We had an absolutely beautiful day here in Iowa. Sun shining and 70-degree weather. I had Border Collies sunning on our deck all day. Who could blame them? I know the weather won’t last but I took advantage to break out the grill. Also, I made a fantastic cake. Orange week continues with this cake. This cake recipe comes from The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Is it weird that an Episcopal priest enjoys this series of books? Well, I do. I won’t tell you that this is exactly how parish life plays out but trust me, there are some similarities. For instance, I have a big, black dog and I love this cake.
This cake takes a little time because it has a few steps but they are all well worth it. If you like orange at all or you need a cake that induces thoughts of springtime here you go.
For the Cake:
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten lightly
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
For the Orange Syrup:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Filling:
- 1 cup orange marmalade
For the Frosting:
- 3/4 cup well-chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup well-chilled sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans (I just line my pans with parchment paper. It saves a lot of time and a lot of mess and your cakes come out perfectly).
In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixer, beat the butter until combined, add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 of the buttermilk until combined well. Add half the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining buttermilk and beat until combined well. Finally, beat in the remaining dry ingredients until mixture is smooth.
Evenly divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to racks and cool in the pans for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the orange syrup: In a bowl, stir together the orange juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved. With a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in the cake layers and spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remaining. Let layers cool completely.
Microwave the marmalade until just melted. Let cool 5 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the sugar until it forms firm peaks. Add the sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until of spreading consistency.
Arrange one of the layers on a cake plate, carefully peel off the waxed paper, and then spread 2/3 of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the remaining layer onto the top of the first layer. Frost the cake with whipped cream. If desired, use the remaining marmalade for a garnish. Chill 2 hours before serving.