The Easy Cake Cookbook arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. Perfect timing. I always need to make a cake quickly. Now I can.
Now, which cake to make? It's satsuma season around here, and I'd just had my friend and my dad bring me a bag of these lovelies. So maybe an orange cake?
Orange Coffee Cake it is then. A simple cake with a topping. Yum. Sounds good. Here's the recipe:
ORANGE COFFEE CAKE
From Easy Cake Cookbook by Miranda Couse
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE CAKE:
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pulp-free orange juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
2. For the topping, in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the flour, butter, sugars, orange zest, and salt together until the butter is well incorporated and the topping looks like wet sand. Set aside.
3. For the cake, in a large bowl, using the mixer on medium speed, beat the melted butter, sugar, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla together until well combined. Add the eggs and beat until worked into the batter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients and orange juice to the large bowl in multiple additions, alternating back and forth between the two, starting and ending with the flour mixture and beating on medium speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir in any unmixed bits of batter with a spatula.
5. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the batter, evenly distributing it. Baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 44 to 50 minutes.
6. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Cut into three strips lengthwise, then four strips widthwise, for 12 servings.
And it was easy. Easy-peasy.
Hmmm, I can hear you saying. I don't see anything about icing in the recipe. What's going on here?
Well, it was easy, but for some reason I missed the part about using a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, and I tried to pour the batter (it fit, but barely) into a round cake pan, and then put the topping over it. I was worried (rightly, it turns out) when I put the cake pan into the oven about what was going to happen when the topping began to melt in the heat inside. (I am sure you have a picture in your mind.)
About ten minutes in, I checked on things and saw, to my horror, that the cake was dripping over the edges of the pan. Eek. I was ranting about the cookbook and how the author needed to test her recipes until I took a closer look at the recipe and realized my mistake. I took the whole mess outside and poured everything, cake and topping, into a baking pan, and mixed it all together. It actually baked well though it was the devil to get out of the pan. I decided to save the whole thing by using a cookie cutter to cut out circles from the cake and covering everything in a buttercream icing.
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