Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mandarin Orange Cake

Recently I've gone on a large baking spree. Sometimes I just get into a baking mood, and before you know it I've made a ton of different cakes in only a few days. Well this is now day 3 of this week, and day 5 or 6 of baking in the last two weeks. Last week I made three new cakes/pies: first a "gooey butter cake", which was more like a plain coffee cake (eh), second was a blueberry cake, very dense, not bad, but not great, and third was a strawberry pie. The strawberry pie turned out great and I'll surely be saving the recipe to use again. If you're interested in that one, let me know and I'll send it to you or get motivated to put it up here.

This week started out with peanut butter balls on Monday (people really freaked over those, and Jeremy did a wonderful job helping me make them this weekend), and some Ebelskivers on Tuesday. Ebelskivers are like little filled pancakes that are prepared in a special pan. They are super fun to make and probably great way to get kids involved in baking something fun for breakfast. I wasn't sure how they'd transport to work, but people seemed to go crazy for them. I made about 20 with fillings like blueberry/lemon and raspberry/creamcheese.

Last night I continued the baking spree and made a Mandarin Orange Cake. I think people at work are convinced that I'm trying to fatten them up. While I haven't actually cut into it yet, the cake looks super tasty and from what I've 'sampled,' this is gonna be delicious!

The recipe came from my latest cookbook - Cooking up a Storm - Cajun Cooking from New Orleans. It's super simple to make and looks fantastic. (Don't mind the above picture, it was taken with my iPhone... I've gotten camera lazy.) Plus the 'frosting' is so light and creamy, and it is mixed with crushed pineapple, mmmm my favorite. I almost considered just eating it all straight out of the bowl instead of putting it on the cake.

I hope you consider making this for your next picnic, as it'd be a great summer cake due to the light frosting.

Mandarin Orange Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments with juice
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments without juice (if you desire more oranges, I think it needs this second can)
1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Grease and flour 3 - 8" cake pans. (Of course you can do a 9x13 pan or 2 - 9" cake pans. Whatever you want, just keep in mind baking times my vary)

Slightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the cake mix, oil and baking soda and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the mandarin oranges and juice from one of the cans. Mix until incorporated.

Spread the batter evenly amongst the pans (since I made a 3 layer cake but only had 2 pans, I did two first, then, after they were done, I made the third).

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Note: A 9x13 pan may take 30-40 mintues.

Let them cool fully in the pans, or most of the way in the pans then flip onto some wax paper to finish cooling while you reuse the pans (if necessary).

To make the topping, combine the whipped topping, crushed pineapple with juice, and pudding mix. Stir together with a spoon until all incorporated.

If doing a layered cake, spread each layer with a bit of the frosting then stack. Finally cover the entire cake and sides with the frosting and store in the fridge. Since it's made with Cool Whip, you'll be able to let it set out for quite some time before it melts and gets yucky. (thus a great summer dessert).


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