Million Dollar Cake

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Sep. 27, 2023
Pineapple and mandarin oranges give this easy cake a refreshing, tropical twist. With cake mix and pudding mix as ingredients, it is a breeze to put together when you're short on prep time. Plus, it needs to chill before serving, so it's a perfect make-ahead dessert for potlucks and parties! —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Million Dollar Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, undrained
  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/4 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipped topping


  1. Drain mandarin oranges and reserve liquid. Add reserved liquid to a liquid measuring cup (there should be about 1/2 cup) and fill with water to measure 1 cup. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using the juice and water mixture in place of the water called for on the package. Bake in two greased 9-in. round baking pans according to package directions. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Stir in pineapple. Spread 1 cup between cake layers.
  3. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in 1 cup whipped topping. Fold in remaining topping. Spread on top and side of cake. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Decorate with mandarin oranges prior to serving.
Million-Dollar Cake Tips

Can you put almond extract in million-dollar cake?

If you love nutty recipes that use almond extract, you can definitely use some in this million-dollar cake. Try replacing half the vanilla extract with almond extract to start. Go up to 3/4 teaspoon almond extract total for more robust almond flavor.

How can you make sure the filling isn't too runny?

There are a lot of cake recipes that start with a box of pudding mix in the batter, but this recipe uses pudding mix in the creamy filling. To make sure it's not too runny, be sure to measure the milk accurately with a liquid measuring cup and thoroughly drain the crushed pineapple. Squeeze the liquid out of the pineapple by pressing down the loose can lid onto the pineapple while holding the can upside down or drain through a strainer, pressing the pineapple with the back of a large spoon to get the most juice out. If the filling seems too thin right after mixing, let it stand for 1-2 minutes to set up a bit.

How should you store million-dollar cake?

Store million-dollar cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you love this million-dollar cake, you've got to try our million-dollar pound cake recipe!

Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 319 calories, 13g fat (6g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 317mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.