Moist Orange Layer Cake with Easy Orange Buttercream
This beautiful cake is easy to make and is infused throughout with natural orange flavor. Not only can you make a great cake, you can also help to fight MS if you order your oranges through Harry & David.
Harry and David is supporting the Nancy Davis Foundation Race to Erase MS campaign (Nancy Davis Foudation) by donating 20% of the sales of their Royal Oranges between the months of April and May to this important cause.
Please visit Harry & David to order your delicious box of Royal Oranges, handpicked at their peak, and enjoy not only the taste, but the health benefits of this citrus fruit while you join the Race to Erase MS.
The orange is one of the most popular and common fruits. Harry and David’s Royal Oranges are a specialty orange with superior quality, coloring and unparalleled sweetness and juiciness.
You'll find plenty of ways to use the oranges, but I decided to serve the cake with homemade orange ice cream using a recipe from the NY Times (Orange Ice Cream recipe)! Candied Orange Zest makes a great decoration and is easy to make.
Orange Layer Cake
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
¼ cup undiluted, thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour (10 ounces)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease two 9-by-1 1/2-inch cake pans with vegetable shortening and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or wax paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour, and tap out excess.
2. Beat together eggs, milk, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and vanilla with fork in medium bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time; mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high (setting 6 on KitchenAid) and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
3. Add remaining egg mixture in slow steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer.
(To mix using hand mixer, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Add butter pieces and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture; beat with hand mixer at lowest speed until incorporated, 20 to 30 seconds. Increase speed to high, add remaining egg mixture, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat at high speed 15 seconds longer.)
4. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides of pan and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. (Cakes may mound slightly but will level when cooled.) Cool on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto large plate, peel off parchment, and re-invert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.
Easy Orange Buttercream
20 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 ½ cups confectioners' sugar (10 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add orange zest and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.
2. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add orange juice, vanilla, and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Candied Orange Zest
Take three navel oranges and wash well; dry. Pour about ½ cup of granulated sugar in a cake pan or pie tin and set aside. Using a zesting tool (http://amzn.to/eOIrzK ), remove the orange part of the rind in long, thin strips starting at the top of the orange and with even pressure continue all the way to the bottom. Continue removing all the zest in strips. Rinse well in cool water and set aside. Bring to boil one cup of sugar and half cup of water and add in the orange zest. Reduce heat until it is very gently boiling and continue to cook until the orange zest starts to look translucent. Drain well in a fine mesh sieve (don't rinse with water) and immediately transfer to the dish with the sugar. Toss and separate each strand of zested orange rind so that each strip is completely coated with sugar. Add more granulated sugar for tossing if necessary. Let set for a few minutes and continue tossing. Let set another few minutes and toss again. Very gently remove from the sugar as needed for garnish. Can be used immediately or kept for up to a week in a tightly covered container.