Friday, March 11, 2011

An Orange & Nutmeg Birthday Cake

Happy birthday, Grandma!!!

I love my Grandma. I love her enough to spend my whole Saturday baking a cake for her birthday. Yup. The whole Saturday. My husband Seán reckons I spent four or five hours doing it. Time has no meaning for me when I'm working on something. All I know is that my iPod's battery died before I was even halfway finished. How long does that take?

You know you want a bite.

This recipe is a lot like the Orange Queen Cake recipe, but with added nutmeg and some extra milk.

Orange Nutmeg Cake
(serves 12 - 432 calories)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons orange flavoring
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or add more to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce 
  • zest of 1 large orange


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch pans with a non-stick spray.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and orange flavoring. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the milk, applesauce, and orange zest. 
  3. Pour mixture into the pans.
  4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes. To check if they're done, insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they're finished. Start checking them at 25 minutes.
  5. Let the cakes cool on a rack.
  6. Decorate.
  7. Nom. Nom. Nom.
This cake is very dense and very moist. And heavy. It surprised me how heavy it turned out. Nearly dropped it the first time I picked it up.

I decorated the cake using buttercream frosting with a bit of orange flavoring added in. I did the roses first and put them in the refrigerator while I was doing everything else so they could set up a bit. You may want to make a few extra, just in case. This cake was supposed to have a dozen roses, but one fell apart (and I ate it).

I always get so nervous when I'm baking for someone else, but Grandma loved her cake. She said she didn't want to cut it because it was so pretty and she thought I had bought the roses. Grandpa even took several photos of it. It gives me the warm-fuzzies to have all that effort appreciated.

This is the last you're going to hear about Grandma's birthday (this year). This weekend is Zara's birthday. Stay tuned for that.

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