I make this cake in a vanilla version without the orange flavour but the this is my preferred version. I have made it many, many times for birthdays, graduations anniversaries and even weddings. Many people who have tried it call it their favorite cake.
This little loaf sized cake was made of the leftovers from making a birthday cake for a get together tonight. Basically it is a rustic vanilla scratch cake that is soaked with orange syrup or orange liqueur, filled with strawberries and frosted with an orange infused buttercream frosting. The birthday cake looks prettier but this one tastes just as good. The leftovers, if any will be sent home with the birthday girl; this is one I absolutely can’t resist if it is in my fridge.
1 cup cake flour
1 cup all purpose
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Fold in the dry ingredients in three equal portions, alternately with
¾ cup whole milk, in 2 equal portions
Always begin and end with dry ingredients. Pour batter into two 9 inch greased and floured cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 325 degrees F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and frost when completely cooled.
Orange Buttercream Frosting
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
Combine and bring to a boil. Continue to boil over medium heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile beat together to stiff peaks
6 egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Slowly pour in the sugar syrup hitting the side of the bowl and not the beaters. Continue beating the frosting for 10-15 minutes until the meringue is completely cool. When completely cool, slowly begin to add, a few tablespoons at a time
2 cups softened unsalted butter
Beat until smooth after each addition. Finally fold in:
Zest of 2 oranges, very finely chopped.
To assemble the cake:
Brush each layer of the cake with orange syrup made by boiling together in a small saucepan:
½ cup orange juice
Zest of one orange
2/3 cup sugar
If you prefer you can sprinkle each layer with an ounce or two of Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead of the orange syrup.
Place a thin layer of frosting on the first layer of cake and place a layer of whole strawberries to cover the first layer of cake. Top the strawberries with enough buttercream frosting to fill in the spaces between the strawberries and top with the second cake layer. Frost the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with additional strawberries.