Some portfolios need to fulfill multiple purposes. This no-fuss recipe can be used to make cakes to celebrate a variety of life’s events.Tips:
This recipe as published here will make a simple two layer eight-inch birthday cake, or 24 medium cupcakes, or 48 mini-cupcakes. Triple the recipe and bake two eight-inch and two ten-inch layers that can be stacked through use of dowel rods and cardboard cake rounds to make a wedding or anniversary celebration cake. The fruit and nuts in this cake will prevent the layers from puffing so much in the middle that you need to saw off the center of each layer in order to stack them.Ingredients:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two eight-inch layer pans.
Using a kitchen shears, chop the dried fruit. Add nuts, if desired. Using a flat cheese grater or Microplane shred the peel off the top half of the orange. (Save the bottom half for the icing.)
Toss the fruit, nuts and orange peel into a glass bowl to allow the orange peel to infuse the fruit and nuts while you prepare the wet and dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Set aside.
A stand mixer works best for the next part, but you can also mix this with a hand mixer on medium speed in a mixing bowl with high sides.
Cream together butter, shortening, sugar or Splenda and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl with a rubber spatula between each addition.
Add a scoop of the dry ingredients intermittently with a dribble of the buttermilk, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed until both the buttermilk and dry ingredients are all added. This process will help to keep the mixture smooth and well blended.
Use the rubber spatula to fold in the fruit, nuts and orange peel. Divide the batter evenly between two greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool pans on wire rack until just warm to the touch. Run a knife around each round. Place your hand on the cooled cake invert pan and tap center of round pan. Cake should release onto your splayed hand. Flip cake back onto wire rack to cool completely.
In the meantime, prepare frosting. You can use either butter cream or cream cheese frosting.
I like to flavor the frosting with the shredded orange peel from the bottom half of the orange.
Here’s my cream cheese frosting recipe with orange infusion.
TIP: Powered sugar can clump when exposed to moisture or humidity. If you open a new bag, you probably don’t need to sift the sugar, but if using an open bag that has been sitting in the cupboard for a while, sift the powered sugar for smooth frosting.
In a deep sided mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add the orange peel. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add a tablespoon of the orange juice beat slowly at first, then increase speed. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl.
Sift 2 more cups of the powdered sugar and tip them into the mixer bowl. Add another tablespoon of the orange juice and beat until smooth. If not of spreading consistency, add a bit more orange juice.
This will frost and fill the 8-inch layers, or 24 medium cupcakes, or 48 mini-cupcakes. A two-layer 8-inch cake is generally enough to serve 10 to 12 adults. Uneaten cake can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.