Sunshine Cake - Recipe Diaries (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Jenna · This post may contain affiliate links ·

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This sunshine cake will brighten anyone's day and it is so easy to make! All you need are 5 simple ingredients. (see picture below).

Do you like easy cake recipes like these? Try Better than Sex Cake, Strawberry Poke Cake, or Rhubarb Dump Cake.

Jump to:
  • Why You Will Love This Recipe
  • Ingredients Needed
  • How to make Sunshine Cake
  • 🌟 Recipe Tips
  • Recipe FAQs
  • More Dessert Recipes to Try
  • Sunshine Cake

Why You Will Love This Recipe

The base of this cake is made with only two ingredients which are yellow cake mix and canned crushed pineapple.

My Aunt usually makes this cake for us and brings it to the lake cabin. People will be asking you to bring this cake soon wherever you go!

The frosting is so good you will want to eat it right out of the bowl and not even add it to the top of the cake (I've done that before).

Ingredients Needed

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Just by swapping out a few ingredients, this cake can be made lower in calories or more point friendly for Weight Watchers. Look for sugar-free or reduced sugar items at the grocery store.

  • Yellow Cake Mix- Can I use sugar-free cake mix? Yes, you can. My stomach cannot tolerate sugar-free products and that is why I used the regular cake mix in this recipe. Please use your WW recipe builder to figure out points for sugar-free cake mix.
  • Crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • Container cool whip lite (12 oz is ok)
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix- If you want to use sugar-free use the 1oz size. If you want to use regular pudding use 3.4 oz. Both sizes will work for this. 🙂 The recipe below the points listed are for regular pudding. The sugar-free instant pudding boxes are either 1 oz or 1.4 oz. at all if using sugar-free pudding.
  • Mandarin oranges, drained (look for cans in the store that say reduced sugar)

How to make Sunshine Cake

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Step 2: Add dried cake mix to a mixing bowl. Add the can of crushed pineapple (including the juice) to the mixing bowl and stir until evenly distributed.

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Step 3: Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

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Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Step 4: To make the frosting combine the dry pudding mix with the cool whip and gently fold in your drained can of mandarin oranges. Spread it on to the cooled cake.

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Sunshine Cake - Recipe Diaries (5)

🌟 Recipe Tips

Sometimes I just make the frosting for this recipe and eat it out of the bowl, it is so good.

Do not add anything that the box of cake mix calls for on the back of the box. All you do is add the can of crushed pineapple to the box of cake mix and stir. That is IT.

While the cake is baking in the oven prepare the frosting and let it chill in the fridge to set.

Recipe FAQs

Should pineapple cake be refrigerated?

This cake is best served cool. The frosting which is instant pudding mix, cool whip, and milk set better in the fridge as well. Do not serve this cake warm!

Can I make this cake the day ahead?

Bake the cake and let it cool. Wrap it up tightly and store it in the fridge. Make the frosting and wrap that tightly as well. The next day when you are ready to serve it all you have to do is frost the cake.

Is there sugar-free pudding?

Yes, Jello makes a ton of sugar-free flavors. Sugar-free pudding comes in 1oz boxes and uses up 2 cups of milk.

I am affiliated with WW?

I am not affiliated with WW in any way. I am just a member who creates recipes based on their points system. This recipe is based on WW Freestyle program, and SmartPoints are the value system the company bases their foods on. Some recipes will have older points system values listed in them.

More Dessert Recipes to Try

  • Cookie Butter Rice Krispie Treats
  • No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
  • Oreo Icebox Cake
  • Alton Brown's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

If you tried this Sunshine Cake or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you! Follow along on Tiktok @jennarecipediaries


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Sunshine Cake

★★★★★4.8 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Jenna
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 24 1x


This sunshine cake will brighten anyone's day and it is so easy to make! All you need are 5 simple ingredients. (see picture below).



  • 1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 1 (8 oz) container cool whip lite (12 oz is ok)
  • 1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix (see notes above)
  • 1 (11oz) can of mandarin oranges, drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, mix yellow cake mix and pineapple. Do not drain the pineapple.
  3. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Pour cake mix you mixed together in step 2 into a pan and bake for approx 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  5. While cake is baking, prepare the frosting by mixing together the whipped dessert topping, the package of instant pudding (dry mix only), and the mandarin oranges(drained). Set frosting in a refrigerator to set. Frost when cake has thoroughly cooled.
  6. Slice the cake into 24 equal servings. Serving size: 1 slice.


My WW Personal Points: 7 Click here to see in recipe builder (will have to log in)

  • Category: Easy
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 166.6
  • Sugar: 19.8g
  • Sodium: 228.7
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.9g
  • Fiber: .6g
  • Protein: 1.6g

Keywords: sunshine cake

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  • Pumpkin Cake Roll Recipe
  • 2 Ingredient Cheesecakes (High Protein)
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  • Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats

Reader Interactions


  1. Jenna says

    The # of servings is listed at the top of the recipe as yields.

  2. Mickey McCanne says

    How many servings is this cake?

  3. Jenna says

    I mention in the post if you can use a sugar-free cake mix. 🙂

  4. Irma says

    Hi there. Would you happen to know if this recipe will work as well with a sugar free cake mix? Thank.

  5. Jenna says

    Yes, that is what the recipe calls for. I've used both crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges before and both are good.

  6. Shelley says

    It sure looks like from the photo that mandarin oranges are in the icing.

  7. Jenna says

    If you found the recipe via Pinterest you can share the image on the pin. Or if you have Instagram you can tag me in the pic. Thanks Patricia!

  8. Patricia says

    This was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, but I added two more scoops of cool whip because I love icing. I also put some mandarin orange slices on top. I'm sure I will make this again and will double the good. Even my picky husband loved it! I wanted to send a picture but I can't figure out how to do it! Thanks Jenna

  9. Grace Margaritakis says

    I made this cake and it is easy and delicious. My husband even loved it and he never eats cake.

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Sunshine Cake - Recipe Diaries (2024)
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