Concept of this cake (light & refreshing) is so good! However mandarin oranges are so mild as to impart virtually no appreciable flavor & pineapple is kind of overpowering to me. So, I made a few changes to the author’s wonderful recipe and it worked out well: I omitted the pineapple & mandarin oranges & instead I used frozen mango that I thawed, diced and drained well. Shockingly, frozen mango tastes nearly a good as fresh (plus no need to peel or seed!). I saved the drained mango juice and folded most of it in the cool whip/pudding mixture a little at a time – you don’t want the icing to become runny. It gave it a nice tint of color and added a hint of flavor. As other reviewers suggested, I reduced oil to 3/4 cup and used 1/4 cup OJ. I added zest from one orange to the cake mix and as it baked it smelled soooo good! Another change I made was that after the cake baked/cooled, I brushed each layer with cooled orange syrup made of 3 Tablespoons OJ, 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar, and 3 Tablespoons Triple Sec (bring sugar and OJ to boil & stir 1 minute, remove from heat then add Triple Sec & cool – use for both layers). YUM and it made it moist. I did garnish the center of the cake with a few mandarin orange slices to resemble a sunburst. I took the cake to a dinner party and the people who politely said they'd have “a bite or two” ended up scraping their plates and asking for more! As my teenager would say, “Owned ‘em!”
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Concept of this cake (light & refreshing) is so good! However mandarin oranges are so mild as...