Happy Sunday Friends!
I’m kicking off the week with another #cakeunfrosted recipe! With oranges of course. What else, right? I’m really maximizing the citrus this season and having a lot of fun playing with candied oranges. They make the most beautiful cake decoration. I’ve used them in ruffle-form here for a frilly, fun topping that really can be customized using any type of citrus. I went with blood and cara cara oranges for a dramatic, rich color, but lemons, limes, navel oranges, and even grapefruit would be great choices as well.
The cake base is one I’ve been wanting to try for awhile – a cake made with whole oranges. The oranges are boiled first for a significant amount of time, then cooled overnight. The peel and the orange (but not the pith, it makes the cake bitter) are blended together along with the rest of the ingredients (long live the blender cake! Simplicity at it’s finest) and baked up into a fragrant, dense, almond cake that is scented with the whole orange and a little rose water. You could use any variety of orange you like for the boiled oranges. I chose Cara Cara because they tend to be nice and sweet.
Before topping the cake with the candied orange ruffles, the left over syrup from the candying is mixed with a little more rose water and brushed over the cooled cake to infuse it with sweet fragrance and give the ruffles something to stick to up top.
Do note that though the decoration on top of the cake is pretty, it’s not the most, uh….cutting friendly. I coated a pair of kitchen shears with oil and cut across the ruffles where the slices would be cut. Then it was easy to slide a knife through to cut and serve slices. I’d love to see it if you end up making this cake! Tag #cakeunfrosted on Instagram and I’ll be sure to give it a share!
More of my favorite almond flour cakes:
- FOR THE CAKE BATTER:
- 2 Cara Cara Oranges (or other sweet orange variety)
- 5 large Eggs
- 1 cup Honey
- 2 teaspoons Rose Water
- 2½ cups Almond Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- FOR THE CANDIED ORANGE RUFFLES:
- 4-5 Oranges (I used a mix of Cara Cara and Blood Orange)
- 2 cups Super-fine sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1½ teaspoons Rose Water
- TO MAKE THE CAKE:
- Place the 2 oranges in a saucepan and fill to the top with water. Cover with a lid and place over high heat. Bring just to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Let the oranges simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the oranges from the water and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 335 degrees. Grease and flour (use a gf blend, or almond flour) an 8" round baking pan. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment, if desired.
- When the orange are completely cool, use a very sharp knife to cut the peel off - only peel of the colorful portion, not the white pith. Place the peel from both oranges in a blender. Peel the remaining pith off of the oranges and discard. Place the peeled oranges in the blender as well. Add the eggs, honey, and rose water to the blender. Blend everything together on high speed until very smooth. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt to the blender and process again until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Remove when the center is firm to the touch and does not jiggle. Let cake cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate or serving dish. Let cool completely while you make the candied orange ruffles.
- FOR THE CANDIED ORANGE RUFFLES:
- Slice the oranges very thinly using a mandolin or very sharp knife.
- Place the sugar and water in a large saute pan and stir together until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the oranges to the mixture (it's ok if they overlap) and reduce the heat to medium. Let the oranges simmer for 35-40 minutes. Remove the orange slices one by one, letting the excess syrup drip back into the pan, and lay them on sheets of parchment paper. Once all of the oranges have been removed, stir the rose water into the syrup that remains in the pan.
- Coat the top and sides of the cake in the syrup using a basting brush.
- Let the orange slices sit for about 45 minutes. Once they have firmed up a bit, cover the top of the cake in ruffles by taking an orange slice one at a time, folding in half, then folding in half again, placing the pointed side on top of the cake so that the ruffled rinds are facing up. You should have a lot of orange slices, so pack the ruffles tightly for the most dramatic look.
- Serve slices of cake more easily by cutting the rufflesacross the top with oil coated scissors first before running through with a knife.