I know that I’m not supposed to be posting so many sweets and desserts successively over here! I do agree that they add sweetness to life and mitigate sufferings temporarily, but at the same time, one must not forget that it has to be done in moderation.
And how could I not cater to the request of an orange cake by this cute little boy who just happens to be the apple of my eye and the most precious human being in my life, a life that grew in my womb!
And the birthday boy in question is now 5 years old with mischievous streaks who loves to cycle and play with all his toys and friends and watch his favourite cartoons on the computer just like any other boy his age.
But apart from all the fun and frolic derived from play what also contents me about this little boy’s personality is his love for books. Not a single day goes by without me reading him a book and putting him to sleep at night.
What amuses and enthralls me is his ability to weave stories around everyday characters and from books too which also makes it compulsive for me to sift fact from fiction during mother-son interactions. But, that said, there is no dearth of entertainment in our household with all the music, dancing and stories coming from this little one.
This year my in laws passed on the plate in which the father ate his food the first time when he was 6 months old during the annaprashna ceremony (a vedic ritual concerning the eating of the first grain by a new born child) and the plate was laid for little Hari to arrive form school and savour the delights cooked by his mother.
Oblivious to the efforts put in by mother dearest, he did little justice to what was prepared and I had to take heart in the fact that he did relish this utterly delectable “Orange Cake”.
I have often found myself dreaming about an orange cake without eggs. A cake with the perfect texture, that is light and soft with delicate hints of citrus flavours.
And when Hari wanted an Orange cake for his birthday, I delved in and was very pleased to note that this cake not only lived upto my expectations but perhaps even surpassed my fastidious analysis test.
At times simple cakes bring the most joy and this cake definitely belongs to that category. Without any icing or frosting or other embellishments this cake can be a simple tea or coffee cake or a snack too. But give it a little base in terms of topping it up with a frosting and decorating it with your creativity and this simple beauty simply transforms into a marvelous piece of gorgeousness.
And so it can serve as a simple cake or an elaborate beauty to honour any celebration depending on your mood or life event.
If fresh bursts of citrus notes and flavours enliven you and refresh your senses then look no further! This cake scores on all fronts – taste wise, texture wise and looks wise. And isnt that what perfect cakes are all about?
Eggless Orange Cake With Orange Buttercream Frosting Recipe
For The Cake
210 gm (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
125 gm (1 cup) milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100 gm (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
125 gm icing or confectioners sugar
250 ml (1 cup) milk
60 ml (1/4 cup) cream
juice of 1 orange (I got 3 tbsp out of a small orange)
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pure orange extract, if available
Butter the base and sides of an 8” round cake pan. Line the base with grease proof paper or dust it with flour.
In a bowl put in the flour, milk powder, baking powder and baking soda. Give it a good mix and stir once to make the mixture uniform and sieve once to remove lumps, if any.
In a bowl, put in the butter and sugar and using an electric beater or wire whisk, beat until smooth and creamy.
Put in half the dry ingredients, half the milk and beat until smooth, after which put in the remaining dry ingredients and the milk and beat until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the cream, orange juice, lime juice and beat again for a couple of minutes until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 15 minutes at 175C. After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for 30 minutes more or until a skewer comes out clean.
For The Buttercream
200 gm (1 cup) butter (I used lightly salted butter from the brand amul)
455 gm (3 to 3 1/2 cups) icing, powdered or confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract (optional)
a few drops of natural food colouring (optional)
2 to 4 tbsp cream, depending on the consistency
Bring the butter to room temperature. It should not be cold but at the same time, make sure its has not melted or come to a stage where it is about to melt. The consistency and temperature of butter is vital for a good buttercream frosting or icing.
Beat the butter with a whisk or hand blender or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for a few minutes.
Put in about 3 cups of the icing or confectioners sugar and beat at the lowest speed until the butter and sugar are mixed well.
Now stir in the vanilla extract, orange extract and the natural food colouring if using and about 2 tablespoon of the cream or milk and beat for about a couple of minutes.
And then it is time for you to adjust the frosting. If your frosting looks good, then you are good to go! If it needs to be thinned, then add the remaining milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.
For a more stiffer consistency, add more sugar.
After the cake is cooled, spread the icing/frosting over the cake with a palette knife and with the help of a piping nozzle make decorative designs. If you don’t have icing nozzle then simple spread the icing over the cake a palette knife and put sprinklers over it.