Sun Kissed Orange Cake

Happy Saturday to all!

I caught the baking bug today and went all out with first an orange cake and then a peach clafoutis (recipe to come) for dessert tonight.  Talk about indulgence and extravagance!  My oven was begging for some love and I’m obliged to give it some.

I have always loved orange flavored desserts,  and when I was 5-6 years old, I always got treated to orange sponge cakes bought from those old fashioned Chinese bakeries in the 80’s, the cake is always as light as a sponge, infused with orange syrup, now at a very ripe age, it is definitely time that I make my own.  Truth be told, this is actually my 3rd attempt for the orange cake as the first two has been a total failure, I used self raising flour and the first cake was over-cooked on the outside and raw on the inside, and as for the second, well…let’s just say it’s a disaster that I hope no amateur bakers like me have to go through.

As for the 3rd attempt, it’s almost perfect,  with the slight exception that I might reduce the baking powder from 1 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tsp.

This is a very versatile cake as you can add any fruit you wish, it is basically a basic butter cake recipe dressed up with the fruit of your choice, I’m sure this will work very well with lemons, blueberries, apples, cranberries and more.

Wet Ingredients: 1 cup butter (@ room temp), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs ( @ room temp), 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 tbsp orange zest, juice of 2 oranges

Dry Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven in 200 Celsius, in a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar, beat until light and well combined.  This is a very important step as this will determine the texture of your cake, under-mixing the butter and sugar will result in a very dense cake.  Next, add in eggs and vanilla, keep mixing until you get a smooth batter.  Then add in salt, yogurt, orange zest and juice.

Now we come to the dry ingredients, sift the 2 cups flour over the batter, and add in baking power.  Mix batter until well combined but not for too long, stirring for too long will result in a dense cake as well.  Pour batter into a bread loaf pan or a cake pan, and bake for about 50 minutes or until a fork inserted into cake and come out clean.  Cool the cake on a rack before cutting; If you’re feeling adventurous, you could sprinkle orange icing sugar on top by combining 1/2 cup icing sugar with orange zest.

This cake has got a crusty exterior from the result of the brown crystal sugar that I use with a soft lightly tinted orange flavor on the interior.  Goes well with a cup of tea, can be served plain or with a side of marmalade.

It has been a relaxing weekend so far, I hope you’re soaking in the sun and having fun wherever you are!

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