Pineapple Orange Cupcakes Recipe

These Pineapple Orange Cupcakes are a light, fruity dessert topped with whipped cream! Learn how to make the perfect low-calorie cupcakes with this easy recipe.

I’m obsessed with delicious desserts paired with whipped cream. From our easy heaven on earth cake to this classic strawberry jello cake, we love it!

Pineapple cupcakes with cool whip and mandarin oranges on top.

Why these Cupcakes are Best

Have you ever heard of Pig Pickin Cake?

Like almost all decadent cakes, the Pig Pickin Cake came from the South. It got its name because it was very common at pig roasts and barbecues. Guests “picked” the tender meat off the cooked pig, which is how a Southern barbecue became known as a “pig pickin.” 

Well now that you know how it got it’s name, you’re wondering. . . What exactly IS a Pig Pickin’ Cake?

Pig Pickin Cake (or cupcakes) is made from white cake mix, combined with a can of mandarin oranges. It’s sweet (but not too sweet) with a light and fluffy texture.

  • I turned my favorite Pineapple Orange Cake recipe (aka “Pig Pickin Cake”) into cupcakes!
  • They’re a lightened up version of a classic southern recope. Made with applesauce instead of butter or oil!
  • Moist, orange cupcakes are topped with a pineapple infused whipped cream frosting.
  • Less than 75 calories per cupcake!

Southern or not, you’re going to love these cupcakes! Since they’re so low in calories, feel free to enjoy a second. Or even a third.

Pig Pickin Cupcakes lightened up for a healthy treat! Less than 75 calories per cupcake!

Ingredient Notes

Wondering how I make such a great tasting cupcake while keeping the calorie count in the double digits? Here are the magic ingredients.

  • White cake mix – Any brand of boxed mix will do.
  • Applesauce – The unsweetened kind. It makes the cupcakes moist and tender without adding extra fat and sugar. We love our homemade applesauce.
  • Egg whites – Works as a binder with a fraction of the calories of whole eggs.
  • Mandarin oranges – You’ll use the whole contents of the can, juices and all to add flavor, sweetness and moisture to your pineapple orange cupcakes.

Making the cupcakes is as easy as mixing the ingredients together and spooning the batter into your cupcake tin. Bake, cool and top with this amazing whipped cream topping.

For that, you’ll need:

  • Crushed pineapple – Choose the unsweetened kind.
  • Vanilla pudding mix – For flavor and creaminess.
  • Light cool whip – Or substitute a batch of my homemade Stabilized Whipped Cream for a less processed option.

Top each dollop of frosting with an extra mandarin orange slice for a perfect finishing touch. So simple and tasty.

Orange Pineapple Cupcakes lightened up for only 75 calories per cupcake! A healthy treat!

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t waste your egg yolks! You can use them in this easy lemon curd recipe.
  • Refrigerate the frosted pineapple orange cupcakes for at least an hour before eating. They taste best chilled!
  • For more fruity flavor, use orange, pineapple, banana or coconut pudding mix in the frosting instead of vanilla.
  • Try our pistachio pie recipe next. Easy, no bake treat!
Orange Pineapple Cupcakes, aka Pig Pickin Cupcakes

Recipe FAQs

How many calories do these cupcakes have?

By our calculations, each cupcake has about 64 calories. The exact calorie count will vary a bit depending on the brands of products you use.

Can I make them gluten free?

I have not tested any gluten free versions of this recipe, so I can’t vouch for the results. If you have a gluten free cake mix you like, feel free to give it a shot and let me know how it comes out.

Do cupcakes with cool whip frosting need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you should keep these cupcakes (and all cupcakes with a whipped cream frosting) stored in the refrigerated when you aren’t eating them.

Can I use fresh whipped cream instead of Cool Whip?

Fresh whipped cream could be used. It will increase the calorie count quite a bit and the frosting will not stay set as long on top of the cupcakes.

Pig Pickin Cupcakes, aka Orange Pineapple Cupcakes

More Light Cupcake Recipes

  • Indulge in one (or more!) of these Skinny Pineapple Cupcakes for dessert! Made with only 3 ingredients you can be enjoying one of these no guilt treats tonight!
  • Incredibly easy, these Lemon Pudding Cupcakes are moist and delicious! Topped with a creamy, light lemon frosting, you’ll love to sink your teeth into one of these cupcakes!
  • Crazy moist and fluffy, these Banana Pudding Cupcakes are the perfect dessert!

More Cupcake Recipes

See all Cupcake recipes

Pineapple Orange Cupcakes

4.78 from 9 votes
By: Aimee
These Pineapple Orange Cupcakes are an easy, light dessert idea that are nearly guilt free!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes


For the cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, undrained 15 ounce
  • 4 egg whites
  • cup no sugar added applesauce

For the frosting

  • 1 can crushed pineapple, undrained (no sugar added) 20 ounce
  • 1 box vanilla instant pudding mix 3.4 ounce
  • 8 ounce light Cool Whip
  • 1 can mandarin oranges drained, for garnish, optional
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix white cake mix, mandarin oranges (with liquid), egg whites, and apple sauce. Beat for 2 minutes.
  • Spoon cake batter into cupcake liners, until evenly distributed, about 2/3 full.
  • Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center is dry.
  • Remove from oven and cool cupcakes on wire rack, completely.
  • For the frosting, in a bowl mix together the crushed pineapple (with juices) with the pudding mix. Fold in Cool Whip.
  • Spoon frosting over each cupcake. Add a slice of mandarin orange for garnish, if desired. Refrigerate one hour or more.
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days. ENJOY.


  • Don’t waste your egg yolks! You can use them in this easy lemon curd recipe.
  • Refrigerate the frosted pineapple orange cupcakes for at least an hour before eating. They taste best chilled!
  • For more fruity flavor, use orange, pineapple, banana or coconut pudding mix in the frosting instead of vanilla.
  • Try our pistachio pie recipe next. Easy, no bake treat!


Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 64kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 43mg, Sugar: 9g
Course: Cupcake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on January 13, 2019

Comments & Reviews

  1. I am now on a Ketogenic Diet so I wish to UNSUBSCRIBE to your site. I have unsuccessfully tried twice but I continue to receive your emails. Please direct this to your website people so I can unsubscribe. Thank you. Your unsubscribe notation is not found on your site. Please amend.

    1. At the bottom of each email is an unsubscribe option. Sorry to see you go, good luck with your diet 🙂

  2. I make a cake (didn’t know it was a pig pickin’ cake lol) just like this one during the summer months and love the light orange taste highlighted with sweet pineapple. Great idea to make it into cupcakes for a little more portion control.

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