ARCC Employee Takes the Cake

L to R: DCAO/Auditor and Controller/Bake-Off Judge Tracy Sandoval, Pete Jacovino and CECO President Mavette Sadile.

L to R: DCAO/Auditor and Controller/Bake-Off Judge Tracy Sandoval, Pete Jacovino and CECO President Mavette Sadile.

An Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk employee takes the cake! Pete Jacovino, Imaging Technician II, won the San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization (CECO)’s 2018 Bake-Off at the County Administration Center last month. Jacovino won with his magic pumpkin cake.

Jacovino, who has been with the County for 18 years, is an avid baker and cook. He regularly leads potlucks in his office, making everything from meatballs to chocolate cake.

“Food makes the world go round and it brings people together,” he said.

Jacovino tested several recipes before entering the annual contest. His co-workers gladly served as taste testers leading up to the big competition. Ultimately, he went with the crowd favorite—a recipe from The Country Cook website that he modified to make his own.

This recipe is more than award-winning; it’s magic! Give it a try for the holidays.


Magic Pumpkin Cake Recipe


  • 1 box French vanilla cake mix (plus the ingredients to make the cake: eggs, oil, water)

  • 30-ounce can pumpkin pie filling mix

  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 3.5-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice divided

  • 1 cup cold milk

  • 8-ounce tub whipped topping thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.

  3. Pour cake batter into a non-stick metal 9x13-inch baking dish. Set it aside.

  4. Combine pumpkin pie mix, eggs, evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in bowl. Stir well.

  5. Slowly pour the pumpkin pie mix right onto the cake batter.

  6. Bake for 55 minutes.

  7. Allow the cake to cool completely – this may take a couple hours.

  8. Combine package of instant pudding with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and cold milk.

  9. Whisk until pudding thickens and then fold in whipped topping into pudding.

  10. Spread topping on cooled cake.

The CECO Bake-Off and bake sale are a sweet way to fundraise and showcase great bakers. Dozens of employees donated homemade cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, cupcakes and other desserts. It all benefitted the employee-funded charity, which is now holding its annual membership drive. Learn more about CECO.