Orange Party Cake with Whipped Orange Frosting
For the Orange Cake:
- 4 whole eggs (room temperature)
- 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1 cup 240 ml whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (strained (I like Valencia oranges))
- 3 cups 345 g cake flour, sifted
- 2 cups 400 g sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (19 g baking powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon 4 g salt
- 3/4 cup 170 g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small even pieces
- Zest from 2 medium oranges
For the Orange-Vanilla Whipped Cream Filling:
- 2 tablespoons 30 ml cold water
- 2 teaspoons 10 ml unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
- 2 cups 500 ml whipping cream (35-37% fat), cold
- 1/4 cup 30 g icing/confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5 ml pure vanilla extract
- Zest from 1 medium orange
- Pinch of salt
For the Whipped Orange Frosting:
- 1 cups 227 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 4-1/2 cups 565 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup 59 ml whipping cream (35% heavy cream)
- 1/4 cup 59 ml freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
- Pinch of salt
For the Orange Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment round and dust sides with flour.
- In a medium measuring cup with a spout, lightly break up the eggs and yolks. In a separate measuring cup, combine the orange juice and milk.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With the mixer set to low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time, about 10 seconds apart. (You can keep half in the fridge while you add the first half of butter.) Continue mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been blended and there are no clumps. Mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
- Gradually add the milk/orange juice mixture to these dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the egg mixture; once the mixture has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, but no more. Gently fold in the zest.
- Divide batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans (use a kitchen scale to ensure 3 even layers--cakes should weight ~460 g each). Place two of the cake pans on a baking sheet and bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs but no batter, about 23 minutes. Repeat with the final layer. Let the layers cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then loosen sides with thin metal spatula or knife, and carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel of the paper liners, and let cool completely.
For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Filling:
- In a small stainless steel bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of the cream just to a simmer, then stir into the gelatin mixture until the gelatin has dissolved. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, about 8 minutes. (Be careful to keep your eye on it, or you'll end up with Panna Cotta!)
- In a chilled stainless steel mixer bowl with a chilled whisk attachment, beat the remaining whipping cream, icing/confectioners' sugar, vanillla and salt until it thickens just slightly and soft peaks begin to form, about 1 minute. Very gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form (should be thick enough to spread). Fold in zest. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
For the Whipped Orange Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
- Add icing sugar, whipping cream, orange juice and salt, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
Assembly of the Orange Party Cake:
- Trim any dark edges or crust from cake layers with a very sharp serrated knife. Place your first cake layer, face-up, onto a cake stand, plate or 8-inch round foil cake board. Fill your pastry bag with about 1-1/2 cups of the Whipped Orange Frosting and pipe a dam around the perimeter of the cake layer (this will keep our Orange-Vanilla Whipped Cream Filling in place). Place about 1 cup of the cream filling on top of the cake layer, inside of the dam. Gently spread the filling using a small offset spatula.
- Repeat until you come to your final cake layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume. Use your clean offset spatula to carefully smooth the frosting so it's flat against the cake.
- Cover the entire cake gently with plastic wrap (I like Press n' Seal), and then, once covered, use your hands to carefully ensure the cake is lined up straight and flattening any lumps or bumps of frosting. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Once cake is stable and chilled, apply an even layer of frosting to the entire cake, to seal in crumbs. Chill again until frosting is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Place cake plate/board with cake onto a turntable, if possible. Be sure your remaining frosting is smooth and fluffy, working it with a rubber spatula for a few moments. You can even warm in microwave for a few seconds to soften it up.
- Divide frosting into 4 separate small bowls. Tint 3 of them: 1 orange, 1 bright pink, 1 bright coral (pink + orange). Leave the remaining frosting un-tinted. Place cake on a turntable, if possible.
- Using a small offset spatula, spread the orange frosting on the top of the cake, letting it extend about 1/2" over the edge. Using a straight medium spatula, spread a thick layer of bright pink frosting along the bottom third of the entire cake, followed by the un-tinted frosting on the middle of the cake, and the coral on the upper third of the cake. Clean your medium straight spatula and then smooth the sides of cake, slowly turning the cake turntable while holding the spatula steady. Use your small offset spatula to smooth top of cake. Top with sanding sugar and sugar blossom, if desired, or an orange themed sprinkle medley like Pretty As A Peach or It's Sherbert Day
- Keep cake refrigerated for up to 2 days, but serve at room temperature.
- For this sherbet colour scheme, I used the following gel colours: Electric Pink for the bright pink, Electric Yellow + Red Red for the orange, and combined the two colours for the coral. Just a note that you'll want to get your pink super bright, as it will fade a bit after applying to the cake. The reason I use "electric" colours when tinting frosting with an ivory tone (so pretty much anything with butter), is because I feel that the electric colours cut through the yellow better than regular colours. You just have to be careful that you don't end up with neon frosting (however, that might not be a bad thing in some cases!). You can also try Sweetapolita Bright Pink and Sweetapolita Sweet Orange to achieve similar colours.
- For all of my cake decorating, I use a cake turntable--it's definitely a must-have. I have a homemade version, but have recently started using the Ateco Revolving Cake Stand, and I love it.
- I always use a Small Offset Spatula and Medium Straight Spatula when frosting a cake.
- For the blossoms, I used a 5-Petal Flower Cutter set, and simply cut them from thinly-rolled Gum Paste, shaping them by letting them dry in a egg carton (or you can always buy flower formers, but I have a designated egg carton for this kind of thing). Once dry I brushed on a little pink petal dust into the centre, and attached sugar pearls in the centre using a tiny dab of Clear Piping Gel.