1cup(227g) unsalted buttersoftened to room temperature
1 and ¼cup(250g) granulated sugar
½cup(160g) orange marmalade
4large eggsroom temperature1
zest and juice of 2 large navel oranges2
¾cup(180mL) milkroom temperature1; any but whole cow preferred3
ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
½cup(113g) unsalted buttersoftened to room temperature
8ounces(225g) full fat block cream cheesesoftened to room temperature
2cups(240g) powdered sugar
zestof ½ a large navel orangeOR 1 Tablespoon (20g) orange marmalade
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Grease and flour (or use homemade cake release) two 8" round baking pans. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and orange marmalade on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add each egg, one at a time, beating on medium-high speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and beat again until combined.
Stir the orange juice into the milk. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and turn the mixer speed to low. Add the flour in 2 additions, alternating with the milk/orange juice. Remove bowl from mixer and stir with a spatula until everything is completely combined.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans and bake 28-34 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in the pans completely on a wire rack before removing and assembling.
ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until no lumps remain (about 3 minutes).
Decrease mixer speed to low. Add powdered sugar, orange zest or orange marmalade, and vanilla extract. Increase mixer speed to to high and beat until completely combined (approximately 2-3 minutes).
For a 2 layer cake: trim cooled cake layers to create a flat surface. You can do this with a large serrated knife or a cake leveler. Place one layer on a plate or cake stand and cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. For a 4 layer cake: split each layer into two even layers and proceed with step 2, alternating cake and frosting.
Place second layer on top, cut surface down. For a sturdier cake, refrigerate at this point for about 10 minutes. When cake is slightly chilled, remove from refrigerator and spread more frosting on the top and around the sides. Refrigerate frosted cake at least 30 minutes before cutting so cake and frosting can set completely. Leftovers stay fresh, covered tightly, at room temperature up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Make ahead: prepare cakes and frosting up to 1 day in advance. Cover cakes tightly and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Unfrosted cake layers may be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before assembling. Frosted cake can be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Room temperature ingredients: these incorporate into batter much more easily than cold ingredients. Allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes. You can place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes or until ready to use.
Orange juice: approximately ¼ cup juice from each orange, for a total of about ½ cup for the entire cake batter recipe. Do not exceed ½ cup of juice.
Milk: a higher fat milk brings the best texture to this cake.
Make in a bundt pan: this recipe also fits in a bundt pan. Bake time is approximately 40 minutes. Top with a simple glaze or half the recipe of the orange cream cheese buttercream.