Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
First things first: happy Friday! Not sure about you, but this week was… messy. I spent most of it working on a few new recipes, including a total cookie pizza catastrophe. The finished “pizza” was an absolute disaster and a half. Thick chocolate cookie dough spilled over the sides of the pan, making sure to hit every single rack on the way down before landing in one massive burnt blob. Still cleaning the crusted cookie dough off the bottom of the oven/realizing it has been WAY TOO LONG since I actually did clean the oven. And there’s a few burnt blueberries down there too. Um, how long have they been there…?
Needless to say, Friday, I’m reeeeeally happy you’re here.
I figured with the weekend and all, my cookie pizza massacre, Mother’s Day, and the straight up GRAYNESS that was this week… we all need a zippy pep in our step. And today, my friends, that pep comes in the form of a glazed orange bundt cake. Made from perfectly pink oranges. ♥
Baking a cake with pinkish oranges this weekend: highly recommended.
These are Sunkist Cara Cara oranges. Have you ever had them before? Shockingly enough, I’m a bit obsessed. Half because of their pink/coral color and half because of their wonderfully sweet, yet sorta tangy taste. Don’t they look like little spheres of spring? They’re the BEST oranges for baking because of their sweetness and low acidity. And if we all really want to geek out together right now, their pink hue is from the natural presence of lycopene. Insert glasses wearing emoji here, please.
Basically, these pink delights will immediately bring sunshine to any dessert coming out of your (hopefully burnt cookie dough blobless) oven. I added orange zest and fresh juice to a simple cake batter and poured it all into a bundt pan. Side note: don’t you love baking bundt cakes? I don’t know, I always feel extra excited when a bundt cake comes out of the oven. Maybe it’s the charming shape? Or the amount of glaze I’ll pour on top?
Yes, the glaze thing. That’s definitely it.
Here’s the thing about this cake: the orange flavor totally shines. I feel like orange is underrated in the dessert world, so we’re letting it have its glory day. That’s why I didn’t really add any mix-ins, though a handful of chopped dark chocolate almost made its way in the bowl. Try that for me, will you sweet friends?
I used a very familiar batter– this one. Changed its tune a bit and traded lemon for orange, left out the poppy seeds, and skipped the soaking syrup. (Yay less steps.) This cake was plenty moist and sweet the first time I made it, so I didn’t find the soaking syrup quite necessary. I also reduced the sugar in the batter because the fresh orange juice from the Cara Caras is plenty sweet.
So the secret here is to use cake flour. Or, if you don’t regularly have cake flour in the pantry, a sifted mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. The two combined make a cake flour substitute, those little tricksters! Ina uses cake flour in her lemon bundt cake (found in this must-have cookbook!), so we have to as well. DUH. So either grab your bag of cake flour or use the sifted blend of all-purpose and cornstarch. Cake flour produces a sensationally soft cake, which is essentially what we want when we’re working with springy citrus flavors.
Other than that: basic cake batter here. Creaming butter + sugar, adding eggs + flavor, and then buttermilk. For a moist crumb, rich texture, and extra tang, reach for buttermilk. It makes this cake taste extraordinary. Like cake flour, I know you might not have buttermilk on hand. Here’s what I do: whisk a little fresh lemon into whole milk. This sour milk provides the acid required for leavening and tenderizing the cake. Works like a charm.
The entire time I was making this cake, I couldn’t stop thinking how we should file it away as a brunch option. That’s no lie. I mean, it’s full of orange juice isn’t it? Freshly squeezed too. The vision of health:
But seriously wouldn’t this cake be out of control for Mother’s Day brunch?
The cake is actually pretty awesome on its own, but in my world bundt cake only knows one language: glazed. The glaze is a cinch. 3 ingredients: confectioners’ sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice (you health nut!), and vanilla extract. Only thing easier is decorating the cake. Drizzle the glaze on top in the most hectic and haphazard way possible. Messy: that’s real life this week!
Much love for it!
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Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
- 3 cups (300g) sifted cake flour1
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 2/3 cups (333g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest of 3 Sunkist Cara Cara oranges (about 5-6 packed Tablespoons)
- juice from 2 Sunkist Cara Cara oranges (about 1/2 cup fresh juice)
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, room temperature2
Easy Orange Glaze
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) sifted confectioners' sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10-inch bundt pan (I love this one-- grip handles are great!)3
- Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray the inside of a 10 inch bundt pan with nonstick spray or grease thoroughly with butter. Set aside.
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the orange zest and juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick.
- Pour/spoon the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil if you begin to see the top browning quickly. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan.
- Invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack set over a large plate or serving dish. Allow cake to cool before glazing and serving.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, 2 Tablespoons of orange juice, and vanilla together. It will be very thick. Whisk in 1 or more Tablespoons of juice, depending how thick you'd like the glaze. Drizzle over cake. Slice and serve.
Make ahead tip: Prepare cake through step 5. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature, make the glaze, and serve.
- Instead of cake flour, you can sift 2 and 3/4 cups (343g) all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup (30g) of cornstarch together. Use this sifted blend in the recipe. If using cake flour, make sure you sift it before measuring 3 cups.
- If you don't have buttermilk, you can add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole, skim, 1%, 2%) to make 3/4 cup total. (I prefer to use whole milk.) Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This can be used in the recipe instead of buttermilk.
- Instead of baking in a bundt pan, you can bake in two 9x5 inch loaf pans. The bake time for each will be about 45-50 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
Adapted from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten
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Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday so we are having a big birthday/Mother’s Day lunch. I’m in charge of dessert and a side dish– thinking of this creamy pasta salad maybe without the chicken since it’s a side and not really the main event.
How about you? What are you doing/making/eating on Sunday?
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