Cake baked in an orange rind is something I wanted to try since the beginning of the Stuffed series. I first saw cakes baked in oranges while perusing The Cupcake Blog, an idea shared at Beyond A Garden, and I finally took a chance on baking them myself.
I had a tough time deciding just what cake to make. Keep it simple with yellow? Maybe chocolate like those delicious Terry’s chocolate oranges that appear this time of year. Or cranberry-orange?
I decided on cranberry-orange. I thought the flavor would be a great way to use up a few spoonfuls of leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and provide the opportunity to try a cranberry sauce cake recipe. As you can tell from the pictures of chocolate cake, something went wrong with the cranberry-orange.
Do you know cranberry sauce, when added to cake batter, turns gray? Once baked, it yellows out a bit, but the cake still doesn’t look all that appetizing. Fortunately, I figured this process would be an experiment, so I was prepared to try again. I added a bit of red food coloring to the batter for the second cake. It looked better, but I was disappointed with the marks my cupcake pan was leaving on the orange peels.
Slightly frustrated, I moved on to chocolate because chocolate simply makes everything better. I baked the first cupcake on a cookie sheet to get away from the unsightly burn marks. It held its shape, but the bottom flattened out a bit.
Still trying, I eventually found stuffing the orange rinds all the way into the well of the cupcake pan, instead of sitting them on top, did the trick. The orange rinds that did not quite fit eventually fell down into the well during the baking process. I can’t guarantee this will always be the case, but I say chalk any burn marks on the rinds up to character and carry on.
Wondering about the best way to hollow out the orange? I cut into the white edge of the rind and then pulled the fruit out. Sometimes this was easy and sometimes it was difficult, but eventually I ended up with hollowed orange peels to stuff full of delicious cake. Beyond A Garden has really nice pictures of the entire process.
The chocolate cake seemed to have a bit of orange flavor baked into it, and it certainly smelled delicious. I am concerned a lighter cake might turn slightly bitter from being baked in the orange peel, but I can’t say for sure. What I can say for sure it these were fun little cakes to bake, and I hope you have an opportunity to try them. Enjoy!
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 oz baking chocolate
- 1¼ cups self-rising flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- rinds from 6 oranges, hollowed and halved
- Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, about one minute.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the butter, sugar and egg mixture and mix until combined.
- Slowly mix in the flour and cocoa powder until incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Scoop the batter into half of a hollowed orange rind that is sitting in the well of a muffin pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.