This recipe should probably be called Orange Butter Cake because it is so moist. I first made orange cake years ago for a friend’s birthday. I had asked her what her favorite cake was. She really liked some kind of orange muffin at a diner in Santa Cruz so I started researching. I never did find and perfect the muffins she likes but this recipe has been a recipe staple since then anyway. I’ve long since memorized my recipe but just for blogging sake, I offer you a photo of my care worn recipe card.
I’ve dusted today’s cake with powdered sugar but you could leave it plain, drizzle it with icing or, my favorite, drizzle it in hot fudge. Of course, you could alway s spread butter on a slice and heat it up in the microwave too.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
zest and juice of 2 oranges (about a cup of juice)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Zest and juice oranges, set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt. Add in vanilla and incorporate well. Then add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well combined before combining the next one. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Working in 3 parts, and alternating and scraping down sides of bowl in between additions, add flour mixture and orange zest/juice as follows: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 juice, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 juice and finally 1/3 flour mixture. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into prepared bundt cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Here in Northern California, it seems like everyone has an orange tree. Everyone but me, that is. So I send out a big thank you to all who have shared their abundance of oranges with me this year – Lil, Wil, Jim and Vinny, THANK YOU!
When I look at an orange, the most obvious association I make is sunshine. Maybe because orange look like the sun, or because oranges only grow in sunny places. But the most incredible thing is that orange trees produce fruit in the coldest months of the year. It’s like mother nature has given us little balls of sunshine in the form of fruit to get us through the cold. Next time you eat an orange, try this meditation to energize you:
Sit in a sunny, quiet location and peel your orange. As you eat the orange, close your eyes and feel the sun warm your skin. Feel the energy of the sun enter your body through the crown of your head. Feel the sunlight move throughout your body, starting at your head and moving down all the way to your toes. Feel the orange nourish you. Next slowly breathe in and out. With each breath in, feel the sun’s energy moving through each and every cell of your body. As you exhale, let go off all stagnant and still energy. When you are ready, open your eyes, compost your orange peel and use all of the amazing energy to do something great.
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