The Easter long weekends gave me enough time to unwind and time to bake. Other than the Vanilla Beans Macarons, I also baked some orange butter (cup)cakes. It was meant to be a test bake for my niece's full month celebration this coming Sunday, and I'm now torn to bake this or my favourite chocolate cake.
Actually just this year, our family is blessed with 2 "小龙女" (baby girl born in the year of dragon per chinese zodiac), first from my elder sister who's residing in States, and second from my youngest brother. Because of the distance, we are not able to fly over to States to hug the lil one now but I'm already planning to go by next year or earlier if possible. With my brother's newborn baby, it gave my boy more excuses to take the train to visit them during the weekends. I can't forget my boy's first expression when he saw my brother's baby in the hospital - anticipating, exciting, happy and bewildered! He must be imaging how the baby was in my sis-in-law's bump on a Saturday and came out as such a beautiful baby 2 days later! It still bewildered me and keep me constantly amazed with such miracle and beautiful creations!
Anyway back to baking the cake, I love how the orange zest were rubbed with the sugar - smell, taste and sight, love how each addition of ingredients were incorporated into the batter. The mixture didn't get too wet even with fluids being added and it just turned out so beautifully! Taste-wise, the cake turned out like an old-fashioned butter cake, moist and fluffy. The orange zest give you a slight twist and it feels good knowing that only 100% fresh orange juice is used!
Orange butter cake
(Recipe adapted from Baking Library;
yield 12 standard size cupcakes, 2 mini loaves)
250g self raising flour, sifted
250g good quality unsalted butter, softened
185g castor sugar (I reduced it to 170g)
170g whole eggs, at room temperature (about 3 eggs)
100ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
finely grated zests of 2 oranges
1) Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Prepare baking tins or lined cupcake moulds and set aside.
2) Grate the orange zest over sugar and rub them together. You will get orange-infused sugar, super nice!
3) In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and orange-infused sugar on medium high speed for about 5 mins until pale and fluffy.
4) Add beaten eggs to butter mixture in 6 additions, ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next addition.
5) Add 1/3rd of flour to the egg-butter mixture on low speed till well incorporated. Next add in half of orange juice to batter till well incorporated.
6) Add another 1/3rd of flour to the batter till well incorporated. Add the remaining orange juice and mix till well incorporated. Lastly add the remaining flour into the batter and mix till well incorporated.
7) Scrape the side and bottom with a spatula for any loose ingredients.
8) Using an ice-cream scoop, fill up 2/3rd of the lined cupcake mould and bake at 180 deg C for 25-30 mins.
9) For mini loaves, I bake for about 40-45 min at 180 deg C.
10) Check doneness when skewer come out clean after inserted into cake.
11) Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack.