Cakeover: Outrageous Orange

There isn’t a more summery flavor for cake than anything citrus. Luscious Lemon (always in season). Sublime Lime (so much slurpage factor in my Key Lime Cake – coming to a blog post near you). Pink Grapefruit (that’s going to be a doozy). And Outrageous Orange – which is my “cakeover” (cake-talk for “makeover”) recipe for this Hot-as-Hell July. Aubyn insisted on making me a cake for my birthday earlier this month – and, when he asked what flavor I wanted, ORANGE popped into my head right away (even though I could have very well also been hankering for a lime or an amazing grapefruit cake).

Aubyn’s Outrageous Orange Cake – Our “Cakeover” for July

So we tinkered around with “Orange Creamsicle Cake” recipes dating back to the late 1960s/early 1970s. Like so many cakes from that era (when convenience was the kitchen buzz word), many of the iterations relied on yellow or lemon cake mixes as the base. I don’t do cake mixes here (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you’re pressed for time) because homemade is just better – always – so that’s what we do.

This cake is loosely based on the Creamsicle Cake craze from that era – minus the cream component (the recipe for that has a middle layer of pudding flavored with orange extract), but tidied up a bit to keep it simple yet still orange-y. The end result definitely packs a good orange punch, and is light and tangy without being too cloyingly sweet. The addition of a little sea salt in the frosting helps bring some balance.

OUTRAGEOUS ORANGE CAKE

INGREDIENTS For the Cake:

  • 3  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1, 3-ounce package of orange-flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup  melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange extract
  • 1 cup juice from fresh oranges (about 2, depending on size)
  • Zest from one orange

For the Frosting:

  • 1 stick of room-temperature unsalted butter
  • 1, 8-ounce package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 3-to-4 cups powdered sugar (depending on how thick you like your frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • Zest from one orange (hold the juice!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat three, 7-inch cake pans with cooking spray (of course if you only have two such pans, you’ll have to reuse one of them in a second baking).
  2. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, cream sugar into melted butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla extract and orange zest.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with the orange juice, starting and ending with the flour, mixing a little between each addition.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans; fill each no more than halfway.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool layers completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with a hand or a stand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you get a thickness you like. You may not use all four cups of the sugar.
  3. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sea salt, vanilla, and orange zest until fully integrated.

Let me know how it turns out in the Contact section. And make sure to FOLLOW me! (form at the bottom of this page).

M

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