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Orange Cake - My mother's recipe

  • Serves
    6 – 8
Author Notes

In winter we have our orange trees full but they are a bit sharp. I pick a big basket and leave it in the kitchen where it’s warmer. After one week in the kitchen, they have shrunk a bit and the juice is much sweeter. Sometimes I even leave them longer and as they are loosing water the juice concentrates and they are absolutely delicious. This is a winter cake if you follow the seasons but we make it at home all year round. When we are a lot, I double the recipe, bake it in a deap tray and cut it in squares. I also make it for children’s birthdays in a large tray and cut it in small pieces. It doesn’t last long! —Maria Teresa Jorge

  • Orange Cake

  • 3 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature, cut up in small pieces

  • 1 1/4 cups

    fine sugar

  • 4

    eggs seperated, at room temperature

  • 2 cups

    all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 pinch


  • 1

    orange – rind – without pith

  • Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup

    Orange juice freshly squeezed

  • 1/4 cup


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF with rack in the middle position. Butter and flour a 10 inch diameter cake tin. If you double the cake for more people better use a rectangular deep tray and cut the cake in squares instead of slices.
  2. Wash one orange and remove the rind. Set aside.
  3. Make the orange juice to yield you one cup.
  4. Put the orange juice in a pan over medium heat, add the sugar, stir and let it simmer until it becomes syrupy and has reduced to about half. Set aside.
  5. Take 1/4 cup of the cake sugar and set aside.
  6. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 1 cup sugar and the butter until creamy white and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add the orange rind and the egg yolks one at a time allowing the previous one to be completely incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom so the batter is all mixed equally.
  7. Sift the flour with the baking powder and add it to the batter in 2 goes, just incorporating the flour, don’t overbeat. Scrape the sides, mix with a spatula any flour that remained on the sides and fold in.
  8. Beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks. Add the 1/4 sugar and beat to hard peaks or until it’s glossy and firm.
  9. Fold the egg whites in 3 goes in the cake batter, just folding in without over working the batter.
  10. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, check for doneness.
  11. Warm up the orange syrup.
  12. As soon as the cake is done, leave it in the cake pan, put it on a cooling rack, make a lot of holes on top and pour the orange syrup over the whole cake. Let the cake cool in the pan so it soaks up all the syrup.
  13. Serve with wedges of fresh orange and some icing sugar.

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