>Ultra orange, orange, orange (and did I mention orange) cake

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First, let me start off by saying I am not a vegan.  I have never claimed to be, or really ever wanted to be, a vegan.  I love meat. And eggs.  And especially and above all else CHEESE.  So, no, I am most certainly not a vegan.  However, I am going to share with you today one of my favorite cake recipes of all time.

And, yes, it’s vegan.

Why, you ask, would someone who is decidedly not a vegan decide to bake a vegan cake in the first place?  Well, let me tell you.

When I was in graduate school, I lived in a townhouse with about 7 other people.  I enjoyed cooking and baking even then, and being the oldest person in the house I sort of took on the roll of house mother (most everyone else was an undergrad).  I used to make birthday cakes for everyone’s birthday, and one of our housemates was a vegan.  I searched through all of my cookbooks and finally found this Ultra Orange Cake recipe in none other than (an earlier edition) The Joy of Cooking.

He loved it, and surprisingly so did I.  I now make it for a friend of mine who is allergic to all things dairy and eggs, and I make it for my son’s class when asked to bake treats.  You don’t have to be a vegan to love this cake.

One of the things I love about it, besides its amazing flavor and texture, is the fact that you can mix it up in one bowl.  Who needs a boxed cake mix when you can make a scratch cake in ONE BOWL?  Never make a boxed cake again.  Seriously – don’t.  They’re awful.  This is just as easy, and so much better. 

 Begin by juicing two large oranges.  This should be enough for the 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice required for the recipe, plus a little left over for a glaze.  I have used bottled orange juice in a pinch, but it really is much better with fresh squeezed.

Your other wet ingredients are 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.

Dry ingredients include 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of orange zest.

 
Whisk your dry ingredients together to incorporate, pour in the wet ingredients and mix just to blend.  Pour the mixture into an 8-inch well greased and floured cake pan (you can use square or round; I’ve also done this as a dozen cupcakes and it works beautifully).  Please make sure it’s greased and floured.  I made the mistake of skipping this last step, and you’ll see what happened in a minute.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Isn’t it pretty?  Yeah….

 
Here’s what it looked like when I turned it out onto a cooling rack.  OOPS!  What a mess.  But, I didn’t have time to rebake it (Plus, I’d used all my oranges for this recipe plus the candied orange peel I was making for a post over on Foodwhirl), so I needed to fix it as best I could, since I was planning to take it to a friend’s house that evening.
 
I took a long serrated knife and trimmed the entire bottom off the cake.  Luckily the tears weren’t terribly deep, so I was able to salvage most of the cake.
 
Here’s what it looked like after surgery.  Now, this had to become the bottom of the cake, which meant inverting it again, but at least it’s not all lumpy and bumpy and crumbly.
 
Here it is after I’d flipped it onto the cake plate.  Much better, right?
 
I made a simple glaze of 1 tablespoon orange juice and about a cup of powdered sugar – I just kept adding until it reached the right consistency:  loose enough to pour, but thick enough not to run off the edges of the cake.
 
Drizzle it over the top and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
 
Top with candied orange peel, and serve!
 
I took mine to a friend’s house in my favorite cake carrier.  This was my grandmother’s, and it’s so cool – it has a pie safe hidden below the cake plate.  She used to take it to all sorts of potlucks, and it generally had a lemon meringue pie in the bottom, and an apple spice cake on top.  Now I use it all the time.  I love it when serving pieces have a history!
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11 thoughts on “>Ultra orange, orange, orange (and did I mention orange) cake

  1. >I adore the look of this ultra orange cake – truly delicious! I have a vegan friend who I sometimes struggle to bake for, so have saved this post! Thank you 🙂

  2. >@statgirl189: I believe they take between 15 and 18 minutes as cupcakes, but check them on the early side just to be sure. it is a very tender cake, and you don't want it to dry out – it gets crumbly.

  3. >I am not going to lie – I am absolutely THRILLED to know that you are sharing this DELICIOUSNESS with the rest of the world, because, you KNOW I love it! Yummmm…Wait, now that you posted how to make it, does this mean I have to make it for myself???? 😀

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