Friday, March 30, 2012

Fresh Orange Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm not so sure that this cake photo is "A Feast for the Eyes".  In fact, I was so disappointed with my lackluster photos of this delicious cake, that I pondered one of two things-- don't post these photos at all, or make the cake again.

The perfectionist in me, almost chose the latter option.  However, as much I love to bake, I reserve cake baking for when I have dinner guests.  (I know that my will power becomes weakened if I have a cake in my kitchen.) 

I love citrus desserts, and when I bought some seasonal Cara Cara oranges, at a good price, I knew that the oranges would be destined to become the cake recipe that I spotted on "The Red Spoon".  I hate to waste any change to use citrus zest and, because I wanted my cake to have a lot of orange flavor, I set it aside.

Meg's recipe uses store-bought orange juice.  I decided to freshly squeeze mine, after zesting them.

I used about six oranges to get one cup of fresh squeezed juice.

Anytime I see vegetable oil and sour cream in a cake recipe, I'm pretty much guaranteed to have a moist cake. 

Plus, I don't have to worry about softening butter, since it's not to be found in this recipe. I like to add a couple teaspoons of Butter Sweet Dough Emulsion.  I think it adds a special "bakery flavor" to my cakes.

I also love Boyajian Pure Orange Oil, and I always keep a bottle in my refrigerator.  So, I added about 1/4 teaspoon of this to my cake batter.

Mix until smooth.  Pour into 3 9-inch prepared cake pans. NOTE: I don't recommend using only 2 pans, like I did. Why? Well, after baking the cakes for about 22 minutes at 350F, and allowing them to cool...

I realized that the cake is so moist, that I struggled to cut each layer in half without risking it breaking into chunks! I thought I'd create a lovey four-layer cake, like I did with my Coconut Layer Cake Not a good idea.  However, I forged on, and my thin layers survived intact.

I seriously thought about making a Swiss Buttercream frosting, with the orange zest and orange oil.  But, I decided to go with the cream cheese frosting that Meg used.

I used 3 packages of cream cheese and one stick of buttah.  I had about 1/4 cup of orange zest, so added half to the frosting... 1/4 more of orange juice.  I used about 4 cups of confectioner's sugar, but you can certainly use double that-- if you want a thick and really sweet frosting. I have a sweet tooth, but I do have my limits!

I was pleased with the silky texture of the frosting-- and I gave it a taste. Then I added the rest of the orange zest.


So, I managed to slice the two cakes into four layers-- and soon realized I barely had enough frosting!

Lucky, I pulled it off and put the cake into the fridge.

I had an inspiration that I would make candied orange slices, as a pretty garnish.  I used mandarin oranges, actually, so they would be small-ish.  Only, I broke my Golden Rule of Common Sense-- and when our guests arrived, I left the oranges slices unattended, while greeting our guest. In a matter of minutes, the sugar-water went to the hard ball stage...and....

..they became as hard as glass and many of the slices turned a very dark color. The few that I salvaged  were pretty, but hard to work with. SIGH. That goes to show that one must never leave hot sugar unattended. Never!

It's really hard to try to plate and photograph a recipe when you have dinner guests. They know I'm a food blogger, but they were as anxious as the rest of my family to dig in to dessert.  

So, here is a less than stellar photo of the cake.  But, taste is really what matters, right?

TASTING NOTES:  The cake was super moist and tender.  I believe that the orange oil really helped to make that beautiful orange citrus flavor to be at the forefront of our taste buds.  The frosting was excellent-- and I'm usually not the biggest fan of cream cheese frostings.  I loved the little bits of orange zest, too.  I sent a large section of the cake, home with our dinner guests. My friend told me that she enjoyed the cake for the next couple of days.  Would I make this cake again? You bet! In fact, I plan to make a version with fresh lemons, lemon zest and pure lemon oil.   I think that a Swiss Buttercream frosting, with either orange or lemon would be a lovely variation to this cake recipe.

A printable recipe card, with my adaptations,  is at the end of this post. If you can't view it (if you're using Windows Explorer), click here to see my recipe. You can see the original recipe here.

Happy Spring!  

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bellini said...

Lemon has been my citrus of choice but I m really enjoying some orange flavoured recipes lately!!! This one fits the bill nicely.

Nellie said...

This cake sounds absolutely delectable! How wonderful a difference fresh orange juice makes!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I know what you mean about trying to photograph when there are guests in front of you. But you captured the deliciousness well enough to leave me drooling for a slice.

Jackie said...


You mentioned in your headnotes, that you used the buttery sweet dough emulsion in this cake, but you did not list it in the ingredient's list, how much did you use in this cake.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Jackie, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I've added that to the recipe card-- 2 tsps.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I would not worry. It looks beautiful. One of my most favorite cake recipes is an orange pound cake. Fresh orange desserts are really special in my book.

Monica h said...

You made it look enough to convince me to make this fir Easter! I went to the blog where you got the recipe and while her photos are beautiful, your cake looks more moist to me. I also love that you added Orange oil and tons of zest! I will beeping the same. I was wanting something citrusy and fresh and cakey and I think this will be perfect. My mom is making a lemon pie do I wanted something different. Can't wait!

Joanne said...

I think the cake looks fabulous, especially with the candied orange slices on top! A gorgeous presentation.

Belle on Heels said...

This looks insanely delicious!! I will have to try :)

Justine said...

Stopping by from On the Menu Monday!