March and April are the peak months for the sweetest and juiciest oranges, at least around here in California. So let’s take advantage of the delicious things nature gives us, and whip up the most amazing orange cake you’ll ever taste … or so, I hope you agree once you try to make this recipe. A soft and moist cake with a sweet, slightly tangy, strong orange aroma. Even more flavorful when drizzled with a delicious and fresh orange glaze.
Do you know how quick and easy is to bake this cake? You can whip this up in no more than an hour, and it’s as easy as mixing a muffin batter. For this recipe I used cara cara navel oranges. With their red-pinkish flesh, sweeter and slightly tangier then regular navel, cara caras are just perfect for this dessert. But you can decide which type of orange you like best (or what is available in your area), and make it as sweet or as tangy as you wish.
And if you are thinking what I’m thinking, don’t even think about it! Haha! For this cake you have to use freshly-squeezed juice and freshly-grated zest. No store-bought juices or extracts. Sorry but there is no easy way around it. Grate and squeeze … I will come there and do it myself for you, if that’s what it takes J
This recipe first appeared on Cooking with Manuela in March 2016
Ingredients: to make a 9 inches (23 cm) cake
- 6 oz (165 gr) of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 oranges (zest and juice)
- 1 lemon (zest)
- 1 cup (200 gr) of sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1.5 cups (225 gr) of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (6 gr) of baking powder
for the glaze:
- 1 orange (juice)
- 1/4 cup (30 gr) of powdered sugar
Preparation time: one hour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175 ° C).
Melt the butter cut in pieces in a double boiler or in the microwave (for 30 seconds, than add 10 seconds intervals, as necessary). Let it cool down.
2. In a bowl, combine the grated zest of two oranges, their juice and the lemon zest.
3. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar.
Add the vanilla extract, the melted butter, the salt and the citrus mixture (zest and juice) and whisk some more. Whisk in the flour and the baking powder. Mix until combined.
4. Grease a 9 in. (23 cm) pan (with removable bottom) with butter and flour. I used parchment paper for the bottom, and I only greased the sides. Pour the batter and level with a spoon.
Bake at 350°F (175 ° C) for 30-35 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Turn off the oven and let the cake rest inside the oven for five minutes.
5. When the cake is almost ready, prepare the orange glaze. In a small pan, mix the orange juice with powdered sugar. Simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes and pass through a mesh strainer.
Let the cake cool down before removing from the pan, and drizzle with the orange syrup.