Orange Cake with Candied Pecans and Orange Peels

Want to make something special? Citrus is plentiful right now. Might as well make an Orange Cake with orange/ginger cream cheese frosting, candied pecans and candied orange peels. I made this recently for a party and it was a huge hit. I actually kept thinking about an orange cake and the rest just fell into place while I was baking. I have made candied lemon peels before. It just seemed right to use the peels as well. I also made A LOT of orange zest. I happen to live right behind a huge citrus orchard. It comes in handy for times like these. Because I have never made an Orange Cake before I had to scour the internet for recipe ideas. I was not sure how mine would turn out since I pulled out my favorite ideas of probably 10 different recipes. Candied pecans was sort of a last minute idea. Somehow it ended up everything I wanted it to be an more. Super moist. It really captured the flavor of spring just like I expected. This would make the perfect cake for a picnic or Easter party.
Enjoy!

Orange Cake, Pecans, Orange Peels

Orange Cake with Candied Pecans and Orange Peels

Orange Cake
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees, spray/coat pan with olive oil
Beat the eggs with the sugar until mixed to a light yellow. . Beat in the milk, olive oil and orange zest. In a
small bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, and salt; Add to the flour mixture & then to the egg
mixture slowly, stirring well after each addition. Finally add orange juice, mixing well.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until middle of cake springs back when
lightly touched. Remove cake from oven, let cool slightly.
Syrup
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: Add 1.5 cups of orange juice to 1 cup of sugar into a large saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until a thick syrup.Use a toothpick to poke holes in the cake,
then pour the warm syrup all over the cake so that it soaks through. Then let cool completely. Once Cool
remove from pan.

Frosting
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
2 tbsp Orange Zest
1 tsp fresh ginger (more or less to taste)
16 oz Cream Cheese (room temp)
Beat until soft and zest is very well mixed in. Frost cake with Spatula after completely cooled. Sometimes
I pipe it on with a bag because I am not very talented at decorating.
Candied Orange Strips
2 Oranges, peeled
4 Cups sugar
Cut peel on each orange into strips. Remove pith from each strip. Cook in large pot of boiling water 15
minutes; drain, rinse, and drain again.
Bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve
sugar. Add zest. Return to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until peel is very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.Toss
peel and 1 cup sugar on baking sheet with parchment paper, separating strips. Lift peel from sugar; transfer
to sheet of foil. Let stand until coating is dry, 1 to 2 days. Freeze up to 2 months in a Ziplock bag.

Candied Pecans

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 cups pecan halves
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bring first sugar, juice and zest ingredients to boil in heavy large
saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 30 seconds. Stir in pecans. Spread pecans on
parchment paper. Separate pecans as spreading over sheet. Let cool completely. Make ahead if needed. I
store mine in the refrigerator in a Ziplock bag.

Orange Cake, Baking, Oranges, Pecans, Candied Orange Peels, Candied Pecans