This light and fluffy orange cake almost bursts with flavour from the fresh orange juice and zest used in it. The method incorporates a 'chiffon cake' technique but without all the extra eggs, giving you a perfectly balanced, soft and utterly delicious cake. I prefer to serve it with some softly whipped fresh cream and a side of fruits/orange slices. You can also frost it with any topping that you like (I have included my orange glaze recipe below) or simply dust some powdered sugar and serve with a cup of tea or coffee. Delightful and a must try recipe!
First, separate the yolks from the egg whites. Set aside in different bowls.
Sift/sieve the flour with the baking powder and half tsp of salt. Set aside.
Grate the zest off the orange using a zester or the fine plane of your grater. Take care to ONLY grate the orange, not the white part (pith). The white part is very bitter and will change the taste of your cake, so keep turning the orange as you zest it.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line an 8" round pan.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Next add the orange juice, vanilla essence and orange zest and beat. Add the flour and beat it in. Set aside.
Wash the whisk attachments and dry them well. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, then add a pinch of salt to them and keep beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks. The salt helps to stabilize the egg whites.
Add a third of the egg whites into the cake batter and stir it in with a spatula or wooden spoon (NOT THE MIXER), this will help loosen the batter slightly. Then add half of the remaining egg whites and very very gently fold the whites in until just incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until mixed in. Avoid over-mixing the batter as this will deflate the egg whites.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer stuck in the center comes out clean.
Turn the cake on to a cake rack, discard the greaseproof paper and allow to cool completely.
Dust with icing/powdered sugar or serve with dollops of freshly whipped cream. You can grate some orange rind over the cream for presentation and an extra burst of flavour.
Alternatively you can make this easy orange glaze and drizzle it over the cake.
Instructions for Simple Orange Glaze
Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps. Add the zest and orange juice gradually until it reaches a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over your cooled cake and allow it to set for a few minutes. Serve!