March 17, 2012

Orange Buttermilk Cake with Zesty-Sweet Curd Filling

I have a very serious question for you.
Do I have enough orange zest on my plate?  I think I could have fit a little more on there, don't ya agree? 

Ha Ha - I guess you could say I got a little carried away.
I couldn't help myself. I made this cake right after Valentine's Day and my Sweetheart had surprised me with all kinds of fun new kitchen gadgets, including a zester and a microplane grater.  

Up until then, I had been using the smaller side of my cheese grater to zest my oranges, limes and lemons.  I didn't think a microplane grater would be much different.  I was SOOOOOOO wrong.  That thing is my new favorite kitchen gadget.  It zests oranges PERFECTLY.  The blades are sharp and angled just right, so you don't have to worry about accidentally grating the bitter white part, because it won't let you go down that far.    You can grate a whole orange in a flash - seriously - go buy yourself an all-purpose microplane grater if you don't already have one.  I have even used it to grate fresh ginger and fresh parmesan cheese.  

Back to the cake . . . if you like the flavor of oranges, then I think you will love this cake.  It is loaded with citrus flavor, the cake is dense and moist and the frosting is soft and creamy.  It looks like a lot of work, but you can always make the curd a day or so ahead of time or just leave it out.  I love the flavor combo of Orange and Almond, especially since I first tried this Orange-Almond Biscotti
Orange Buttermilk Cake with Zesty-Sweet Curd Filling
adapted from: Cooking With Paula Deen (March/April 2012 Issue)
(Printable Recipes)

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
Zesty-Sweet Curd Filling (recipe follows)
Orange Buttermilk Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.  In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, orange zest, vanilla and salt at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.  Spread curd filling between layers.  Spread orange buttermilk frosting on top and sides of cake.  Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 3-days.  

Zesty-Sweet Curd Filling
*I did not make this recipe, instead I made 1/2 batch of this microwave curd recipe and used orange juice instead of lemon juice and I added 1/8 tsp. of almond extract.  I still wanted to post this recipe incase anyone wanted to try it.
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbl. orange zest
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. almond extract
6 Tbl. butter, cut into small pieces

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until softened.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, orange zest, orange juice, egg yolks, salt and almond extract.  Add butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until curd has thickened, about 8 minutes.  remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until smooth.  Transfer curd to a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on surface of curd; refrigerate at least 8 hours or until ready to use.  Yield: about 1 cup

Orange Buttermilk Frosting
1 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. orange zest
6 c. powdered sugar
3-4 Tbl. buttermilk, plus more if needed
juice of 1-2 oranges, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract, opt.
orange food coloring paste, opt.

In a large bowl, beat butter and orange zest at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.  Gradually add half of the powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  Add buttermilk, orange juice, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until smooth.  Add remaining powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  Add more buttermilk if frosting is too thick.  Tint frosting with orange food coloring paste, beating to reach desired color.  

Jenn's Notes: I did not have 3 (9-inch) cake pans, so I divided the batter between two pans and baked them for 25-27 minutes.  I cut each layer in half, making four layers.  I only put curd filling over one layer and I actually preferred it WITHOUT the curd filling.  After sitting in the fridge for a few hours, the orange flavor intensifies and it is super orangey.  


  1. As Ms. Paula herself would say, I'm swallowin' hard! Lordy, that cake looks soooo good. I'm not really the baker in the house... Hubbs is. But I might just have to make an exception for this! Thank you so much for sharing it! (btw, I'm a little bit in love with my microplane too and I think you have just the right amount of orange zest on your plate. LOL)

  2. That's a beautiful cake! And can you ever have too much orange zest??? Happy Sunday:@)

  3. Oh my this cake sounds so awesomely wonderful!! I am going to pin this so I can remember to try the recipe!!

  4. You convinced me, I definitely need a microplane grater. Sounds like an awesome tool! I actually made orange creamsicle cupcakes this week. The recipe is one of my absolute faves, so I know I would seriously love this cake. It is definitely now on my "to bake" list. Thanks! :0)

  5. Okay,I need to make this cake. I have a huge bag of oranges on my counter that my neighbor gave me. None of us eats oranges (the actual fruit). This cake would make a good dent in the bag. :)

  6. This is a must try and your recipes all look fantastic!

  7. Looks yummy, might have to try it.

  8. Oh my goodness, this looks so good. I had to keep from licking my computer screen! Thanks for sharing! I'd love for you to share this with my readers at Sweet & Simple Sunday!

  9. I love orange cake and this one looks so yummy, I am going to have to try it. All your recipes look great!

  10. you are so talented!! this looks divine! cant wait to try. xoxo

  11. Yum! Sounds amazing! I love citrus flavours, but I've never experimented beyond lemon. I'd really like to give this recipe a try - your cake looks fantastic.

  12. This recipe is so unique and tasty looking! Thanks!

  13. i love orange cake, looks so yummy
    thks for sharing :)

  14. Hi!
    I'd love it if you'd stop by and link these up to A Themed Bakers Sunday! The theme this week is anything Citrus!
    Hope to see you there!

  15. Wow! This looks delicious! Pinning and thank you so much for sharing at Mom on Timeout!

  16. I'm following up a few hours later with how I made cupcakes out of the leftover batter. I baked them at 375 degrees for 17 minutes. They were light, fluffy, had a delicate crumb and a light, delicious orange flavor. They tasted fabulous warm, with nothing on them!

    1. I realized my first comment didn't publish, so saying "I'm following up" doesn't make sense! What I had said at first was that I was making several cake layers for a wedding cake plus sheet cakes. Since I have to measure the batter I thought readers might be interested to know that one recipe of this cake makes a generous 7 cups.