Orange Brown Sugar Cake with Orange Whipped Cream

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orange brown sugar cake with orange whipped cream by twocarolines.com

For me, the beach is not the best thing about living in Southern California, I’m not a beach kid, but nothing beats the taste of my backyard oranges – they are the flavor of sunshine, healing, bright happiness, and sweet citrus bliss – hands down my favorite thing about California.  Lately, we’ve been picking a bunch in the morning when they’re cold and juicing them for the family – it’s such a luxury.  When I saw this cake, I knew it would be a revelation with my So. Cali citrus and I was right!  It’s got such a sunny bright flavor and a very delicate crumb that makes it feel extra special.  Plus the glaze makes it have an incredible outside texture and flavor pop then you melt into the fluffy flavorful center and with a dollop of orange flecked whipped cream it’s pretty much winter dessert perfection!

For the Cake: 
8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks)
3 cups (12 ounces so a scant 3 cups) cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 oranges
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk (I used buttermilk which was awesome, but normal milk will still taste great)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

For the Glaze: 
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  1.  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350.  Spray or butter a 9″ springform pan and I made a parchment circle in the bottom so it would be easier to take the cake off the pan.  Also it’s helpful to wrap the bottom with a layer of foil to avoid any leaking.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Use a rasp-style grater to remove 1 tablespoon zest from the oranges.  Juice one of your oranges to yield 1/4 cup juice.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and orange and lemon zests on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition just to combine.  Add the vanilla, and beat briefly to combine.
  4. In 3 additions and alternating with the milk and orange juice, add the dry ingredients, beating on medium speed after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and smooth the surface with a spatula.
  5. Bake until the cake is just set in the center and golden brown, about 45 minutes.  A toothpick in the center should just come out with some moist crumbs.  If it looks like your cake is browning too much towards the end you can tent it with foil – but I didn’t need to do this.  Let your cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slide a knife around the cake to release the sides and pop open your spring form.  I recommend letting your cake cool for at least 30 minutes before moving it off your springform base onto a cake board or cooling rack.
  6. Poke little holes all over cake with a toothpick in 3/4 inch intervals.
  7. Make your glaze by combining the juice, sugar, and marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to low, and whisk often until syrupy, about 10 minutes.  Brush the glaze onto the cake, letting some drip down the sides and into your holes.
  8. For the whipped cream, whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and zest, raise the speed to medium high and continue to whip until medium soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes more.  Serve the cake with whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine Feb/March 2017 “Orange and Brown-sugar-glazed Cake with Orange Flecked Whipped Cream”

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