Monday, February 7, 2011

Moosewood Mondays: Orange Cake

The smell of oranges is seductively intoxicating, one of my favorite scents in all the world.  Anytime I find a recipe that allows me to fill the kitchen with one of my favorite scents I am always tempted.  A quick glance into the kitchen proved that I had more than enough oranges on hand to make this beautiful cake.  I chose to ignore the fact that this cake has three sticks of butter.  Instead, I focused on all the fresh orange juice and yogurt and declared this cake part of a perfectly well-balanced breakfast.  What can I say?  I'm good at rationalizing.

My talented friend Natashya, of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, has decided to dust off her  Moosewood Cookbooks and celebrate them each Monday, hence Moosewood Mondays.  Mollie Katzen's 15th Anniversary Moosewood Cookbook happens to be one of the first cookbooks I bought for myself back in my vegetarian years.  

Back then, Katzen was one of the only vegetarian cookbook authors and her books were like a goldmine for me.  I've always enjoyed her recipes and loved the style of her cookbooks, most of them being handwritten. 
I love the handwritten style of Katzen's cookbooks.      
This Orange Cake isn't the healthiest of Katzen recipes, but it does highlight the scope of her recipes, as well as the beauty of her food.

Orange Cake
Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Serves 12-16
Ingredients for the Orange Cake:
Butter for the pan
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1-3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange rid
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons orange extract (my addition)
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice

Ingredients for the Orange Glaze:
1/2 cup orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons Orange Liqueur or Dry Sherry (I used Grand Marnier)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 10-inch tube or bundt pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Stir in the orange rind, vanilla, and orange extract.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sour cream or yogurt, and the 1/2 cup orange juice.  Set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add this to the butter mixture alternately with the combined sour cream (or yogurt) and orange juice, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand after each addition - just enough to combine well.

Turn into the prepared pan.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted all the way down comes out clean.  Cool for about 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate.  Allow to cool completely.

Combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 3 minutes.  Pour the hot glaze onto the cooled cake.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing so that the glaze has an opportunity to soak into the cake.
Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add this to the butter mixture 
Notes/Results:  This Orange Cake was incredible.  Everyone raved about it!  The cake itself was very reminiscent of a pound cake, both moist and dense.  We found the orange flavor spot on, not too mild or too strong.  I do want to note that I added 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract, just because I had it on hand.  I do think it helped to bring out the orange flavor, but don't think it's a necessary ingredient.  This cake is great served right away, but is even better when the orange glaze has had time to soak into the cake.
Note: I used Navel Oranges in both the cake batter and glaze.  The blood oranges were used only as a garnish.


  1. This looks insanely delicious!
    Kim, I want to pass on a Stylish Blogger Award to you.
    Come over to my blog to pick it up. Don't feel obligated to accept it. I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. With oranges in it, this cake is definitely for sure breakfast worthy! It looks so incredibly moist and delicious.

    i love the handwritten style of Katzen's books as makes me feel like she's really writing to ME.

  3. Beautiful cake!! Just the sort I like too. Orange and yogurt are a wonderful combination.
    Thanks for getting Moosey with me!

  4. Kim, This is a beautiful cake. I love orange cake. This could be served for breakfast easily and often. I love it.

  5. Wow, this is a beautiful cake. This would be hard to resist, especially to brighten a cloudy day. Yummy!

  6. yes, i'm pretty sure the oranges make it health food and should be eaten on a regular basis! i LOVE this cake, i'm with you, citrus is one of my favorite flavors. it's delicious in baked goods. i'll have to try this for sure. i'm excited about your moosewood mondays!

  7. That looks moist and delicious!!!I orange cake!

  8. This looks like such a bright and delicious cake. I like how you garnished it with blood oranges.

  9. The moosewood cookbooks are some of my favorite, and that cake looks sooo good.

  10. Yep, no doubt about it - definitely qualifies as breakfast food! This looks so insanely good I would give just about anything for a slice of this right now :-)

  11. That cake looks so pretty. I can almost see the smell of the oranges. I also love that smell!

  12. Fruit and yogurt sound like breakfast to me!
    Grand Marnier in the glaze makes it a good candidate for brunch too.

    I'm not too familiar with this cookbook (have only heard the name), but I like the look and feel of handwritten recipes.

  13. I have this cookbook and love it! Must make this cake real soon,it looks great.

  14. Oh Kim this sounds amazing! I can't wait to try it ;)

  15. This looks so incredible, Kim. Something about blood oranges that is just so sexy, too. I just ordered this cookbook...can't wait to get it!

  16. This looks insanely good Kim! I love the scent of oranges and find whatever they're being used in irresistible. I love Mollie Katzen's recipes!

  17. That cake looks so fantastic! I have had a lot of good luck with citrus based cakes. I only wish I could find those beautiful blood oranges here in the UK.
    *kisses* HH

  18. One of my favorite cookbooks but I have never tried the cake--it looks wonderful, so sunny & bright.

  19. I have to revisit my old Moosewood cookbooks, though 3 sticks is a lot of butter, I love this cake!

  20. Just bought a batch of blood oranges this weekend before teaching my evening class in the 'city' (can't find them in any of the country stores where I live) and have been reading TONS of orange cake recipes over the weekend. I'll be posting my version this week since blood oranges don't keep long. Thanks for the awesome inspiration for something citrus-y right now! I can smell that orange aroma!

  21. This looks beautiful. I am so pleased to have discovered your blog today! It looks wonderful, and I share your passion for all things Moosewood. Kim, how do the Moosewood Monday posts work? Do you just create a post with a Moosewood recipe? Does Living in the Kitchen with Puppies have an area for you to link your post back to? Thanks for any details you can send...
    -- Rivki @Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

  22. does it freeze?

  23. So the first time I made this, using your post, it turned out perfectly. The second time the texture was different -- it seemed rather eggy to me. I don't remember doing anything differently. Do you have any idea what might be going on?


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