I’m decent to pretty good at a handful of things, but the best? That’s hard. Maybe it’s because society doesn’t always empower us to celebrate our talents in quite that way. We can certainly post our prettiest avocado toast and beach days on Instagram, but when it comes to really showing the world where we thrive, I think it’s hard not come across as boastful or arrogant. Now, it’s not like the designation ‘best’ is scarcely used. You can google best ‘fill in the blank’ and get millions of results, all from people claiming they have the best brownies, best weight loss routine, best home remedy, best cat video etc. So who’s right? And who genuinely believes that their thing is really the BEST.
Well I say we embrace the word, even if we know it’s a slight misnomer. So what if I don’t literally make the BEST pizza in the world? I certainly make the best pizza in my house (sorry husband). Or maybe you’re an excellent tennis player – you might not be selling out seats at the US Open, but so what? Saying you’re the best at something, even if it’s to no one but yourself is something I think we should all try. Why? Because it recognizes the hard work, talent, and effort that you’ve put forth for the things you love and excel at, and because it feels good. Of course, you do you. If you are doubtful when I say that this is the best orange butter cake that’s totally fair. However I would argue that this is the best orange butter cake with cream cheese frosting that I have personally ever made or eaten. So maybe give it a try and then we can discuss your thoughts…over cake.
Do you have some ‘bests’ hiding up your sleeve? Let em out in the comments!
The Best Orange Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1 9 INCH CAKE Time: 1 HOUR
So it just occurred to me that I never really talked about the cake. Why is it the best? It’s buttery with a delicate crumb and cramjam (thank you Mary Berry) full of orangey goodness, that’s why. Navel oranges are very much in season right now, and I attribute a lot of this cake’s success to their flavor at the moment. I would not try to make this with sad, dull tasting oranges, or you might get a sad, dull tasting cake (kind of a ‘duh’ moment, right?). The frosting is top notch, not too sweet and very easy. Just make sure to bring your butter and cream cheese to room temperature. I often just leave it on top of the stove while I’m baking the cake – that usually does the trick.
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 T orange zest
½ C whole milk plain yogurt
½ C orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (at room temp)
½ C brown sugar
½ C granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F and grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan (I used a spring form). I also lined the bottom of the pan with greased and floured parchment paper (I think this was overkill, but this cake is pretty moist and I wanted to make sure it came out in one piece).
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl combine orange zest, orange juice, yogurt and vanilla. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, giving each egg time to thoroughly incorporate into the batter – scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Add a third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Then add half of the liquid ingredients and continue alternating, mixing after each addition, ending with dry ingredients and mixing until no more dry flour remains, but be careful not to overmix. Could I please say mix more? mix, mix, mix. But don’t OVERmix.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 40-50 minutes. Mine took exactly 45, but I started checking it as early as 35. A toothpick should come out mostly clean, with a few crumbs attached and the cake should spring back lightly when pressed.
Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely on the rack.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1.5 CUPS Time: 10 MINUTES
6 ounces cream cheese at room temp
6 T unsalted butter at room temp
1 T orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 C powdered sugar
Using a stand or hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the orange zest, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)
Spread frosting liberally on the cooled cake.
Frosting can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered for up to 5 days. If making ahead, let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before using.