Cara Cara Orange Layer Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
This may not be the most beautiful cake in the world, but your dad or father’s day person in your life will totally love it. It’s actually the ugly duckling of cakes and I’m ok with that. I was an ugly duckling for a long time (maybe I still am?) with awkward skinny long legs and shyness that would beat the band. I never fit in anywhere and probably still don’t. But you know what? It doesn’t matter when you have fantastic father figures in your life. We’ll talk about high school heart breaks some other time. I’ll bring the wine.
So, we can make fancy pants cakes like this if it blows your dress up and if your dad loves pastels, but does your dad really want that? I say, let’s go rustic. And usually when I’m talking rustic I’m talking messy, sloppy, or down right ugly. I’m pretty sure all those descriptions apply here.
Way to sell it, Rach!
The point is – and yes, eventually I usually have one – it’s Father’s Day this weekend. Your dad or other significant dad/grandpa/uncle/step/or other dad figure in your life loves you. He/She loves all your broken bones, skinned knees, lopsided smiles, and rustic, janky cakes with cracks and frosting squishing out the sides. And that’s what love is.
Happy Father’s Day!
- 1 cup butter, room temperature, plus more to prepare the pans (1 - 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cara cara orange, juice and zest
- 16 ounces (2 8 ounce blocks) cream cheese
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 2 cara cara oranges, juice and zest
- 1 - 2 cara cara oranges thinly sliced
- Mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 350
- Measure and cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit 2 (9) inch cake pans
- Butter cake pans, fit parchment circles into bottom of pans, and butter the parchment paper
- Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes
- Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk - start and end with flour, beat just until combined
- Stir in vanilla bean paste, zest, and juice
- Divide evenly between the two prepared cake pans
- Bake 28 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean
- Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, turn out onto wire racks to cool completely
- Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium until combined
- Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and combined
- Add vanilla bean paste, zest, and juice and beat until combined
- Using a serrated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally through the middle making 4 cakes approximately the same thickness
- Arrange the first layer on a cake stand or plate and spread 1/4 of the frosting on top
- Add the second layer and spread 1/4 frosting on top
- Repeat with the last two layers
- Garnish with orange slices and mint
Adapted from Bake from Scratch Cake Special Issue June 2016, page 26 and 27
Note: If you wrap the cakes tightly in plastic then aluminum foil while it’s still warm and freeze them it will seal in some of the moisture and make them easier to cut and frost while thawing.