In this cake I used every part of the orange (juice, peel, pith, and flesh) and it came out extra moist and has a glistening topping. Each slice has tanginess from the juice in the batter and sweetness from the syrup. Simmering the orange pieces mellows any bitterness from the skin and pith. I added lemon juice while cooking the orange pieces because my oranges were very sweet but it isn’t necessary. —Kukla
For the cake
• Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• Pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
• 2 large eggs room temperature
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
For the topping
• 2 navel or other sweet oranges cut in half (remove seeds if there are any) then chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
• 3/4 cup of sugar
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice (if needed)
• 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sac)
In This Recipe
Start by making the topping.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar with water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Add chopped oranges and lemon juice (if using) to saucepan, and reduce heat to low.
Simmer gently until the liquid has thickened into syrup and the orange pieces are softened and translucent, about 1 hour.
Remove from heat and pour into a fine strainer over a small bowl. Set aside until ready to assemble.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan; line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper which is 1-inch larger than the bottom. Butter also the parchment paper.
Stir flour, sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, orange zest and juice, eggs, orange and vanilla extracts in a bowl, fold in the oil until well combined.
Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool slightly. Invert the cake to a serving platter.
To assemble: Mix in orange liqueur to the syrup. With a wooden skewer make deep holes all over the top of the still warm cake.
Pour or brash on the syrup. Let cool and absorb all of the syrup; then arrange the cooked chopped oranges or only the peel (I removed the flash) over top of the cake.
Cut into wedges, and serve, or store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 2 days.