color me orange

by hungryrabbit on April 30, 2010

Orange Cake

Orange — in all its shades — is one of my favorite colors. M, who skews toward earth tones, sighs every time I buy another something to add to my orange collection, be it a piece of clothing or home furnishing. Orange provides a bright cheeriness that suits my mood on certain days. I never dress in orange from head to toe. It’s usually a T-shirt, a belt or . . . OK, sneakers.

When it comes to orange, the fruit, M has the opposite reaction. He’s in total agreement about this fresh, vibrant citrus and always encourages me to serve it up plain or as an ingredient in a dish. I use it in a supporting role to make vinaigrette, salad, sauces, marinades and many other applications.

In my Orange Cake, it’s the star. Orange juice, zest, and oil are packed into the batter to deliver the full punch of the fruit. Zest blended with the sugar boosts the flavor; orange juice moistens the cake, and orange oil adds depth. To further highlight the citrus, I douse a generous amount of bourbon, which intensifies the essence of orange but doesn’t steal the limelight. While you embark on this project, the intoxicating fragrance of the citrus lingers in the air, perfuming every corner of your kitchen.

Resist the temptation to cut into the cake when it comes out of the oven. If you exercise a bit of restraint and wait for 24 hours, your reward will multiply exponentially.

‘Color Me’ Orange Cake

Recipe by hungryrabbitnyc, 2010
Serves 12

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 oranges, remove peel with vegetable peeler, reserved. (Careful not to include white pith)
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from the peeled oranges
2 teaspoons orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup bourbon or tequila (use orange juice for the kid-friendly version, it will be less fragrant)

For the Cake:-
Preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position. Spray 12-cup tube pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. Combine orange juice and extracts in a separate bowl, set aside.

Process 2/3 cups of sugar and orange peel in a food processor until finely ground. Add remaining sugar, butter and process until smooth. With the machine running, add eggs, one at a time; process until light in color. Transfer mixture into a large bowl.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the flour mixture, add orange mixture to combine. Fold in the rest of the flour mixture until just combine. Scrape batter into the prepared tube pan and baked until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.

For the Glaze:-
While cake is baking, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in sugar and bring it to a boil. Immediately remove from stove and stir in bourbon.

When cake is done, remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a long wooden skewer, poke several deep holes all over the top of the cake. Slowly spoon some of the glaze over the cake. Let set for a few minutes and repeat until you use up all the glaze. It might seems soggy, but the cake will eventually absorb it all and leave a glossy surface.

Allow cake to cool completely in pan for at least 2 hours. Turn the cake out onto a platter, you can serve it now or be good and wait for 24 hours to get an even tastier cake. (Store at room temperature for up to 5 days or longer in the refrigerator.)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

KENNECTED May 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

Yummy. Maybe I should have this cake every morning instead of a glass of OJ?

Aparna May 5, 2010 at 10:23 am

Looks lovely. Can imagine the aroma of that cake baking! Definitely a sunshine cake.

KENNECTED May 5, 2010 at 2:11 pm

@aparna. Agreed. I was drawn in by the picture, I could smell the aroma just by looking at the picture.

The Cooking Ninja May 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

What a beautiful cake! I’m drooling after your cake. Sure smells good. I can imagine the taste of it. Heavenly in every bite.

Nachiketa July 2, 2010 at 1:08 am

what an amazing orange post….. love it…

Jenn Baker (@jbakernyc) September 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I have an orange ready and raring to go for this one! Looks gorgeous and sumptuous!

Jackie July 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm


Can you taste the bourbon on the cake?

hungryrabbit July 2, 2013 at 9:43 pm

It blends into the cake, so it doesn’t taste like a shot of alcohol. You can substitute with orange juice if you are not a fan of boozy deserts. -Ken

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