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Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Everyone loves a classic cake recipe, and there’s nothing better or more classic than a million-dollar cake! This old-fashioned dessert has been around since the 1940s and it’s still a fan favorite today. Its fluffy layers of white sponge cake and sweet sugary icing make it feel like you’re indulging in something truly special.

Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Ingredients you’ll need:

Unique and delicious, a Million Dollar Cake can be prepared for less than the cost of its namesake.

All that’s needed is an ordinary white cake mix, cream cheese, canned pineapple & mandarin oranges plus some other standard ingredients like vanilla pudding mix and whipping cream to create this stunningly sweet treat!

Basic kitchen tools such as round pans and mixing bowls are also necessary – so get baking your way into dollar-store grandeur today!

How to make Million Dollar Cake?

Ready to bake your own remarkable Million Dollar Cake? Making this old-fashioned cake recipe is very easy:

  1. Whip up your delicious white cake mix with ease. Follow the instructions on the package to create two round layers, then take it one step further by splitting each layer into again, making four thinner slices.
  2. Then for the filling, whip the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in drained mandarin and pineapple cut into small pieces – reserve five mandarin slices to adorn the top of the dessert. Incorporate dry pudding mix before folding in whipped topping.
  3. Then you are ready to build your cake, spread creamy frosting between each layer, place the final bit around the edges and fill in any empty spaces. Decorate this homemade cake by adding the mandarin slices on top and before serving store it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Baking tips for million-dollar cake

With a few simple tips, you can bake the perfect million-dollar cake!

  • Before you start baking the perfect million-dollar cake, be sure that your ingredients are prepped correctly and everything is measured.
  • To make sure yours turns out just right, make sure that the filling isn’t too runny. Properly drain the mandarins before adding them to your mixture. The extra juice will liquefy your filling, making it runny.
  • Make sure to cut your layers straight and evenly as this will give your cake a professional look and make it perfectly balanced.
  • Before adding frosting, chill each layer to help it hold its shape when building up the cake layers

Variations & subtitles

Who doesn’t love the million-dollar cake? It just sounds luxurious. You can make different variations of this decadent dessert to fit any occasion.

  • Consider adding nuts on top or adding them to the filling.
  • Instead of using pineapples and mandarins in your filling, you can also try other varieties of fruits such as peaches or oranges.
  • Adding different types of fruit to the mix will give it a delicious twist and make it your own signature creation!
  • Add a spoonful of coconut cream to your filling for an extra tropical touch.

Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Store Million Dollar Cake

It’s best to store the cake in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for up to 5 days. Make sure you wrap your cake tightly in cling wrap before refrigerating—this will prevent outside air from sneaking into the cake and drying it out.

After 5 days, if your sweet masterpiece is still intact, feel free to store it in an airtight box and freeze it as needed—just don’t forget what’s underneath all that wrapping paper.

Freeze Million Dollar Cake

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the flavor of your Million Dollar Cake months after baking it, freezing it is the perfect solution!

The key to successful freezing is controlling the amount of moisture that enters the cake, so it’s important to wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap.

If you opt for plastic wrap, check that it’s airtight before freezing! Plus, once the cake is frozen it’ll be easy to transport anywhere you like – no refrigeration necessary! So if you want to keep your million-dollar cake in mint condition, freezing is definitely the way to go.

Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Million Dollar Cake Recipe

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Everyone loves a classic cake recipe, and there's nothing better or more classic than a million dollar cake!


  • 1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 (8 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained and cut into small pieces (reserve some for decoration))
  • 1 (3.5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Follow the instructions on your cake mix packaging and bake two perfectly round layers.
  2. Let the layers cool down completely then cut each layer in half so as to have 4 layers of cake.

  3. Put the cream cheese and the confectioner’s sugar into a large bowl, and whisk together until soft. Add the crushed pineapple with juice and drained mandarin, saving some mandarin slices to arrange on the top of the cake. Add the dry pudding mix and the whipped topping.

  4. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate and spread 2 spoonfuls of filling. Place another layer on top followed by more filling. After layering on the frosting, fill any gaps and use left-over mandarin slices to decorate your homemade cake creation. Place in the fridge to set for 2 hours, then enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 16gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 367mgCarbohydrates: 46.4gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 8th of July 2023

I made this cake and it tasted delicious, but, the icing was not stiff enough. I loved it so I made it 2 weeks later for my best friends bday. This time I drained the pineapple The icing consistency was spot on. My friend asked me to make this every year for her birthday 🎂! WINNER WINNER Enjoy.

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