Layered Orange Mousse Cups

Mini Mandarin Orange Trifles | Pinky's Pantry
I always toss oranges into a salad or peel and eat them plain. Why? I have no idea. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I finally decided it was time to stop the insanity and actually achieve a different result. An orange DESSERT was in order!
Mini Mandarin Orange Trifles | Pinky's Pantry
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any oranges on hand! But I did have canned mandarin oranges in the pantry so decided to use them for my dessert. They turned out just fine. The really nice thing about canned mandarin oranges is they’re very uniform in size with almost no broken segments. Best of all, opening a can is way easier than peeling a bunch of oranges and separating the segments yourself. This dessert is best made the day before you plan to serve it because of the time needed to chill the different layers.
Mini Mandarin Orange Trifles | Pinky's Pantry


  • 1 loaf pound cake (ready-made or you can bake your own)
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) Jell-O orange gelatin
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 3 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup juice from cans of mandarin oranges
  • 1 tub (16 oz.) cool whip, thawed
  • 12 clear glass ramekins
  1. Place cans of mandarin oranges in refrigerator to chill while you work with the cake.
  2. Slice pound cake into twelve ½-inch thick slices.
  3. Using one of your ramekins or a round cookie cutter, cut a cake circle the same diameter as your ramekins from each slice of cake. Depending on how large your ramekins are, you may only be able to get one whole circle per slice of cake.
  4. Press a cake circle into the bottom of each ramekin. Feel free to patch together cake pieces if you can’t get a whole cake circle from one slice of pound cake.
  5. In a large bowl, stir jello and boiling water together for 2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  6. Open cans of mandarin oranges and drain juice into a 1-cup measuring cup.
  7. Stir chilled juice into hot gelatin.
  8. Refrigerate gelatin for 40 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  9. Remove from refrigerator and whisk in 4 cups cool whip until well blended.
  10. Divide orange mousse evenly over cake in ramekins.
  11. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
  12. Top each with a layer of plain cool whip.
  13. Decorate top with orange slices. I arranged 3 mandarin slices to look like a flower.
  14. Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

Orange Petit Fours

Orange Petit Fours | Pinky's Pantry
I decided to try making petit fours for my Mother’s Day Tea Party this year. I found this Betty Crocker recipe, so armed with all the ingredients and my daughter, Bashful, by my side, we set to work. While I baked up the petit fours and got them glazed, Bashful set about rolling the gummy candies and cutting out adorable little flower and leaf shapes to place on top of each one. Don’t they look cute? I think she did an excellent job!

Petit Fours (pronounced peti fur) are a confectionery typically made of tiny little pound cakes or sponge cakes that are glazed and decorated. The name petit fours is French in origin and literally means “small oven.” They can be covered with fondant or coated with any flavor of frosting or glaze. Sometimes they’re filled with jam, chocolate, buttercream frosting, or whipped cream. Decorated with piped rosettes, hearts or ribbons, chocolate swirls, fondant flowers, dragees, nonpareils, or any tiny edible ornamentation, they make a sweet and elegant addition to a baby or bridal shower, afternoon tea, or dessert table.Orange Petit Fours | Pinky's Pantry

(Makes 54 petits fours)


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur (can substitute orange juice)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Spray bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients except liqueur with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly to edges.
  4. Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center.
  5. Brush liqueur over top of cake.
  6. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  7. To avoid cake crumbs when adding icing, freeze cake 1 hour before cutting.


  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup pulp-free orange juice
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  1. In large bowl, beat icing ingredients on low speed until powdered sugar is moistened.
  2. Beat on high speed until smooth.
  3. If icing is too thick, add more orange juice, a teaspoon at a time, until icing is pourable.


  • gum drops
  • orange jellies
  1. Sprinkle sugar onto work surface.
  2. Roll gum drops and orange jellies flat with a rolling pin.
  3. Cut out tiny flower and leaf shapes with a sharp paring knife,


  1. Place cooling rack on cookie sheet or waxed paper to catch icing drips.
  2. Cut cake into 9 rows by 6 rows.
  3. Working with one piece at a time, remove cake square from pan and place on cooling rack.
  4. Spoon icing evenly over top of cake square, letting icing drip down sides till cake is completely coated. (Icing that drips off can be reused.)
  5. Place a little gum drop or orange jelly flower on top of cake square.
  6. Let stand until icing is set, about 2 hours.
  7. Store in single layer in airtight plastic container.
[Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker]