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Need help converting a recipe to homemade....

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I came across a recipe for a Coconut Orange Cake from a Southern blog called Sweet Tea And Cornbread. It looks yummy but uses a cake mix, which is not the problem I'll just use a homemade Orange Cake recipe from AllRecipes.com and add shredded coconut. My quandary concerns the frosting. I prefer to cook homemade so I need a little help converting the following into an equivalent homemade recipe:

Frosting

1 15 oz. can mandarin oranges, do not drain and crushed
1 large instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
1 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a mixing bowl, crush the mandarin oranges with their juices with an electric mixer. Stir in the instant pudding mix and coconut. Fold in the whipped topping. Mix well. Frost the cake layers.

I would think of using a whipped cream frosting if not for the pudding mix, which I am sure is added for flavor and consistency. Do you think I could use homemade vanilla pudding, reducing the milk and adding the Mandarin orange juice instead?

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  1. This blogger had the very same dilemma as you do... Scratch cake instead of cake mix. She devised her own instant pudding mix! She used it for the cake, but it's dry so I think it would work for frosting too.

    My first thought when I read your question was that the pudding mix was used dry with just the liquid from the oranges... to basically keep the frosting from being runny and add flavor. See if the recipe the blogger devised might help you...

    http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/04...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Thank you so much, Gio! That will work perfectly!

      1. re: Gio

        Wow, great idea on the homemade dry pudding mix!

      2. If I were going to try, I would consider draining and squeezing the mandarin oranges as dry as I could, and making a homemade vanilla pudding that was seriously(!) on the *stiff* side, to keep the texture from getting liquid-y once whipped topping or whipped cream (especially) is folded in. If more orange flavor is desired, I'd consider an extract to replace whatever orange flavor the mandarin orange liquid is contributing.

        I have no personal experience with *stabilizing* whipped cream, but you might want to look into such a technique; it seems to me that the pudding mix plays such a stiffening role in such a recipe, and with homemade pudding, the mix might be too loose.

        Good luck. That combo is so good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cayjohan

          Anna Olson puts dried milk in her whipped cream to stabilize it. As well I would drain the mandarin oranges. I would be inclined to mix the oranges and whipped cream and put it between the layers and made a coconut-vanilla icing for the rest of the cake.

          1. re: Ruthie789

            Ruthie789, I think that's a brilliant way to handle it! And as a further riff: orange-vanilla pudding as a filling, whipped cream with coconut as the icing. Divide and conquer, in either case. I like it.

            1. re: cayjohan

              My inspiration on that one was a food memory of my friend's mother making a blitz torte. It had the whipped cream filling in the middle and the coconut-vanilla icing on the outside and had a layer or two of cooked meringue between the other layers. Wish I had that recipe!