Spring may have brought its sparkle and burst of sunshine, but it also came carrying my old nemesis, pollen.
Lately, I’ve been a congested wheezy, sneezing mess; my eyes, throat and eyes itch, and I’m tired all the time.
I was going to post the recipe for this sumo orange citrus cake last week but I’ve sadly been busy being miserable.
Since sumo citrus is only in season for a short time, I really wanted to share this recipe before the season ended – I even shot a little video to go with it!
We jokingly dubbed the long dull days between Christmas and spring sumo orange season because you could always count on the huge, nubby, strange looking orange to help brighten a wintry day.
I’m not exactly certain when I first noticed sumo oranges, it must have been two or three years ago. When I spotted them at my local Whole Foods, they were huge, bumpy-skinned with a top knot like a sumo wrestler’s. I got them out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised that I really liked them.
Juicy, deeply sweet and tart with honeyed notes, they remind me of the oranges I had as a kid. For the short time that they’re in season (January through April), I always get one every time I’m at the store; it’s such a treat, but one thing I’ve always wanted to do, was to make something with the zest. The thick bumpy rind is incredibly fragrant, with an intense orange aroma and floral notes.
For this simple cake, rubbing the orange zest into granulated sugar infuses the sugar with the essential oils from the zest, it imparts an intense citrus flavour, and adds a burst of bright flavours to this delicious cake.
While the sumo orange is the hero here, this cake still comes together easily with a few simple ingredients. It’s buttery and tender, with the perfect crumb and texture, satisfying with rich hints of orange.
This is currently my favourite cake to make; I usually bake them into cakelettes using my trusty toaster oven (as seen in the video). You can certainly use an 8 or 9-inch cake pan (or loaf pan) and bake for 35 – 40 minutes; use a toothpick to test for doneness.
It’s such a treat for our weekend mornings, the whole place smells faintly of oranges and caramel when it’s baking, and it goes splendidly with our morning coffee. I hope I can make them a few more times while sumo oranges are still in season. These cakelettes will be perfect for tea at springtime, with coffee on rushed mornings or as a snack.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest from 1 – 2 oranges, about 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon orange liqueur, optional (I use Cointreau)
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup oat milk or other plant milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or equivalent, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. grease a cakelette pan (or line muffin pan)
- Combine sugar and zest in a small bowl and use your fingers to rub zest into sugar, ensuring that zest is well incorporated into sugar
- Using a handheld or stand mixer (fitted with a paddle or whisk), add butter to bowl and cream for 1 – 2 minutes
- Add sugar and zest mix and beat together on high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 – 4 minutes, use a rubber spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed
- Add applesauce and continue beating until light and fluffy
- Add orange liqueur (if using) to orange juice and pour into mixture
- Then add milk and salt and mix to combine (the mixture will curdle but there’s nothing to worry about)
- Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and nutmeg, mix gently until it’s well combined (do not overmix!)
- Spoon batter into prepared cakelette or muffin pan to about 3/4th full each
- Place in oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until cakes are baked through and tops are golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 5 – 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Cakelette
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269 Total Fat: 9.3g Saturated Fat: 2.5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 451mg Carbohydrates: 43.3g Fiber: 1.1g Sugar: 23.1g Protein: 2.9g