Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fresh oranges and cake...the perfect combo!

Glazed orange cake
One of the great things about living in Arizona (and there are many great things) is the lovely winter navel oranges on the trees in our yard. We get to have fresh juice every morning, mimosas on Christmas morning and orange cake using fresh oranges. Oh yeah!

Last night I went to Changing Hands Bookstore, a lovely independent bookstore in Tempe, AZ, and listened to Anne Byrn, who was there to promote her newest book, The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free. I was inspired by her mad-scientist approach and couldn't wait to start baking.

I've never been a very confident baker, and never really had the time to make things from scratch. That's what I love about Anne's books...she doctors cake mixes. I've been doing that for some time now and it works great. Add an egg here, extra vanilla, etc. And when Betty Crocker came out with cake, brownie and cookie mixes, I was so thrilled. Check out the Betty Crocker Brownies we made by tweaking the box recipe and making them so much better.

But, tonight I decided to utilize the awesome oranges we still have on the trees outside. Anne has a recipe for orange cake in her book, and I used it just about exactly, using just a touch more fresh juice and a bit more zest to make it really pop. Wow, that worked like a charm. My husband went back for seconds and my daughter couldn't stop eating it. The orange glaze on top is amazing... make sure you use fresh orange juice if you can. You won't believe this is gluten free, really, and neither will your friends. This would be wonderful with a cup of tea on a warm spring day.

Basically, use the recipe on the box of Gluten Free Pantry Old Fashioned Cake & Cookie Mix using the following substitutions: Use fresh orange juice instead of water, use 3 eggs instead of 2, add the zest of 2-3 oranges, depending on the size. You can also use Betty Crocker's yellow cake mix, but I can't seem to find that in my local store. But this was just wonderful, so no worries. Bake as directed (about 25-30 minutes).

I made this in a 9-inch round pan, but you could use an 8-inch square also. Poke holes in the top after it's cooled a bit and drizzle on a glaze made from 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 2 TBS fresh orange juice with a little orange zest mixed in.

If you can wait for it to cool, the glaze will harden into a crunchy, yummy topping. But then again, it's soooo good when it's warm, I dare you to wait that long.



Anonymous said...

Sound delicious! And I am jealous of your orange trees. We had some fresh juice when we were in Cali over Christmas visiting the hubby's grandmother, wonderful!
I am not much of a baker either. I am glad you like the cookbook, I have it on my wishlist. Let us know if you make more with it!

comma girl said...

Thanks! I'm baking right now, watch for the next book installment. Highly recommend it!

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