This is a cake for spring. It's also a cake for Moms. It's light, sophisticated, and both unique and simple at the same time. Although chocolate cake is my drug of choice, it just doesn't fit the bill for a sunny day in early May; this does.
Just so you know, this recipe is for a two layer cake but I decided to kill two birds with one stone this weekend and make two one layer cakes. I brought one layer, spiced up (literally) with crystalized ginger inside and out, to a potluck dinner party in celebration of my friend's cookbook last Saturday. And I kept the other ginger-free layer to enjoy with my Mom and sister on Mother's day.
While people at the potluck may not have been waiting in line to dig their forks into "Orange Cake," once they tried it, I think they were hooked. I've decided to call this an "Orange Creamsicle Cake" because somehow 'creamsicle' makes the whole thing sound so much more appealing. Yup, it's all in the name.
Orange Creamsicle Cake
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
~5 large oranges, zested and juiced
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup orange zest
Vanilla Cream Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
contents of 1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cashew butter, raw or roasted (optional)
enough powdered sugar to reach desired consistency/ sweetness
Shredded coconut (I recommend a mix of sweetened and unsweetened)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Zest and juice the oranges. Sift flour, salt and baking power in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. After the mixture has come together, add in half the of the dry ingredients and mix. Stir in the orange juice and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Lastly, fold in the orange zest.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 18- 25 minutes, or until tested inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add contents of vanilla bean contents, extract, and cashew butter if using. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency/ sweetness. Frost cake and then cover with coconut. Decorate as desired.