California Orange Cake
California, here I come! Today is officially the last day of teaching for me (so late, I know, I've heard it before). In seven hours I will march out of the front doors on my way to my California vacation. Actually we leave at 9am tomorrow morning but it's never too early to get on that vacation vibe. In honor of my journey out to the West Coast, I'm bringing you an Around the World in 28 Cakes recipe with a California twist. This is one delicious California orange cake that will bring Cali straight to your oven.
California has been on my travel list for a long time. When I was younger, my family used to go all the time to visit both my grandmother and my uncle. Nick and I will be visiting my grandma who lives just north of San Diego and it's bringing back lots of memories of long walks on boardwalks, trips to Sea World (when I thought I would be a marine biologist), and spending time in my grandma's garden. One of my favorite memories is eating breakfast in her sun-filled breakfast room then going outside to check out her orange tree. Perhaps this is where my obsession with all things citrus started.
So far I've made a Moroccan Yogurt Cake (with a hint of orange zest)) and an Italian Lemon Cream Cake and now this delicious California Orange Cake. Lemon and orange flavors give a heavier cake an extra boost and make that cake perfect to nosh on for breakfast. Making lemon or orange cakes my choice for the ideal summer breakfast.
Pound cakes tend to be heavy and dense. That can be delicious, don't get me wrong. However, this orange cake is light and fluffy. The trick is to take the time to combine the butter and sugar. Make sure you take a good two to three minutes to really whip it like a creamy, sugary cloud. Oh, and using not exactly a pound of butter makes it a bit lighter. Shhh, don't tell anyone it's not a traditional pound cake.
Grating the rind of an orange to get a tiny tablespoon of zest is one of my least favorite baking task. But you can't deny the flavor it packs into every bite. To give it a little extra something, I also added a few tablespoons of juice to the batter. You can't have too much orange can you?