Le Cake Orange

You can use this recipe to make either a lemon or an orange cake. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a beautifully tight-grained loaf cake with an intense citrus flavor. In the States, we think of cakes like these as pound cakes, but in France, they are called “weekend cakes” because they are sturdy (sturdy enough to be packed in a weekend picnic basket), keep well (they’ll last the weekend and then some), and easy to enjoy with anything from Saturday morning coffee to Sunday afternoon tea. Not surprisingly, at Montmartre favorite Pâtisserie Arnaud Larher, these weekend cakes sell out on weekdays too.

To get the most flavor out of the grated zest in this recipe, you mix the zest and sugar together with your fingertips, rubbing the two ingredients together until the sugar is moist and grainy and the piquant aroma of citrus fills the kitchen. Do this once, and you’ll find yourself doing it often in other recipes.
- Dorie Greenspan

Orange Cake recipe: Dorie Greenspan - Paris Sweets, adapted from Pâtisserie Arnaud Larher

- 2 ¼ cups cake flour (250 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar (335 grams)
- Grated zest of 3 lemons or 2 oranges
- 5 large eggs
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (165 grams)
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (for the lemon cake) or Grand Marnier (for the orange cake) (30 grams)
- 7½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3¾ ounces; 110 grams)

- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (22.5 x 12.5 x 7.5-cm) loaf pan, dust the interior with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two stacked regular baking sheets and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and keep close at hand. Toss the sugar and zest together in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, beating until the mixture is pale and foamy, then whisk in the crème fraîche and rum. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently stir the sifted flour mixture into the batter in three or four additions—the batter should be thick and smooth. Finally, fold in the cooled melted butter in two or three additions.
- Immediately spoon the batter into the pan and slide the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry and free of crumbs. (Check the cake at the 40-minute mark. If it is browning quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking period.) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack before turning it out of the pan; invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

- Keeping: Wrapped airtight, the cake will keep for 1 week at room temperature or up to 1 month in the freezer. Stale cake is delicious lightly toasted and spread with marmalade.
- An American in Paris: I’ve used this recipe to make a wonderful vanilla cake. I substitute the pulp of 2 plump, fragrant vanilla beans for the zest and rub the pulp into the sugar just as the zest is rubbed in. Keep the rum in the recipe—it’s lovely with the vanilla.

Maybe it's the crème fraîche, the Grand Marnier or the melted butter, but this cake was Sublime (capital 'S')! Easily one of the best pound cake I've ever tasted. The kind that makes you moan after every bite.

I can't wait to make the other versions (lemon and vanilla) of this cake.

Update: I have made the lemon version of this cake, (which I will not blog about) but it wasn't as good as this orange cake. As much as I love rum, I did not like the rum flavor combined with lemons.

The texture was perfect ♥; not too dry, not too moist, and very smooth.


Moon said…
I keep wondering: who eats all these delights?!?
Snooky doodle said…
this looks so good. I m imagining eating a slice with my afternoon tea. I guess I can try it with tangerines too :)
Lucie said…
This sounds so yummy! I always rub the zest and sugar whenever I make something--it really makes the citrus taste come out beautifully!
reminds me of the olive oil cake I make...love these types of cakes...as can be for breakfast or dinner!!

I also second the question of moon: who does eat all these desserts????
Paris Pastry said…
Me and my family eat these :)
Anonymous said…
I am going to try both! Looks yummy! xo
Sounds and looks delightful! xo
Tamra said…
A good pound cake is priceless! I can't wait to try this recipe out.

this looks so delicious! I must try my hand at creatint this, but I highly doubt it will turn out so wonderful as yours!
Unknown said…
This looks delicious, I'm going to try this out when I'm back from Vegas. The cake actually looks perfect x
I'maNolaGirl said…
This looks like the perfect dessert for a tea party!
Lilacandgrey said…
Looks like the perfect addition to my sunday brunch menu...can't wait to try this!
Ingrid_3Bs said…
Anytime I use zest I rub it into the sugar; even when the recipe doesn't call for it. Not only does it lead to extreme deliciousness it's therapeutic.
Lot-O-Choc said…
oooh yes it does look like an extremely moist cake mmm, i would love to try this, cant wait to see the other version as well :D.
Miss Apple said…
yammmi, that looks delicious!!!
Yum can you please send some to Sydney?? I know I keep asking this but you keep making sure delectable things!!
Barbara said…
Delicious! So light and summery. A perfect treat with tea too.
A Bowl Of Mush said…
oooh sounds and looks so delicious!
I love cakes like this :)
CookiePie said…
That is one gorgeous cake!!! I love those loaf cakes that you can just nibble on all weekend -- and orange is so delicious!
I better start paying more attention, how did I miss this?
Wow, Sunday morning recipe #2.
Which one for Friday....ummmmmmmmmm
Mélanie A. said…
All your recipes look so delicious ? i shouldn't stop by your blog I'm going to put on some extra weight
Lori said…
I tried your cake today...it is delicious as promised!!

I posted about it on my blog with a link to yours for the recipe.

Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Unknown said…
this sound yummy...I'm gonna try it and thanks for sharings

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