Close your eyes and imagine the delightful aroma of fresh oranges combined with the warm, inviting scent of baking. Enter the realm of the Citrus Symphony, a luscious butter orange cake that promises a sensory experience unlike any other. Rooted in Italian tradition, this cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a delightful afternoon treat. Its light, melt-in-the-mouth texture, combined with a burst of orange flavor, is reminiscent of sun-kissed Italian mornings.
- 2 cups (250 grams) pastry/ cake flour – a refined choice for a delicate crumb
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder – our rising star
- 1 pinch salt – to balance and enhance
- 1 cup (230 grams) butter, softened to perfection
- Zest from 2 oranges (about 2-3 tablespoons) – the heart of our citrus melody
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar – a sweet symphony
- 2 large eggs, room temperature – for a velvety blend
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature – an extra touch of richness
- ½ teaspoon vanilla – a whisper of aromatic sweetness
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) milk, room temperature – for a smooth batter
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice – the citrus encore
For the Glaze (optional but recommended):
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar (sifted) (120-240 grams) – for a snowy touch
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice – the final citrus note
Begin with the backdrop: preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Embrace the warmth as you lovingly grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan. The parchment paper is a good friend here; it ensures a hassle-free release later.
In a serene medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This dry mix is the canvas upon which our masterpiece will be painted.
With zest and zeal, beat the butter and orange zest in a spacious bowl. Once creamy, serenade it with sugar, and beat till they’re harmoniously blended.
Eggs join this musical, one by one, with the yolk adding its rich notes. The vanilla is the subtle background score, binding everything together.
The dry mix from earlier now takes the stage, in two acts. Post its performance, the milk and orange juice make their entry, wrapping up the pre-baking concert.
With grace, transfer this melody of ingredients into the prepped pan. Let it bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick plays its part and emerges clean.
As it cools, whisk together the glaze. Drizzle it over, letting it cascade down the cake’s sides, and there you have it – the Citrus Symphony, ready to be savored.
In every bite of this Butter Orange Cake, there’s a story – of tradition, flavors, and the joy of baking. Whether you’re reminiscing about a past trip to Italy or creating new memories, this cake is sure to be a hit.