Easy Recipes
Ingredient Spotlight

Million Dollar Cake

The Million Dollar Cake is an absolute showstopper that lives up to its name in both taste and presentation. With its layers of moist cake, creamy filling, and vibrant fruit, it’s a dessert that never fails to impress. The combination of pineapple, mandarin oranges, and creamy frosting creates a delightful balance of flavors and textures that are simply irresistible. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to make, especially considering the stunning result it delivers. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just a treat for yourself and your loved ones, this cake is sure to become a favorite that you’ll want to keep in your recipe collection for years to come.

Million Dollar Cake


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Mix and bake the cake mix according to package instructions for two 8 or 9-inch round layers. Let the layers cool, then split each layer in half to create 4 layers.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese until soft, then gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar. Stir in the crushed pineapple with juice and the drained mandarin oranges, reserving about 5 mandarin orange slices to decorate the top of the cake. Mix in the dry pudding mix. Fold in the whipped topping.
  3. Place one cake layer on a cake plate cut side up; spread with frosting. Place another layer cut side down on the first one, and top with more frosting. Repeat until all layers are used, spreading the last bit of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with reserved mandarin orange slices. Refrigerate overnight before serving.


  1. Can I use a different flavor of cake mix?
    • Yes, you can experiment with different cake flavors such as vanilla, white, or even lemon to suit your preference.
  2. Can I use fresh fruit instead of canned?
    • While canned fruit is typically used for convenience and consistency, you can certainly use fresh pineapple and mandarin oranges if preferred. Just make sure to adjust the quantity to achieve the same flavor profile.
  3. Can I make this cake in advance?
    • Yes, you can prepare the cake layers and frosting ahead of time, then assemble the cake and refrigerate it overnight before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures a moist and delicious cake.
  4. Can I customize the frosting?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to add a splash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of coconut flakes to the frosting for added flavor and texture.
  5. How should I store leftovers?
    • Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container to maintain freshness. It should keep well for several days.
  6. Can I use homemade whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping?
    • Yes, you can use homemade whipped cream if preferred. Just make sure to stabilize it with a bit of gelatin or powdered sugar to prevent it from deflating.
  7. What can I use if I don’t have a round cake pan?
    • You can use square or rectangular cake pans instead, but you may need to adjust the baking time slightly depending on the size and depth of the pans.
  8. Can I add additional layers to the cake?
    • Yes, you can certainly add more layers if you prefer a taller cake. Just adjust the quantities of the ingredients accordingly.


  1. Level the cake layers: Use a serrated knife or cake leveler to ensure that each layer is evenly sliced for a professional-looking cake.
  2. Chill the frosting: For easier spreading and better texture, chill the frosting in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before assembling the cake.
  3. Decorate creatively: Get creative with your cake decoration by adding additional fruit slices, shredded coconut, or even chocolate shavings for an extra special touch.
  4. Allow time to set: Refrigerating the cake overnight allows the flavors to develop and the layers to set, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful dessert experience.

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