This sunny Fresh Tangerine Cake is guaranteed to get your morning off to a better start — the cake is moist and buttery and the icing bursts with fresh tangerine flavor!
This has to be a quick post — there’s so much to do this week, but I thought you’d appreciate this sunny Fresh Tangerine Cake. It’s got a light pound cake type of texture, and good clear tangerine flavor. Tangerines are one of my favorite citrus fruits, that distinctive aroma hits you the minute you touch one, and we instinctively bring them right up to our nose. Once you break the peel all those essential oils burst out. This cake uses the zest of several fruits to really play up that wonderful tangerine essence. It’s great for an almost winter morning pick me up. We’ve got four more days till it’s officially winter, and not many more until Christmas. I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (use the fluff, scoop and level method of measuring)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice (about 1)
- 1/4 cut buttermilk
- zest of 3 tangerines (don't skimp)
- 3/4 tsp orange extract
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1/8 cup fresh tangerine juice
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- zest of 1 tangerine
- Set oven to 350F
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and the sugar together until fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the zest and extracts.
- Mix the tangerine juice with the buttermilk.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients to the mixer, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. If using a stand mixer, give it a final stir by hand.
- Turn the batter into a 8x8 square baking pan. I line mine with parchment paper with overlapping edges for easy removal. If you don't use parchment, lightly spray the pan.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Let cool before frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat the creme fraiche and tangerine juice together, along with the extract. Add enough confectioner's sugar to make a nice spreadable frosting. Add more juice if it is too thick.
- Frost the cooled cake and top liberally with the tangerine zest.
Tips for success:
- The cake batter comes together best when the ingredients are at room temperature. If your butter is cold you can cut it in three or four pieces and microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds to soften. For cold eggs, submerge them in warm water while you cream the butter and sugar.
- For true orange flavor in baked goods, you need lots of zest, and the orange extract. The juice alone won’t do it. A ZESTING TOOL works better than a box grater for this job. Orange extract has a real fresh orange taste, and is fairly easy to find in good stores. You can also buy it online, HERE.
- This cake is best eaten within a day or two.