Friday, October 5, 2007

The Joy of Baking - Orange Cake

Here's another recipe from Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters. I thought this would be a good use of the many eggs Tom brought in from the barn this morning.

Mrs. Tate's "Old And Tried" Orange Cake, 1890

We found this recipe as we browsed through a pile of cookbooks we had bought in central Massachusetts. It literally fell into our laps. We were intrigued by the simple little recipe and the reference to "old and tried." This delicate all-natural cake flavored with the zest and juice of an orange, is very "Southern," and we still wonder how it made it all the way to New England. We'll never know!

For Cake:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar, sifted (I didn't sift)
1/2 cup water
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 egg whites

For Orange Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice, if needed
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-cup tube pan with vegetable spray or butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Insert the liner, coat it with vegetable spray, and dust the pan with flour.

2. To make the cake: Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Beat sugar and water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Add orange zest and juice. Add sifted dry ingredients and combine until mixture is smooth. Add butter. Put this in a bowl.

4. Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter.

5. Pour batter into tube pan. Bake approximately 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool on rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Cake will have pulled away from the sides of the pan.

6. To make the orange glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt to a glaze consistency. Slip a sheet of wax paper under rack to catch drips. Poke tiny holes in top of cake with a cake tester and liberally spoon the glaze over the cake. Let glaze harden before serving. Store under cake dome or loosely wrapped in wax paper at room temperature.

As Mr. Monk says, here's the thing. The batter is so good, you may never actually bake the cake. :<)

I didn't have a orange, hence no zest. Also, my "glaze" was really more of a frosting. If you want it thinner, you could add water. I did use the parchment paper but it probably isn't necessary. This cake was so easy to make and so delicious, that I plan to make it again and again.


  1. Looks yummy! We're trying to lose some of the extra weight we gained this summer. (Those vacations tend to add the poundage rather quickly!) We'll treat ourselves to dessert here and there after another week or two.

  2. I think my family would love this!

  3. I can't tell you two how very, very good this cake is. We shared it, but we ate a fair bit, too. :<) Hey, it's like a breakfast food with all those eggs plus orange juice!


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