Today is David’s actual 2nd birthday—although it seems like we’ve been celebrating for a while!
Last weekend was his birthday party and in addition to a lot of yummy lunch items, I also made this orange cake, chosen in part because of its light color—something about dark chocolate and 6 toddlers seemed to be asking for it. I got the recipe out of my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook. My parents gave it to me years ago—my mom has used her Joy for what seems like forever. Although it is not vegan, I still rely on it often for its tips and instructions—like precooking an apple pie filling before baking it in the crust to prevent a shrinking filling in a too big crust! Other times I will look up a recipe for a meat dish that I remember so that I can veganize it. As I’ve thumbed through this giant cookbook I’ve stumbled upon sever recipes that are already vegan, no extra conversion required!
One of the reasons I like this cake so much is that it doesn’t require any substitutes. The recipe is naturally egg and dairy free. It relies on vinegar and baking soda to help it to rise. Joy also has a chocolate cake recipe that I’d like to try and see if it’s any match for Chef Chloe’s mocha cake that my sister made for my birthday!
This cake is light, moist, and has a strong, but not too strong, orange taste. Hope you enjoy this yummy cake as much as we did!
Ultra Orange Cake, from Joy of Cooking
(note: this recipe makes enough for one 8” layer—if you want a layered cake you will need to double the recipe)
1 ½ c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c orange juice
1/3 c canola oil
1 T orange zest
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and line one 8×8 inch pan with parchment (I used coconut oil to grease the pan).
Mix together dry ingredients in mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add the wet ingredients and mix again until smooth.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge to detach from pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper. Let cool right side up on the rack.
For my Lego cake I used a frosting recipe I found on another blog so that I could follow the frosting tutorial. It was pretty tasty, but the technique didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Give it a shot though—she makes it look so simple—maybe I was just having an off night.
Next time I make this cake (and I will make it again—so yummy!) I will make a pretty similar frosting recipe from Chef Chloe that I have made before, with a few tweaks.
1 c non-hydrogenated shortening (I like Earth Balance)
3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2-4 T non dairy milk
Beat shortening until smooth. While mixer is running, add sugar, vanilla, and orange extract. Beat to incorporate. Add 1 T of milk at a time, as needed, until it reaches desired consistency. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
Note: Because I was making this to be a Lego cake I did a few things differently. I made two batches of the cake. Each time, I pulled out 4 ounces of batter and divided it into 2 ramekins, resulting in 4 mini round cakes to use for the “studs” of the Lego. I also frosted the cake entirely. In the future—when not building a Lego cake—I would put a layer of frosting between the layers of cake, and one on top, but not frost the sides. I would garnish with fresh orange slices. I think it would also be yummy to experiment with a chocolate frosting, or adding a jam filling in addition to the frosting. This is a great basic cake that has a little something extra, and could be so versatile. Happy baking!