Talk about taking the cake… this is crazy elaborate and time consuming, but for a special occasion, oh. my. I took it to a fundraiser and a caterer told my friend it was the best cake she’d ever tasted. So thanks to both of you for making my day, and here’s the recipe, which I clipped from a small local newspaper, judging from the events on the back (“Church Women United of Salem to meet”). The recipe notes that it serves 10-12 and was adapted from a recipe by Scott Peacock.
Esther’s Orange Marmalade Cake
For the cake:
1 c. salted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pans
3 ¼ c. cake flour (1 c. cake flour = 1 c. all-purpose flour minus 2 T.)
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 2/3 c. sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 T. grated orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk, at room temperature
For the orange syrup:
1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ c. sugar
For the filling:
12-oz. jar orange marmalade
For the frosting:
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
4 T. sugar
1 c. sour cream, chilled
The cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter three 9” round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, then lightly butter and flour the paper, shaking out any excess.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
Beat the butter on medium speed until light in color, about 4 min. Add the sugar in a steady stream with the mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 min. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop at least once to scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl. After all the eggs have been added, continue to beat on medium speed for 2 more min. With the mixer on low, add the oil and beat for 1 min.
In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, vanilla and buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, scrape down the sides, and add the remaining buttermilk.
Pour the batter among the prepared pans, smooth the surface, rap each pan on the counter to expel any air pockets, then place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 min., or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 20 min.
The orange syrup: In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. While the cakes are still in the cake pans, use a toothpick to poke holes at ½” intervals in the cake layers. Spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remainder. Let the layers cool completely in the pans.
The filling: In a chilled mixing bowl, using the wire whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the 4 T. sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake: Invert one of the cake layers on a cake plate and carefully peel off the parchment. Spread one-third of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the second layer on top of the first, peel off the parchment, and spoon another third of the marmalade on top. Place the third cake layer on top, remove the parchment, and spoon the remaining marmalade onto the center of it. Frost the sides and the top border with frosting, leaving marmalade on top of the cake exposed. (My oven temperature is uneven, and in jostling the cakes they collapsed a bit in the center, so I frosted the whole top to make it level.) Chill for at least two hours.