For this moist, soft and fragrant cake, you pretty much take two whole oranges, turn them into mush with a blender or food processor, and use the whole lot- rind and all. The resulting cake is packed full of orange flavour, not too sweet, and surprisingly not too bitter either.
When I was researching how to go about this, there seem to be three different ways of making this cake: one way using just flour, one using ground almonds instead of flour and one using olive oil instead of butter. I used butter since I felt that the moistness from the whole oranges would be more than enough, and I used a mixture of ground almonds and flour for a texture that was dense enough to be satisfying, but still fluffy and not too heavy.
This is a pretty big cake: I used a 10" bundt pan here. Yes, it has a crazy amount of butter and sugar, but it's all in proportion and you're not going to eat the entire cake all in one sitting (although if you do, I'm not going to judge you).
Ingredients for Cake:
-2 large oranges (I used seedless Navel), scrubbed with kitchen towel to remove any wax on the skin
-340g unsalted butter, softened
-500g plain flour
-50g ground almonds
-3tsp baking powder
Ingredients for Glaze (optional):
-A small handful of ready to roll fondant icing
-4tbsp orange juice
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and grease and flour your cake pan very well.
2) Slice the very tops and bottoms off of your oranges- this removes the thickest part of the rind and the little green stem bit on the top.
3) Quarter your oranges, and slice the stringy, pithy bit in the middle off (and remove any seeds if you haven't got seedless oranges).
4) Cut the slices into smaller chunks, pop them into the food processor or blender...
5) And blend until very smooth (you may need to scrape the sides down halfway through):
6) Begin to make the base cake mixture as you normally would: cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale, and beat the eggs in until well combined.
7) At this stage, whisk in the orange pulp and vanilla. Now whisk in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
8) Scrape everything into the prepared cake pan, bash it on the counter a bit to knock out large air bubbles, and bake for 60-70 minutes, until a skewer poked into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
9) Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes- it'll come out of the oven looking quite high, but it'll sink a little as it cools.
10) To make the glaze, pop your fondant into a microwavable bowl and microwave at 20 second bursts until it begins to soften, then stir in the orange juice a tablespoon at a time.
11) I made the mistake of microwaving the juice and icing together, resulting in the icing being a tiny bit lumpy.
12) Once your cake is cool enough (it can still be a bit warm, providing you've greased your pan very well), turn it out onto a plate and drizzle the icing over. Now enjoy!
You can always make a basic water icing out of powdered sugar and orange juice- I just used what I had to hand. Even if you don't want to ice it, the cake is so melt-in-the-mouth moist that it can hold its own without being iced: the glaze just makes it prettier, that's all.