Do you like fruit cakes? Oh no not the ones in the tins that have been circulating for years. Let me clarify, cakes with fruit in them that most people actually would eat. No offense to those that like the ones in the tins.
It’s no secret that my family and I lean toward chocolate cakes be they layered with frosting or a pound cake. That being said on occasion I like to venture into a different baking territory and this time it was with citrus fruit. Citrus has tons of benefits but I’m sure they’re negated once the citrus is surrounded by sugar, flour and oil. I like oranges and grapefruit but I don’t like to eat them. Stay with me on this for a minute. Eating citrus fruits feels like a chore to me. There’s pith and the stringy stuff and it’s just too much work! Wait my explanation gets a little goofier. Unbelievably, I love mandarin oranges in the can.
Eating a 15oz can in one sitting is a piece of cake, ha! Last week my grocery store had a 10 for $10 sale, (man I love those) and mandarin oranges were part of the line- up. Armed with a couple of cans of the bite size ready to eat fruit I decided to bake with them. When it comes to experimenting with cakes I will try my new ideas with a boxed mix first. Butter ain’t cheap folks and if I ever came across a 10 for $10 sale on it I would load up.
Needing a bit of inspiration, I searched for mandarin orange cake recipes and found a few that I mixed and matched. During that same sale with the oranges I had also bought a box of spiced cake mix. Mandarin oranges and a spiced cake sounded doable to me so I cranked up the oven. The recipe came together quickly and the only hard part was not sampling too many of the oranges. Previous attempts at baking with juicy fruits weren’t always the best. Sometimes the result was soggy cake. After draining the juice and reserving it I also spread the oranges on a couple of paper towels to drain them a little more.
The combination of citrus and fall spices was spot on and the cake was moist not soggy. After baking and letting it cool to room temperature I gave it a brush with simple syrup. My family’s cake taste buds don’t always travel in the same direction with me so their thumbs weren’t going up as high as mine. However, my daughter’s co-workers love it when I share and share I did.
Do you have any citrus cake recipes that you’re willing to share and what’s your favorite fall fruit to use in a savory recipe or dessert?
- 1 can (15oz) Mandarin Oranges
- 1 box (2 layer) spice cake mix
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray bundt pan with cooking spray for baking with flour or flour and grease pan.
- Drain mandarin oranges; reserve juice.
- Combine cake mix, juice from can, eggs, oil, and spices in a large bowl and beat 2 minutes.
- Pour ⅓ batter in prepared pan; layer half of mandarin orange slices.
- Pour another ⅓ cake batter into pan; layer with remaining oranges.
- Pour remaining cake batter into pan.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 20 minutes.
- Remove from pan onto wire rack; cool completely and brush with simple syrup if desired.
I’m taking this cake to a few parties this week I’d love for you to come with me.