Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate and other rich desserts as much as anyone. But after the holidays, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, my tastebuds need to be revitalized. I look for something lighter in a citrus-type dessert. This recipe for Refreshing Creamsicle Cake fits the bill. It’s pretty, too!
Over the last couple of years, I’ve served this cake several times to rave reviews. In fact, my daughter who gave up chocolate for Lent, even her beloved Nutella, requested this for her birthday cake. Happy Birthday, Jessica!
Creamsicle Cake is a very easy, no fail spongecake. The layers are sliced in half, slathered with sugar-free orange marmalade, and iced with marscapone-whipped cream frosting – lots of it. I store the finished cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve, so it’s nice and cold, moist and creamy. If you don’t have marscapone on hand (it can be a little pricey, too), here’s my link to a great marscapone substitute.
My inspiration came from one of my favorite food bloggers Baked Bree (Bree Hester). Here’s the link to her recipe. I follow Bree’s recipe to the letter, and changed the assembly. I also made 1 1/2 times the frosting recipe for a thick middle layer and lots of icing for the tops and sides. I would recommend any of her cakes – Bree is a fantastic baker. She makes a to-die-for marshmallow buttercream. Lighter than traditional buttercream; I highly recommend it.
OK – here we go:
Make sure your eggs and marscapone are at room temperature. Separate the eggs into their own bowls and set aside.
Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the egg whites, and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Zest 2-3 large oranges, and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the oranges. You’ll need 3/4 cup.
In the large bowl of a mixer, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir together with a whisk so the ingredients are combined. Add 1 Tablespoon orange zest to the dry mixture, and whisk around a bit so all the zest is coated in flour/sugar mixture. (This helps the zest from clumping together when you mix in the wet ingredients.)
In a large measuring cup or a medium mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, egg yolks, and orange juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional), Beat with the paddle attachment for 4-5 minutes until all ingredients are well blended. The batter will be thick.
Begin to fold the egg whites into the batter. I like to start with 1/3 of the egg whites, fold until incorporated, and fold in the rest.
Pour the batter into prepared 9″ cake pans – prepared however you wish – spray with vegetable spray, butter or butter and flour.
Bake for 22-27 minutes in a 350° oven. Test for doneness, and remove to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.
Here’s a tip! Notice the grey bands wrapped around the cake pans? These are Wilton’s Bake Even Strips. Again, another great suggestion I picked up from Baked Bree. All of her round cake layers bake evenly – no low sides and a puffed middle. The Bake Even Strips are her secret. You soak them in water before baking, and wrap them around the cake pan. The wet strips keep the sides from baking before the middle. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE these strips. I bought mine at Michaels, and they come in sizes to accommodate up to a 12″ round cake pan. A wonderous discovery!!
After the layers have cooled for 10 minutes, invert them onto cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling and frosting. (I lined my pans with parchment paper, and some of the bottom peeled off along with the paper – ugh!)
Cut the layers in half. Slather the top of one half with half a small jar of sugar-free orange marmalade. You can use whatever marmalade you wish, but I figure when a sugar-free ingredient works, why add the extra calories?
Place the other half of the cake layer on top. Frost the middle with marscapone-whipped cream frosting. Place another half on top. Slather with another layer of orange marmalade. Place the last layer half on top, and start frosting to finish the cake.
Orange Marscapone-Whipped Cream Frosting
To make the marscapone-whipped cream frosting, in a large mixing bowl, add 12 oz. marscapone, 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, one Tablespoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional), three Tablespoons orange zest, and 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Beat until the ingredients are well blended. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy or until soft peaks form.
Seriously dreamy, moist and flavorful!
Let’s have cake! Mimi
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 5 large eggs, separated
- ¾ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 12 oz. jar orange marmalade
- Marscapone-Whipped Cream Frosting
- 12 oz. marscapone, room temperature
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon orange extract (if desired)
- 3 Tablespoons orange zest
- For the cake:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix briefly to combine ingredients. Add orange zest and stir until zest is evenly coated with flour.
- In a separate bowl, add egg yolks and orange juice, oil, vanilla extract and orange extract (if desired).
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and beat until smooth, 3-4 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, add the cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold ⅓ of beaten egg whites into the batter, until combined. Fold the remainder of the egg whites into the batter.
- Pour the batter into 2-9" prepared cake pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 22-27 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the cake pans to a cooling rack, and let rest for 10 minutes. Invert the cake pans to a cooling rack to remove the baked cakes, and allow to cool completely.
- (This step can be done 1 day ahead. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap, and refrigerate, until ready to frost the cake.)
- Orange-Vanilla Marscapone Frosting:
- Beat the room temperature mascarpone with ½ cup of cold whipping cream, until combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and orange extract (if using) and orange zest until combined.
- Add 2½ cups of cold whipping cream, powdered sugar. Beat until peaks form.
- Assemble cake:
- Split cake layers.
- Put the first layer on the cake plate, and coat the top with orange marmalade.
- Place the second half on top, and frost with a thick layer of mascarpone-whipped cream frosting.
- Place half layer on top of the frosted layer.
- Coat with orange marmalade.
- Top with the last cake layer.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with mascarpone-whipped cream frosting.
- Refrigerate the finished cake for 1-2 hours or longer, until ready to serve.
How about Nutella in between the layers with chocolate marshmallow butter cream cheese frosting?