I’ve turned a lot of things upside down in my life. But the results have never been so flawless.
The moistest, fluffiest, freshest orange cake I’ve ever made. With a caramel sauce bubbling away in the bottom, turning sliced oranges and dried cranberries into a sort of jammy, sugary, sticky topping that’s just beautiful.
It popped out of the pan without a sound, like it knew how important it was to remain unruffled. All that got left behind were a few plump cranberries that I may or may not have scooped up with a spoon straight into my mouth.
So good, you guys.
The cake is filled with a ton of orange zest, fresh orange juice and a possibly unacceptable amount of butter. When the guilt hits, you could try these instead.
An improved version of earlier pineapple awesomeness, I think this orange one is infinitely better even though I don’t like playing favourites where cake is concerned. It probably has something to do with the way each slice melts in your mouth, creating this citrus explosion while you discover chewy-crunchy orange peel and cranberries that soaked up all that beautiful caramel.
This cake tastes even better the next day and is less fragile after it’s had a chance to chill in the refrigerator. I used a slightly more fibrous variety of orange because I find the peel better for zesting than regular Indian oranges.
I actually found it easier to use a loaf tin to make this. My springform pans are getting on in years and don’t release cakes as easily any more. A round cake will probably give you more room for orange slices, so as long as you have a good non stick pan, the shape doesn’t matter.
I’m already thinking of the next time I make this. Maybe tonight?
What you’ll need:
For the topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, salted or unsalted
3 to 4 orange slices, each cut in half (from one half of an unpeeled orange. Use the other half for juicing as written below.)
A handful of dried cranberries (fresh or frozen is fine too, but will probably release more juices)
For the cake
1 and 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup caster brown sugar
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (Use the remaining half orange after slicing as written above)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Two whole oranges, for zesting
What to do:
1. Pour the 1/4 cup melted butter into a 9″x5″ loaf tin. Add the sugar and spread evenly. Place the orange slices on this mixture making sure there are no overlaps. Sprinkle the cranberries around the edges. Set aside. The butter might solidify as you prepare the batter, don’t worry.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, if using, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 175 C.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the 1/2 cup melted butter and sugar and stir well. Zest the oranges directly over this and mix.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and stir again.
5. Pour in the yoghurt, milk and orange juice and stir well till combined.
6. Fold in the dry ingredients gently till combined. Do not overmix.
6. Spoon the batter on top of the orange slices and spread it evenly all over, smoothening the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, till a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Cover the top with aluminium foil after about 30 minutes to avoid excessive browning.
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. If the top has risen and cracked a bit (mine did), simply use a sharp knife to even it out as much as you can.
8. Place a chopping board or sturdy cake platter on top of the tin, and invert it, shaking the tin gently to release the cake, if needed. Let it cool completely, transferring to a wire rack if you like.
Slice, eat, enter heaven 🙂