I’ve never tasted a tangerine baked into a cake before, but it is surprisingly refreshing and sunshiny. The bits of cake around the tangerine are almost custardy, but the tangerine itself tastes a little like a peach. That’s some great winter cheer!
The farmer’s markets are loaded with tangerines right now. We bought a few bags of them and then ended up drowning in them, so I was super excited to find a video on YouTube showing a cake with them. It seems like there aren’t very many recipes for cooking or preserving citrus if you end up with a glut. Here is the original video.
It makes sense to me that in warm regions (other than California) there should be a history of preservation and cooking with citrus, but I can’t find my Persian cookbook anywhere. The hunt continues. In this culture, orange marmalade seems to be the peak of our creativity.
But this cake is really delicious! I tested enough of it to know. So I certainly recommend you watch the video, but here are my notes as well since the lovely Layla Jawad doesn’t use very specific amounts. I think this is great because clearly it’s hard to mess this up, but I did mess it up a bit myself.
Also, since this is basically a quick bread, I think the results are more reliable if you mix the wet and dry ingredients separately before mixing them together.
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 cup of butter, room temperature and cubed, plus a little extra to grease the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
the zest and juice from one orange
seedless tangerines, peeled and as much pith removed as you can
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 9-inch cake pans or 1 9x13 pan
1. Butter your pan(s) and line with parchment paper if you’re using the cake pans. Butter the parchment paper as well if you’re using it. Sprinkle some sugar over the bottom of the pan(s). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In one bowl, blend together the eggs, milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, and the zest and juice from the one orange. I used a hand mixer. In another bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda with a whisk.
3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in several additions and blend them to combine. Your batter is ready.
4. Place the mysterious and unspecified number of tangerines in your buttered baking dish, but don’t crowd them too much like I did or it won’t cook through. Pour the batter over the top and spread it a little, then bake for 40-45 minutes.
So are you curious yet as to how I could have messed this up? First, the butter should be room temperature. Second, I crowded my pans with too many tangerines. Leave some space between them! This resulted in doughy spots around the tangerines which you couldn't see until the cake was inverted.
Then I tried to fix one under the broiler, and it burned. The second one I put in the microwave and it finished cooking just fine. Whew!
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!