Orange-Honey Frosted Layer Cake

  • Serves: Makes two 8 - or 9 x 2-inch layers
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
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I developed this cake for the Bigelow Tea Company. This orange cake has a nice subtle flavor of honey and is moist and so does the orange frosting. One of the problems developing a butter cake using liquid sugars, such as honey, as an ingredient is they are typically on the dry side. I figured out a way to get around this issue with my recipe. This one is delicious with a cup of hot tea and lemon.
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INGREDIENTS
Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising; spoon into dry measuring cup and level to rim
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; can be cold from refrigerator
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange-flavored honey, or any flavor; can use any liquid sugar such as maple syrup (preferably Grade B for more flavor)
2 large eggs; can be cold from refrigerator
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken; can be cold from refrigerator
1 tablespoon grated orange peel; from one large orange

Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; slightly cooler than room temperature
2 tablespoons orange-flavored honey, or any flavor; can use any liquid sugar such as maple syrup (preferably Grade B for more flavor)
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar, sifted; measure and then, sift
1/4 cup milk, plus more if needed; can be cold from refrigerator
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel; from one large orange

INSTRUCTIONS
Cake:
1. Place an oven shelf in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease two 8- or 9-  x 2-inch pans.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment on low speed until softened. Add the sugar in a steady stream at the
side of the bowl.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for beat for 3 minutes until creamy, light in color and fluffy. During beating, stop the mixer and scrape the bowl often.

4. Add the honey and beat for 1 minute more.

5. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat 20 seconds after each addition until combined. Beat the mixture for one minute on medium until it is smooth and fluffy.
Add the vanilla.

6. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 equal portions, alternating with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix after each addition until JUST combined. A
Add in the orange peel.

7. Beat the batter for 1 minute on medium speed or until speed; do NOT overmix.

8. Scrape the bowl and divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Lightly smooth the tops

9. Bake the layers for 25 - 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick in the middle of each cake layer and remove. It should have a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter. Lightly touch of the tops of each cake with a cupped hand until the top feels firm and gives slightly. The cake shrinks a little from the sides of the pan. It should also smell done.

10. Take the cake layers immediately from the oven to a wire cake rack and let them sit for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula or sharp knife. Invert onto wire cake rack and place upright with the support of another wire cake rack to cool completely.

Frosting:
1. In a medium bowl, with a hand held mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until softened. Add the honey and beat on medium until fluffy.

2. Gradually add in 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat well.

3. Add in 1/4 cup of the milk, vanilla and orange peel, and beat until well combined.

4. Slowly beat in the remaining powdered sugar until spreadable.

SARAH SAYS: Fix with 1 teaspoon of milk or 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, to correct the texture if necessary.

The frosting does NOT need refrigeration.

STORAGE
The frosted or unfrosted cake layers store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days.
The frosted or unfrosted cake layers freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped.

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