Whole-Orange Snack Cake
It may strike you as curious, but adding an entire orange to this easy snacking cake, rind and all, imparts a wonderful flavor reminiscent of orange marmalade, pleasantly bitter and sweet. A high-speed blender is the best way to process the orange, but a food processor works too. You want the purée to be as smooth as possible. While the cake bakes, prepare an easy orange glaze. For that step — or any recipe requiring both orange zest and juice — be sure to zest your orange before juicing it, as it’s much more difficult the other way around.
- Serves: 16 persons
- 6tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1small navel orange (about 250 grams), ends trimmed, cut into large chunks, and seeds removed, if necessary
- ¼cup/60 milliliters whole milk
- 1 ½cups/192 grams all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾cup/151 grams granulated sugar
- 2large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾cup/77 grams confectioners’ sugar
- ½teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, plus 3 to 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 orange)
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pan: Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter the parchment.
Step 2Transfer the orange chunks and milk to a high-speed blender (or food processor) and process until it is the texture of smooth applesauce. (You should have about 1 generous cup.)
Step 3In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Step 4In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Step 5Add half the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Beat in the orange mixture, then beat in the remaining flour mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Step 6Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Then, using the parchment, transfer the cake to a rack to cool completely.
Step 7While the cake cools, prepare the glaze, if using: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and orange juice. (Use a little less juice for a thicker glaze that will sit on top of the cake, or add a little more juice for a thinner glaze that will soak into the cake.)
Step 8Spread the glaze over the cooled cake, then slice to serve. Store leftovers well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days.