It was supposed to be here Wednesday, so I spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning up and straightening the house…not that there was all that much to do – not having any furniture and all. But still.
Then the Hubster called to tell me that the delivery had been postponed for two days.
Alright, listen. I know it’s only two days. I get it. But I was really sad. The fact is, I’ve been without furniture since March, but I haven’t actually seen any of my furniture since last August. o_O
I didn’t want to wait to more days. I was sad. I couldn’t help it.
But. I decided to turn things all happy and make myself a cake to heer me up.
The criteria: happy flavors, happy colors.
For me, happy flavors must have chocolate. Obviously. I also decided that I want something bright and cheerful, so I made an orange cake and filled it with chocolate. Cheer, established.
I piped a ring of buttercream around the edge of each layer before adding the chocolate filling. This helped keep the filling from squishing out as I added the layers.
I decided the cake couldn’t just taste happy, but it had to look happy, too. Ombré cakes always make me happy. Always. So I picked the cheeriest color evah: orange, obvs, and colored the cake batter and the frosting in gradient shades up to plain white.
Usually, at this point, I put a thin crumb coat on my cakes to prepare them for being decorated, but I was keeping things super simple for this one, so I just filled in between the layers. If I had intended to do something more precise, I would have made sure to do the crumb coat, but it really wasn’t necessary for this cake.
Once all the layers were filled, stacked, and ready to go, I covered the whole cake with reverse shell borders. This is one of the easiest decorating techniques ever; it’s really just loopy loops. That’s it. I mean…that’s my lazy way of doing it. Wilton says to do it like this.
I made three gradient shades of orange frosting and left the remaining frosting white. Two rows of each shade was the perfect amount to cover my four layer cake. If you only make a two layer cake, then one row of each color should be enough to cover it.
I didn’t frost the top of the cake, because I decided that it needed more chocolate.
Last, but not least, I topped my cake with a simple “get happy” topper that I made with scrap paper, a straw, and rubber stamps. It took all of five minutes to make, and was thje perfect finish to my cheerful cake.
This cake was delicious, fun, happy, whimsical, and pretty. Needless to say, I was much more cheerful after having a slice or two.
If you need a smile today, this cake is quick and easy, and guaranteed to make happiness happen. Enjoy!
Orange Cream Cake
with Chocolate Filling
Makes 2 8-inch rounds
FOR THE CAKE
3 1/2 cups (445 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 – 1 lb. package (about 2 cups) sour cream
FOR THE FILLING
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 56 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 (15 to 30 ml) tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE FROSTING
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lbs. (4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml)heavy cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the zest and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream until just mixed in. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream until all of the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl, then stir the batter for another 20 to 30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed in.
Fill the prepared pans with half of the batter each. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.
To make the filling: Fill a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water and sit over medium heat (allow the water to barely come to a simmer). Sit a medium bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate chips and the butter to melt. Stir until smooth and combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before continuing.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer (or use a hand mixer). Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in milk until the filling reaches a spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla.
To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Stir in the orange zest. Add the orange juice and stir until combined, then add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whisk on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.
Recipes by Darla