Pig-Pickin' Good

The Herald-Mail cooks

The Herald-Mail cooks

October 23, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

Hilda Hollenbaugh doesn't like frozen whipped topping.

Years ago, when a co-worker brought Pig-Pickin' Cake to work, Hollenbaugh refused even to taste it because the icing was made with the cold fluffy stuff.

After a while she gave in and tried a little bit.

Despite the name - and she has no idea of its source - Hollenbaugh liked the cake and asked for the recipe.

Fruity, moist Pig-Pickin' Cake has become one of her specialties.

"Every time I take this cake somewhere, people want the recipe," Hollenbaugh says.

Hollenbaugh no longer works in customer service at Sears in Hagerstown, but the cake has become her trademark since she came to work part time in The Herald-Mail's Circulation department in May 1997. Her job - once again - is customer service, and she takes care of her co-workers as well. Every time a new person is hired, she tries to make a Pig-Pickin' Cake.


The 77-year-old Halfway resident enjoys her work at the daily newspaper in the community she has lived all her life.

Hollenbaugh was born in Breathedsville in the southern part of Washington County. When she was three weeks old her family moved to a farm below Funkstown, then later to Downsville.

She has four grown children - all born at home, she says - six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

In her spare time she watches or tapes "her soaps" and other programs on her four televisions and four VCRs.

And Hollenbaugh cooks.

Pig-Pickin' Cake takes time to make. Hollenbaugh pours the crushed pineapple into a strainer a day before baking the cake, frequently pressing it. The key to the icing is getting all the juice out of the pineapple, she says.

She uses a box cake mix and makes it her own, adding a can of mandarin oranges with their juice and no water.

When the cake is cool, she pokes holes in the top and pours on the reserved pineapple juice.

She ices the cake the next day, mixing the frozen whipped topping she used to not like with a small box of instant vanilla pudding and the drained pineapple.

Hollenbaugh has shared the recipe with Herald-Mail co-workers, and Circulation Director Mark Kukiela and her supervisor Rod Sova tried it. Kukiela didn't have the oranges, Sova didn't have whipped topping. Without the proper ingredients, Pig-Pickin' Cake just wasn't the same.

Hilda Hollenbaugh's Pig-Pickin' Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix

  • 4 eggs

  • 3/4 cup oil

  • 1 small can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, undrained

  • 20 oz. can crushed pineapple

  • 8 oz. bowl frozen whipped topping

  • 3.4 oz. box vanilla instant pudding

A day or two before baking, drain juice from 20 oz. can crushed pineapple. Set aside.

Follow directions on back of cake box for mixing, adding oranges and using juice from oranges instead of water. Use oil and flour to grease a 9-by-13 sheet pan, or use cooking spray.

Bake in a 350-degree oven 35 minutes. Cool.

When cool, use a fork to poke holes in top of cake. Pour juice from pineapple over cake. Refrigerate overnight.

For the icing:

Mix whipped topping, pudding and pineapple well, then frost cake.

Refrigerate until serving.

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