprigs for garnish

    Things To Grab

    • Knife
    • Cutting board
    • Medium saucepan
    • Hy-Vee canola oil cooking spray
    • 9x3-in.-deep round springform cake pan
    • Parchment paper
    • Pastry brush
    • Large bowl
    • Electric mixer
    • Toothpick
    • Wire rack
    • Narrow metal spatula or table knife
    • Serving plate


    1. For candied oranges, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Carefully add orange slices; press slices down into the liquid with the back of spoon. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, gently stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer orange slices to a plate; set aside syrup in saucepan.

    2. For cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the bottom and side of a 9x3-in.-deep round springform cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Place prepared springform pan in a rimmed baking pan. Add melted butter to springform pan; spread evenly with a pastry brush. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange orange slices in a decorative pattern on top of brown sugar, overlapping if necessary; set aside.

    3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil, Mandarin zest, cinnamon and ½ tsp. thyme in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes or until well combined. Carefully spread batter over orange slices in springform pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

    4. Meanwhile, cook syrup in saucepan over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduce by half; remove from heat.

    5. Cool cake in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a narrow metal spatula or table knife around the inside edge of the cake pan to loosen side of cake from pan. Place a serving plate over top and invert the pan with the plate so the plate is on top. If necessary, slightly shake to loosen cake from pan onto plate. Remove pan and parchment paper. Brush mandarin slices with syrup. Cool completely. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

    Nutrition facts


    490 Calories per serving

    Amounts Per Serving

    • Total Fat: 17g
    • Cholesterol: 85mg
    • Sodium: 450mg
    • Total Carbohydrates: 80g
    • Protein: 4g

    Daily Values

    Iron 6%
    Calcium 6%
    Vitamin D 0%
    Potassium 4%