Texas Citrus Orange Cake

By Case D. Fischer

Each new season in Texas brings a new crop from some corner of the state to look forward to, and this time of year we start looking forward to South Texas Citrus season. Just like people flock to our roadside stands here for peaches, it’s always fun to buy a bag of oranges or Ruby Red grapefruits from down south picked ripe out of the citrus groves. I’m not really a big dessert eater myself, but I do know a good recipe and a tasty end product when I try it, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share this one with you. A good friend of ours from Houston shared this with us and her family swears by this cake as a fall family favorite.

This cake recipe actually has two secret ingredients, Texas citrus and a little something you might find in your pantry, if not at HEB or at one of our stores – marmalade.  We use our Seville Orange & Fennel Marmalade in this recipe, but if you have a favorite marmalade, it will do too. Remember what Mark and I always say – preserves, jams and jellies aren’t just for morning toast anymore. They can be used to add a layer of flavor to everything from pulled pork to a cocktail.

Our Seville Orange & Fennel Marmalade will be an important addition to the buttercream icing on this citrus cake. This marmalade is packed with orange flavors, and a hint of fennel, that will bring more sweetness to the buttercream icing. Fun fact: preserves, jams and marmalades are great for icing because just a little will go a long way to carry rich flavors into the icing mixture. If you don’t have vanilla or heavy cream, preserves will still carry the sweet flavors of icing on their own. The marmalade will also add small specs of color to the cake which will be very pleasing to the eye.

Enough about the marmalade, the other important component of this cake is oranges. Oranges are of course known for being the go-to source for Vitamin C, but did you know they are also some of the easiest fruits to bake with? They carry such strong citrus flavors that you need only 1-2 oranges to get the job done. They don’t need to be pureed, boiled, or baked to release sugars because their sugars lie in their juices, and are accessible with just a few squeezes by hand. You will actually only need the juice and some of the orange zest to make this cake. Texas Navel Oranges will be available soon, but if you are anxious to try out this recipe now, you should be able to find some Texas Valencia Oranges at HEB now.

You can actually make this cake with any kind of citrus, just modify the recipe according to the fruit, and any citrus marmalade will do, though you can find a marmalade from any citrus fruit if you look hard enough. Citrus cakes will vary from tangy with lemons and grapefruit, tart with limes, or sweet with oranges. These cakes are known for their intense, yet complimenting smooth flavors, and bright colors. I hope you enjoy this recipe and that we have inspired you to try something new!


For Cake
1 ¾ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup softened butter (1 stick)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp navel orange zest
½ cup sour cream
2 egg whites
½ cup juice of navel orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract (optional)

For Icing
½ cup softened butter (1 stick)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp Fischer & Wieser Seville Orange & Fennel Marmalade*
½ tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp navel orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract


For Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9inch round cake pan**
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
3. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter on high until smooth and creamed. Add in sugar and orange zest, beat together until fully combined. Add in eggs and sour cream and beat together. Lastly add in the orange juice, orange extract, and vanilla and beat until a creamy, slightly milky texture forms. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient and slowly beat together. Do not over-mix. The batter will be slightly thick.
5. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pan. Use a spatula if needed to even out the cake batter in the pan.
6. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until cake is baked through ( toothpick comes out clean ).

For Icing

1. With a handheld or stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until cream. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, marmalade, and orange zest. Beat on low speed for 40-45 seconds. Add powdered sugar (by tbsp) if frosting is too thin, or a splash of heavy cream if frosting is too thick.
2. After cake is cooled completely ( 15-20 min after baking ), spread frosting all over the top and sides.
*Substitute for any orange-based jam/jelly/preserve
**Substitute for a square pan

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