My friend Serilia spends a few months each year among her family’s 7,000 orange trees, so you can understand why I was excited to taste her orange cake. Serilia knows her oranges and her cake was intense in colour and flavour.
She shared her secrets, and with a bit of tweaking, it’s a simple dessert with a punch of citrus to help you celebrate spring in style.
Oranges are high in vitamins, help lower cholesterol and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Most of that comes from the peel and white pulp of the orange. More reason to use and eat whole oranges whenever you can.
Look for thin skinned, meaty oranges for best results.
For an adult version, replace some of the orange juice with orange liqueur, Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
- 2 oranges, about 1 lb (500 g), ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder
- Icing sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh orange juice
- Quarter the oranges and remove seeds. Transfer orange pieces to a food processor, add oil and eggs and process until smooth and light coloured.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Pour the orange batter over the flour mixture in mixing bowl and stir until well combined and smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch, baking pan. Bake in 375F (190C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake is firm to a light touch. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. If using, dust the serving dish with icing sugar. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and turn the cake onto the serving dish.
- To make the sunshine sauce: Bring the sugar, lemon and orange juices to boil over medium-high heat in a small heavy saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the syrup thickens and reduces. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, make holes in the top of the cake. Drizzle the sauce over-top and set aside for 30 minutes or until the cake soaks up the sauce. Serve.