Fresh Orange Birthday Cake
1 Large Orange
About 1 cup orange juice from a carton
1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly mist three 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray, then dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pans aside.
Rinse the orange and pat it dry with paper towels. Grate enough zest to measure 2 to 3 teaspoons. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl; you will have to add about 1/2 cup of juice. Add enough orange juice from carton to the fresh orange juice to measure 1 1/3 cups.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, vanilla, eggs, and orange juice and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until well combined and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. Divide the cake batter evenly among the 3 prepared cake pans, about 1 3/4 cups of batter per pan, smoothing the tops with the rubber spatula. Place the cake pans in the oven. If your oven is not large enough to hold 3 pans on one rack, place 2 pans on that rack and one in the center of the rack above.
Bake the cake layers until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with finger, 18 to 20 minutes. The cake layer on the higher rack may bake faster so test it for doneness first. Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let the cake layers cool for 5 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of each cake layer and give the pans a good shake to loosen the cakes. Invert each layer onto a wire rack, then invert it again onto another wire rack so that the cakes are right side up. Let the layers cool to room temperature, 15 minutes longer.
Make the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
To assemble the cake, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer of cake, right side up, on top of the first and frost the top. Repeat this process with the third layer. Use the remaining frosting to frost the side of the cake, working with smooth, clean strokes.
ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Place the butter and cream cheese in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the orange zest, 2 teaspoons of the orange juice, and the confectioners’ sugar, a bit at a time, beating with the mixer on low speed until the confectioners’ sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the frosting until fluffy, 1 minute longer. Add up to 1 teaspoon more orange juice if the frosting seems too stiff. Use the frosting at once.
Recipe from: The Cake Mix Doctor Returns
Notes: I did not have a fresh orange when I wanted to make this cake. What I had was a carton of orange juice that I wanted to use up. And I also usually have orange peel on hand so that is what I used. I didn’t hear any complaints...everyone loved this cake.