Monday just got a whole lot better.
And Mondays for the foreseeable future will continue to be better. Here’s how! I’ll be posting a layer cake recipe from now until…well…until I decide not to.
I need to practice my layer caking skills for some friends’ wedding in March (Hi David and Annie!) because they have so graciously asked me to make their wedding cake!!! And I want it to be perfect for them.
This Orange Cream Cake is a step in the right direction. Light, citrusy, and moist (hate that word) with rich cream cheese frosting. Some oven-dried orange slices make the perfect (and edible) garnish.
Take that, Monday.
Orange Cream Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes 1-8 inch layer cake)
2 Oranges, zested and juiced
1 ½ cups sugar, plus ½ cup
12 TBSP (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup canola oil
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups whole milk, at room temperature
1 recipe Melba’s Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows.
1 batch of oven-dried orange slices, from Martha Stewart
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds and spray again, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the orange zest into 1 ½ cups of the sugar until fragrant and blended.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together the orange sugar, butter, and oil until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mixture should be pale white. Scrape down sides of bowl and necessary.
While the butter and sugar are mixing, in a separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes with a hand mixer. Set aside.
Add egg yolks to sugar mixture one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl again.
Working in three batches, add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with milk, ending with flour. Scrape down sides of bowl, being sure batter is thoroughly mixed.
Working with a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped egg whites into batter until fully mixed.
Evenly distribute batter among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until cakes have risen, begin to pull away from sides, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in pans, on wire racks, for ten minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and cool to room temperature.
While the cake bakes, combine the other ½ cup sugar with the orange juice in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Melba’s Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8-oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature
1 2-pound bag of powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
¼ cup milk
Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add almost all of the powdered sugar (reserve about 1 cup), vanilla, and salt, and slowly begin to combine. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (I like my frosting to be thick enough that if I swipe a spoon or spatula through it, it stays put.) If necessary, add reserved powdered sugar or more milk until you’re happy!
Once cake is cooled, slice off any uneven tops to leave you with three level layers. Using a pastry brush, soak cakes with orange simple syrup before frosting and layering the cake. Place one layer on a cake board and cover with a generous layer of frosting, so that the extra overflows onto the sides. Repeat with the second and third cake layers.
To crumb coat the cake: frost the sides of the cake with the residual frosting from the layers and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cover the cake in whatever frosting remains. Add orange slices, if using. Place back in fridge, removing at least 30 minutes before serving. Can be stored for up to three days.
Alternately, you can bake and freeze the layers – simply wrap tightly in plastic wrap before cool and defrost and frost (ha!) when ready.