Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is sharing a new cake recipe today…
Summer is on the horizon and I have been inspired lately to create recipes that are just plain fun. You know, desserts with swirls, extra sprinkles, and whimsical flavors. My appetite for dark chocolate and rich, decadent desserts have been packed away with my boots and sweaters for the season and the warmer weather has got me craving fresh and fruity treats. This zesty Orange Creamsicle Cake definitely fits the bill.
I enjoy creating new recipes based on other classic treats. For this cake, I was inspired by the ever popular Orange Creamsicle. Creamy, dreamy, and packed with notes of citrus and vanilla, this oldie but goodie provides the perfect base for a fun layer cake. The flavors will leave you with nostalgic feelings of youth, sunshine, and ice cream trucks – without the melty, sticky mess.
Layers of orange-scented sour cream cake are paired with an ultra creamy, orange mascarpone filling. For an extra boost of flavor and sweetness, the cake layers have been generously brushed with an orange simple syrup. Rounding out the Creamsicle theme, this cake has been frosted in a silky, vanilla-flecked buttercream. Finished with swirly rosettes, sparkly sanding sugar, and pearls for extra whimsy!
ORANGE CREAMSICLE CAKE
a recipe by Tessa Huff
For the Orange Sour Cream Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
zest of one orange
4 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans with butter, flour and parchment paper. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and zest. Mix on medium for about 3 to 5 minutes until fluffy and pale in color. Turn the mixer to medium-low and add in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture. Add in the sour cream mixture and mix until combined. Stop mixer and scrape down the bowl. Turn mixer back to low and add in the remaining flour mixture. Mix on medium-low for no more than 20-30 seconds once the last traces of flour combine.
Evenly distribute between the three prepared pans. Bake for about 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
For the Orange Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before use.
For the Orange Cream Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons mascarpone (may substitute with softened cream cheese)
zest of 1/2 large orange
fresh orange juice to thin out to desired consistency (about 1-2 tablespoons)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar until combined. Add in the mascarpone, orange zest and orange juice and mix on medium-low until smooth. Be sure not to over-mix the filling once the mascarpone has been added.
For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean – seeds scraped out
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and heat over medium-high. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. Heat the egg white mixture until it registers 155 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Once hot, carefully transfer the mixing bowl back to the stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high until the outside of the mixing bowl returns to room temperature – about 10 minutes – and you have medium-stiff glossy peaks. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, vanilla bean, and butter – a few tablespoons at a time. Turn mixer up to medium-high and mix until silky smooth.
For the Assembly:
Generously brush each layer of cake with the simple syrup. Fill the cake layers with the orange cream filling and frost with the buttercream. To decorate, tint half of any remaining buttercream orange. Place orange and vanilla buttercreams together in a piping bag fitted with a French Star Tip. Pipe rosettes around the top edge of the cake. Finish with sugar pearls and sanding sugar, if desired.