Thursday, June 2, 2016

Jeni's Summer Cake

I developed this recipe several summers ago when I wanted a fairly light dessert. At first I used a boxed cake mix, but a scratch cake makes all the difference! When I made the cake today, I used  this one-bowl yellow cake recipe, with just a few modifications - though you can use whatever your favorite is, even if it's from a box!

With the fresh citrus flavor, cool whipped cream topping and the fact that it's stored in the refrigerator, this cake is perfectly refreshing as a summer dessert!

Jeni's Summer Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt 
zest from one orange
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 325º. Grease a 9x13 baking dish; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt. Add in butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix for 3-4 minutes; add in eggs and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325º for 30-35 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on the stovetop, combine the following ingredients:

zest of one orange
3/4 cup orange juice (I use the two oranges I zested, plus prepared OJ if needed to equal 3/4 cup.)
1/2 cup sugar

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

After the syrup has cooled a bit, poke holes all over your cake - I use a sharp steak knife. Carefully pour the simple syrup over every inch of the cake, letting it soak in. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 hours. When you're ready to serve it, top with homemade whipped cream!

Homemade Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a well-chilled metal bowl, whisk the whipping cream until bubbles form. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue whisking until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks. As I told you when I shared my Cinnamon Cream Fruit Dip recipe: I use my stand mixer and it takes just a couple of minutes. If you whisk it by hand it will take a little longer, and it will feel like forever!

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