Sunday, May 22, 2011

May Cake Slice Is Orange and Caramel and Almonds

I missed last month's Cake Slice Bakers altogether and am late this month, mostly due to travels. This cake sounded soooo good that I had to make it late or not.

This is a fairly simple cake, single layer, orange flavored and the topping is a yummy delight with toasted almonds, honey and caramel dripping down the sides when I removed it from the pan. We ate our slices while warm and enjoyed the orange fragrance (I tripled the amount of orange zest) and the moist, delicate crumb of the cake.

The topping is a bit heavy for the texture of the cake but it is very fine topping. I added some tiny clumps of orange zest all over the top of the topping once the almonds were on top of the sticky stuff. I think that helped tie the orange flavor in the cake with the orange flavor in the topping. Bet this topping will show up on some yeasted sticky buns one day. Since we vote each month to choose the cake, I want to thank everyone who voted for this delicious cake!

Do use a deep pan so that the batter doesn't overflow. I used a 2 inch deep 9 inch round cake pan and the batter rose a tiny bit above the rim. The batter goes together quickly and it only takes about 35 minutes to bake. You can have the whole thing begun and on the table in about an hour. Sweetie went back for a second piece and he doesn't generally enjoy cake, so you might want to try it yourself.

In case you are one of the readers who want to know what Sweetie and I are up to, we started demolition today on the summer project. Since I usually love to make things I don't know what the appeal is about tearing buildings apart, but I really love to wield the crowbar. Sweetie removed the ledger board we were concerned about and, indeed, there is dry rot aplenty. Looks like our 'small' project will take most of the summer. At least we are working on the north side of the house this time, so it is a bit cooler and shady. Besides we can stop every now and then and enjoy the view. The garden roses are in their spectacular first bloom of the year, the veggies are all growing about as well as normal and this year I have daises which have overwintered, plus two poppy plants that self seeded. It will be fun to see what colors they have.

Back to cake! DO visit the other Cake Slice Bakers if you haven't already. The ones I've seen have been wonderful. Check back on the 20th of June (I plan to be on time despite the project) to see what cake comes next, OK? Also, my camera is still in the mail so these photos were taken with an iPhone (thanks Sweetie!) and I'm not terribly good taking photos with it, but they do show that there were LOTS of almonds in the topping.

Orange Almond Caramel Upside-Down Cake
Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

Makes one 9 inch round cake

Ingredients – Topping
1 cup sliced almonds
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup honey

For the Cake
1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
¼ cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp grated orange zest (I used the zest of one large orange...1 tablespoon scattered in clumps over the topping once the almond were on, and the rest, about 2 tablespoons, in the batter.)

Method - Topping
Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 inch round non stick cake pan and line the base with parchment paper. Dust with flour.

Spread the nuts on a baking tray and toast until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Drizzle over the honey and scatter over the toasted nuts. If using, scatter tiny clumps of orange zest over the almonds.

Method - Cake
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the sour cream, eggs, orange juice and vanilla in a glass measuring cup and beat lightly.
Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Stir in the orange zest.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.

Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Then mix of 30 seconds on medium speed.
Pour the batter over the almonds, gently spreading it into an even layer.

Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes.

Holding the pan and a plate together firmly with oven mitts, invert the hot cake onto the plate. Peel away the parchment paper. If necessary, replace any almonds stuck to the base of the pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  1. Your cake looks wonderfully moist and I love how glossy your almond topping is. Great idea to tripple the orange, mine was a bit faint

  2. Interesting flavor combo. I don't know that I'd pick orange and caramel to be playmates. But the cake looks extremely edible. Perhaps even second-sliceable. ;-)

  3. Hi Elle,

    Your topping looks delish!

    Thanks for a loving post.

  4. What a beautiful cake. The flavors appeal to me 100%. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. Can't wait to try it!

    First time here, btw. Oh, and good luck with your summer project :o)

  5. Oh my God how it looks, i`m sure it tastes delicious, i just love caramel. I will try your recipe for sure, thanks a lot for sharing.

  6. Your looks gorgeous, yum yum!