Pig Pick’n Banana Pudding… and an ode to my fave birthday cake (& missing Ms. Ethel!)

Pig Pick'n Banana Pudding

Published in Carolina Country Magazine November 2018

Lort.  So today is my birthday.
My favorite cake… Pig Pick’n Cake!  
So I came here to share my Pig Pick’n Banana Pudding recipe on my facebook page to celebrate.  I do love some good banana pudding too (will post that one of these days)… yet when I got here, I realized, as I often do… I never put the recipe here once it published in Carolina Country Magazine!  

One of these days, I’ll share my pig pick’n’ cake too… a cake that by most accounts has its roots here in North Carolina.  Served as a dessert at pig pick’ns over the years… I have surmised that the creamy sweet citrusy cake was created to balance out all the delectable grease consumed from picking the pig!

In any case, it’s damn good.
And will forever be my personal favorite!  My first pig pick’n cake was made by my Ma Hocutt decades ago… this southern cake favorite has been around a long longgggg time… like me!!  lol

My “other mother” Ms. Ethel made sure the last few years of her life I didn’t have to make my own birthday cake.  She always made me a pig pick’n cake… like this one!  

eating my pig picking birthday cake


She called me over to her house…  the eve before my birthday! As usual, I was puttering around, in one of my favorite house dresses… not planning to need to go anywhere!  She sounded rather urgent, so I jumped in the car and got right over there.  Bless her heart, she’d just finished making my birthday cake… thought hadn’t even crossed my mind since my birthdays tend to be uneventful.  So there I was, unbrushed hair… house dressed… enjoying MY birthday cake my buddy fixed for me.  I surely do miss her… and nobody, self included, has made me a birthday cake she’s she’s been gone.

Birthday with Ms. Ethel and Wendy

So without much fanfare… here’s a really yummy recipe… to celebrate my birthday.  A tasty combination of 2 of my faves, all in one!  Birthday or not, make some for yourself.  Just because, or when you need an easy-to-throw-together crowd pleaser when you’ve got a bunch of folks to feed at your next gathering.  Guaranteed to please!  

If you need a little help hosting your own pig pick’n… find my tips here at Carolina Country Magazine.  

This recipe created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine November 2018.
Food propping/styling and photography © (copyrighted) by Wendy Perry.
Carolina Country Magazine Contributing Recipes Editor

Disclosure:  I only use and recommend products here I use myself. I may receive a small commission from affiliate links on this or other posts on this web site at no additional costs to you.


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Pig Pick’n Banana Pudding

No pig pick’n is complete without banana pudding and pig pick’n cake. (And pig pick'n cake is my FAVE cake too!) I decided to make the ultimate dessert and combine the two. Assemble early in the day so the wafers have time to soak up the creamy pudding goodness!
Course: Cakes, Dessert, Sweet Treats
Cuisine: Southern, Southern Desserts
Keyword: banana pudding, cake, pig pickin,
Author: Wendy Perry


  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 full cans milk
  • 1 5 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 8 ounce cream cheese, softened and divided in half
  • 1 orange, zested and juices
  • 2 11 ounce boxes vanilla wafers
  • 5-6 medium bananas
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits drained


  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 11 ounce cans mandarin orange segments, drained


  • Put milk into deep bowl and mix in pudding. Let stand 5 minutes. Using mixer, blend in half of the cream cheese and orange juice.
  • Put one bag of wafers in bottom of 13" x 9" deep dish bowl. Slice half the bananas over wafers. Scatter with half of the pineapple tidbits. Repeat layers. 
  • Pour pudding mixture over and gently shake so it will ooze into layers. 
  • For topping, whip cream, remaining cream cheese and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add milk, extract, pineapple, 2 cans of orange segments and whip just enough to blend all together.
  • Cover layered pudding with topping and garnish with remaining orange segments and orange zest.
  • Chill several hours before serving.

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