What’s everyone watching these days? I know you’ve been binge watching the heck out of any online streaming services. I am not really a big tv person. I tend to turn to books to disconnect from the current world and reality. My husband likes to get lost in a movie or tv show. Since I am not terribly picky, I usually end up watching whatever he is watching after the kids go to bed at night. He has come across some pretty entertaining shows to watch for sure. Lately, we’ve gotten into a PBS series called World On Fire. Seems like a fitting name for our current state. It definitely has drawn us in, and I look forward to curing up on the couch with a blanket and watching an episode before I call it a day. Really actually, it’s more so curling up under a thick blanket next to the wood stove because WTH! This Spring is a joke! I’ve been anxiously waiting to take off our flannel sheets and down comforters to replace them with lighter, cooler blankets and sheets. But nooo, Maine’s weather has been going right along with the current mood of the world. Cold, wet and dreary. Oh well..
So let’s bring some brightness through food into our lives! What have you been cooking up lately? As I’ve said previously, I’ve been baking waayyy too much. But, boy, is it fun! Be prepared for a slew of sweet things coming your way for a while.
So- about this orange loaf cake! This cake is wonderfully tender and absolutely bursting with orange flavor. Both orange zest and fresh juice are in mixed into the batter. Butter is mixed with a little sugar and orange zest until creamy and smooth. Then, the eggs and vanilla are mixed in. A simple mixture of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt are whisked together and alternatively mixed into the batter with buttermilk and freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s all poured into a 9-inch loaf pan and baked to perfection. Using a loaf pan allows for a fabulous cake in a really simple form. No stacking and perfecting frosting smears. My favorite kind of cake! To finish, cream cheese and butter are mixed together until creamy, then confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and juice are mixed in to create a wonderfully creamy and orange flavored frosting.
This cake is perfect to serve just a few people over a period of days, or to feed several people at once. It’s an easy way to get a cake on the dessert table with little fuss and no headache. As always, I’d love to hear from you if you make it!
For the cake
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- zest from 1 orange
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the frosting
- 3 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- zest and juice from 1/2 orange
- 2 drops Wild Orange essential oil (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract just until combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a small measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and orange juice
- With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until no dry streaks remain. Then mix in the buttermilk/orange juice mixture just until combined. Mix in the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting on to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the zest, orange juice, orange essential oil (if using), then with the mixer on low, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the frosting over the top of the cake, allowing it to droop down the sides a little. Serve.