Yellow Cake with Orange Curd and (Accidental) Chocolate Frosting, or, “In for a penny, in for a pound”


Sorry. That is all that was left by the time I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture of it. That is how good this cake is! Y’know the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”? That was this cake. Actually, it was just one of those days.

We had our team Christmas party today, and in typical fashion, I was wringing my hands over what to make. I was taking into consideration so many factors like, “I want to make something that is portable, and a bit of a showstopper, but something that will not be heavy on the palate after our big meal”. First it was something from the Bouchon Bakery book (not going to work out a 17million hour recipe on a work night thank you very much), then it was this cake, then it was Linzer and Black and White cookies, then I was like, “screw it, I’m making this cake” because we are getting in-season citrus now, and it’s such a classic flavor profile during the holidays. And I had an extra Crack Pie in the freezer so I brought that. Because? In for a penny, in for a pound.

I started on this cake Monday night. I actually used Martha Stewart’s Yellow Butter Cake recipe, but I was a little worried about the comments some had posted saying that theirs turned out too dry. I figured they were probably lazy with their dry ingredients, plus over baked, and/or over mixed their ingredients. Turns out I was right… Sift your flour, spoon it into you measuring cup, level your measuring cup, don’t over mix, and for God’s sake, start testing your cake at 20 minutes because every oven is different. You’ll be just fine. It was light, fluffy, and moist.

I purchased two different color oranges, which I thought would be nice for the curd since you aren’t straining it, and the darker zest stands out.

And then the ganache. Originally, this was supposed to be a ganache, and not a frosting. I meticulously watched it and cooled it. I fridged it over night, and by the time I woke up, the ganache had set… But not entirely. My mistake, I think, was in using a more steep bowl, rather than a more shallow bowl. Anyway, it was still too loose to use on the cake, but I didn’t have a kitchen meltdown. I actually thought back to how my mom made frosting back in the day… Powdered sugar.

1/3 of a cup by 1/3 of a cup I added powdered sugar to the loose ganache, and hand mixed it. About halfway through I’m like, “why the eff am I mixing this by hand? I have a stand mixer”. But by then I’m already up to my elbows in chocolate, so… I finished it by hand. At about 2 2/3 cups i thought i was pretty close, but I thought… Meh. In for a penny, in for a pound, and I added one last 1/3 of a cup to round it off (the extra bit did make a big difference). I actually loved the way it came out. Probably better than if I had used it as a ganache.

I frosted my cake (and by the way you will still need to chill the cake until about 30 minutes before serving just to keep everything from melting with the amount of chocolate and dairy in this), and then I’m all like “this cake is too plain”, so I broke out the piping tips for decoration, and even dried out a round of orange in the oven at 250 for 30-ish minutes for garnish. I was committed. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Despite all of the road bumps I hit, no one was the wiser but you, dear reader. Like I said, it went fast. It was so delicious.


Like I said, cake recipe taken from Martha Stewart, here.

Orange Curd:

3 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh orange juice, strained
2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes

In a non aluminum saucepan over medium heat, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, orange juice, orange zest and butter. Cook slowly, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the butter melts and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it. Like I said,  I used one orange that had a deeper color to create visible flecks of zest in the curd.

Chocolate Frosting

24 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
4 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups powdered sugar

On low heat, melt chocolate chips into the heavy cream, stirring frequently, 30+ minutes. Chill your ganache in the fridge for 7 hours. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, gradually add in the powdered sugar until it has reached the desired consistency. For me this was at 3 cups. If you are not using your frosting right away, make sure to fridge it until you do.

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5 Responses to Yellow Cake with Orange Curd and (Accidental) Chocolate Frosting, or, “In for a penny, in for a pound”

  1. Arielle says:

    Oh wow it looks so delicious!! ❤

  2. Wow!! I read your cake procedure with awe! Brava for the amazing job you did on creating this gorgeous cake!! The photo proves how delicious and devour-able it was!!!
    Lovely!! Wish I had a piece for breakfast this morning!

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