You knew I would make one, didn’t you? My father-in-law’s birthday was a week ago, and this is the cake I make for him. My mother-in-law makes delicious cakes. She had already made a caramel cake and a lemon cheese cake for his party, but she doesn’t make the orange marmalade one (and don’t ask me why they call that lemon cake “cheese.” I have no idea.) Having a made-from-scratch birthday cake is wonderful. Having an assortment of all your favorite made-from-scratch cakes for your birthday: priceless.
In case you are not familiar with the Mitford novels, let me just say that the orange marmalade cake could almost be considered a character. It appears in most of the books, is quite famous in the fictional village of Mitford, and could be the cause of a major diabetic coma for Father Tim. Jan Karon was frequently asked for the cake recipe early in her writing career. At that time, there was no recipe. It wasn’t until Victoria magazine and Southern chef Scott Peacock teamed up that the recipe was born.
My father-in-law likes the layers of the orange marmalade cake. They seem to “brown” a little more than others (or perhaps I cook it longer than others, who knows?) There is a recipe for it in The Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader (included in the giveaway here,) but for some reason it is different from the one originally published in Victoria magazine years ago. So I tweak my old beat up magazine copy. (Obviously I sat a hot pan on it at one time…it really is in bad shape.)
This cake is not difficult, but it has a lot of steps, so it takes a while to make. Here is the original recipe for the cake part first.
I follow it exactly, except I bake it in three 9-inch pans instead of the recommended two. I like frosting…a lot. I do it in three so that I can get more frosting per bite. (Note: I made a gluten free version here. Just substitute gluten free flour for the flour in the recipe, make sure all your other ingredients are gluten free (they probably are), and add in 1 extra egg.)
And by the way, I am a terribly messy cook. I had added flour at one point in making this, turned on the mixer, and woosh! The flour exploded out of the mixer all over the counter, cookbooks, nearby jars, and floor. nice…big…mess.
Anyway, because there are three layers instead of two, I bake it 40 minutes instead of 45. This does allow it to brown more, but poking all those holes in it, and spooning orange juice in all the holes keeps it moist.
Here is the rest of the recipe.
This is where most of my changes get made. Two cups of marmalade are used instead of one since it is being spread on an additional cake layer.
I also use 2 cups of whipping cream, a tablespoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of sugar in the frosting – but I keep the sour cream at 3/4 cup. I just like it a little sweeter than the original frosting recipe makes. You could keep the original ratio if you like.
An entire layer of frosting and an entire layer of marmalade is spread between each layer. The recipe calls for only the marmalade. (I forgot to photograph it after the frosting on the first layer..sorry. But I did remember after layer number 2!)
So here she is all finished. I have already told you I am messy, so there are crumbs around the base, and the icing is quite rustic looking – definitely not smooth like a professional baker would do. But ….
it is quite delicious – especially with a cup of coffee or hot tea.
As I mentioned earlier, the other version of the orange marmalade cake is in the Mitford cookbook that is included in the giveaway (details here.)
Just leave a comment on any or all of the Loving Mitford posts, and you will be entered in the drawing. Both of the books are great, but the cookbook is really a good cookbook – plus it has excerpts from the novels that go with the food in the recipe. That makes for a delightful read!
I told you the orange marmalade is one of my father-in-law’s favorite cakes. (It was his first choice at his birthday party!) As good as it is, it is not my favorite, but picking one favorite is hard. My favorites are seasonal….fresh apple cake in the fall, warm gingerbread or red velvet at Christmas, that lemon cheese cake in the spring, a pound cake with fresh peaches in the summer, and my mom’s tiramisu cake for my birthday. So today my wondering brain wants to know….
Do you have one favorite cake? (to eat or bake) If so, what is your favorite?
Can’t wait to hear from you!
p.s. All your yummy favorite dishes in your comments of my last post made me hungry and made my mouth water! I think some kind of chicken dish was the overall favorite to serve when entertaining. My favorite is a pork tenderloin served with grits, turnip greens, and little biscuits. Yum!
***Giveaway has closed. Winner was announced 2/7/13.***