We were in the kitchen, as usual,
having a lazy breakfast of coffee, toast, flipping through a magazine, chit-chat, spying on by-passers, just hanging out. Daisy couldn’t find her sandals and decided that my flippers were way more stylin’ anyway. Watching her waddle around was better than TV. Back to my Sunset magazine and the words “Whole Orange Cake” jumped off the page. Something about tastes like marmalade, I was sold. The phone rang and it was my sister, asking, “Do you want to go shoe-shopping?” Of course, I want to go shoe-shopping! I grabbed Daisy, we got dolled up and hit the road. As we got closer to the car, I realized one of my tires was flat as a pancake. Fine, just a minor roadblock.
All that thinking had us pooped. We headed home for some lunch. That orange cake had been doing cartwheels in my mind all day. I asked my niece & nephew if they wanted to bake. (Any excuse will do, folks.)
There really was no need to ask.
All clean hands on deck!
We started getting all the goods out from the pantry as my nephew read the instructions from the magazine.
I learned from my grandma Nina not to waste anything, especially French butter. So, I showed the kids how to grease the Bundt pan using the butter wrapper. One of the best things about our house is the garden that Shawn’s built. I was pregnant when we found our orange tree. We’d never heard of Cara Cara navels before, but nothing with a name that cute could be bad.
Now that I’ve had a taste, I’ve gotten really hoity-toity about my oranges. And the stuff that grows on your own tree is miles more tasty than anything your produce guy hands you.
We decided to take the cake batter and turn it into cupcakes. The kids took turns telling me which cup to fill and had a blast. We topped half of them with chocolate chips, because Orange & Chocolate are good buddies, don’t ya know?
While they cooled, we made the icing, two ways: Chocolate for the chocolate chippers and lemon for the others. The Bundt cake does well as a “tuxedo,” too. After pouring the batter into the pan, sprinkle chocolate chips over half of the batter and gently push through with a toothpick. After the cake cools, ice lemon on top of one half, chocolate on the other. It looks stunning – wish I’d taken pics!
Adapted from Sunset Mag’s Whole Orange Cake
Makes one 8-cup Bundt cake or 22 cupcakes
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp B. powder
1/4 tsp B. soda
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
4 tsps cocoa powder
1 Tb warm water
Preheat oven to 325*F
While oven is heating, butter a large (8-10 cup) Bundt pan or line 2 cupcake pans with paper wrappers.
Wash oranges and dry with a clean tea towel. Slice the ends off and cut the oranges into large chunks.
Toss the lot into a food processor and give it a whirl, but take care not to create a puree.
You’re looking for a marmalade-like, chunky texture.
Mix butter and sugar to a fluffy consistency, then work the eggs in, one at a time.
Stir vanilla into the mix.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.
Blend 1 1/2 cups of the orange mixture into the batter.
Gently add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Pour into buttered Bundt pan or line cupcake cups.
Bake at 325*F: 55 minutes for the Bundt
20 minutes for the cupcakes
Do a toothpick test, allow for cooling about 10minutes, then remove from pan(s).
The Lemon Icing
Juice and zest a small lemon.
Mix juice, zest and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until a smooth icing forms.
Dip the non-chocolate muffin tops into the lemon icing and put aside to set.
The Chocolate Icing
Gently mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, add warm water and sitr
Dip the chocolate-chip muffin tops into the chocolate icing and put aside to set.