I like cakes that you can just throw together, the kind that are made with just a few ingredients that you almost always have on hand. I like cakes that you can just eat and enjoy on any random day at home because they’re not fussy and easy, the kind that don’t have to be saved for a special occasion or when you’re entertaining.
This is one of those cakes. It’s a very moist orange-flavored cake baked in a regular 8-inch square pan. The cake has a tight, tender crumb and is not too sweet, meaning that you can serve up some generous slices to munch on while you’re relaxing in front of the TV after a long day. Fresh orange juice is going to give you the best orange flavor, but you can certainly use store-bought oj for this cake, too, provided you buy the 100% juice variety.
Instead of frosting, this cake is topped with an ultra-simple glaze that makes it even more moist and tender, almost giving it as much moisture as a pudding cake. The glaze is just granulated sugar mixed with orange juice and poured over the cake while it is still hot from the oven. The juice soaks into the cake while the sugar forms a thin, sweet crust on top. If you serve the cake as soon as it has cooled and the glaze has set, the topping will have a nice crispness to it. If you cover the cake in an airtight container to keep it fresh, all of the glaze will soak right into the cake. It’s not fancy, but it sure is tasty!
Orange Sour Cream Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar (granulated, not confectioners’)
3 1/2 tbsp orange juice, preferably fresh
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and orange zest until light. Add in eggs one at a time, and beat mixture until smooth and well-combined. Mix in one third of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the orange juice. Stir in all remaining flour, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
When the cake has finished baking, whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake. Allow glaze to soak in while cake cools. Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.