I have had the fixings for this cake for nearly 2 weeks. Which means it has probably been 3+. Always add more time when discussing the passage of time…and me. Much like when doctors ask you about alcohol and/or caffeine consumption. They double whatever you say. Because we lie. Or miscalculate. Or misjudge. Did you know they do that? They do.
I had to buy another orange, as the original one had been eaten as a snack the week before, but the lemons and almond paste were still lingering in my mom’s kitchen. Ready for use when I was ready. Beyond these ingredients, that will most likely need to be purchased specifically for this cake – I would like to assume the remaining components you have in your fridge and cupboards. Equipment wise, you will need a zester and a bundt pan (or tube if bundt pans make you twitch) both of which nearly foiled my plans for this cake. Not because they are difficult to work with but because…well, me.
I will never wait this long to make this cake again. And neither should you.
The flavor is obviously nutty and fantastically lemony orange….but not mouth puckering so. The cake is tall and impressive when it slips perfectly from the confines of the bundt pan. The edges gold brown and caramelized from the heavy dose of sugar and the cake itself light and moist, nearly melting in your mouth.
I want to make note that while there is almond paste in this cake it doesn’t overpower the flavor. I hate almond flavored desserts but I ate half of this cake over the course of a week. I wouldn’t have taken a second bite if it was too almond-y sweet. Almond is just too sweet for my buds. So don’t let the almond scare ya off…I felt I needed to write that because I assume people don’t retry flavors they hate. Always keep trying.
Remember to butter and flour the bundt pan well and thoroughly. Getting butter into each and every nook and cranny is important. It’s a thankless job but one that pays off in the end. I read a Brené Brown article this week where one of the many take aways was choosing discomfort over regret and resentment. It applies here, too.
I found this cake to come together quickly with ease and is just the activity to fill that post church lull on Sunday afternoons where one must be active or succumb to a nap. Any way you look at it, I suppose, there are only winners on Sunday afternoons.
Happy Baking, Friends.
- 7 ounces almond paste (in the baking aisle normally near the pie fillings and such)
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 12 tablespoons (1 + 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature plus extra for buttering the pan
- 7 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 + 1/2 cups cake flour ( no cake flour? remove 3 tablespoons flour, add 3 tablespoons cornstarch )
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Citrus Sugar Soak
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- Dusting of powder sugar for serving and prettiness.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a bundt pan very well. Get all the nooks and crannies.
- In a medium sized bowl or on a large sheet of parchment paper, using your fingers or the back of a spoon, rub the orange and lemon zest into the sugar. Breath in deeply –
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the almond paste and citrus sugar until well combined. This will seem like it won’t happen but it will. I did this with a hand mixer – took about 5 minutes.
- Add butter and continue mixing until the color is pale and the texture is light and fluffy. About 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the edges as you go.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition to incorporate the eggs. Add vanilla and continue to beat until batter is smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the edges as you go to get everything equally mixed.
- Pour the batter into the well buttered and floured bundt pan and place in preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown and when a tooth pick is inserted it comes out clean. In my oven it was 1 hour – yours it might be a bit less or a bit more.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the sugar soak. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and citrus juices and place over medium-low heat and cook until sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When cake is finished baking, remove from oven, and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. DO NOT remove it from the bundt pan. With a wooden or metal skewer ( I used metal ones we use for marshmallows and hotdogs in the summer) poke holes all over the cake. Talking like 30 times. All over. Evenly pour citrus syrup over the cake. It will seem like it is too much and it might pool but it will slowly soak into the cake. Let it be.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan before turning it out onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar and slice into large chunks and serve to those ya love. This cake would pair amazingly with a raspberry sorbet.
- Stores well in an airtight container for up to a week and would freeze well if tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then tinfoil.
Recipe adapted from New York Times.