Mandarin Orange Cake

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Mandarin Orange Cake! For all those gloomy days out there, a taste of sunshine comes to greet you in a naturally sweet cake. Did you realize mandarin oranges don’t only come in a can? Actually, you know them by other names in the produce department: “Halos” and “Cuties”. Sometimes people refer to mandarin oranges as clementines or tangerines. Small world, huh? Whatever you choose to call them, their pretty color and ease in peeling make them a popular choice. This cake recipe is versatile enough to be baked in a muffin tin, miniature bundt molds, or as a single-layer coffeecake. Something else to think about. The sugary glaze tops it all.



1 1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of one orange

1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for Orange Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

Orange peel zest, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray miniature bundt molds with nonstick oil with added flour. Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Cream together sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Add egg; mixing well before adding orange extract, vanilla extract, and zest of one orange. Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until combined. Divide mixture into miniature bundt molds, filling 2/3 full. Bake 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Prepare orange glaze by combining powdered sugar and orange juice. Stir until smooth. When cakes are golden brown, remove from oven. Cool slightly before inverting molds onto a wire rack. Remove molds. Transfer cakes to a platter to finish cooling. Drizzle with orange glaze and garnish with orange zest. Serve warm.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter E

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Elderflower Lemon Cake! In honor of the royal wedding, I treated my friends to an unofficial version of Harry and Meghan’s delicious inspiration. It lends to the warm floral notes of Spring with just enough citrus and vanilla to make a moist and fluffy cake. Notice the luscious cream cheese icing drizzling down the sides like a cascading satin gown. Petite flowers, crushed pistachios, and lemon segments produce a sensational finish. Sounds like a royal pairing of Love and Happiness, doesn’t it?



4 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon citrus peel, granulated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons elderflower liqueur

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 small box lemon pudding mix, instant

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 tablespoons natural golden honey

1 tablespoon elderflower liqueur

1 tablespoon pistachios, crushed

Fresh lemon slices, cut into segments

Fresh flowers


Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside. In a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar. Beat on High for 3 minutes. Turn to Low setting; drizzle in olive oil and melted butter. Continue beating one minute longer. Fold in citrus peel, vanilla extract, and elderflower liqueur. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, lemon pudding mix, and sea salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet batter, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake 55-60 minutes until cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto a cake plate to unmold. To make icing, combine cream cheese, natural honey, and elderflower liqueur. Beat until light and fluffy. Drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios. Garnish with lemon segments and tiny fresh flowers.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter U

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Upside-Down Pineapple Bundt Cake!  This light and easy alternative for dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. The secret is the tropical taste of pineapple. 

1 box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 20-ounce can of Crushed Pineapple with Juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
Set oven rack to lowest setting. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray Bundt pan with non-stick cooking oil. Sprinkle brown sugar on the bottom of the pan.  Mix the Angel Food Cake Mix with the Crushed Pineapple, including juice, by hand for one minute or until well blended.  Pour into Bundt pan and place in oven on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until  toothpick comes out clean and the cake is set. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
Option:  Garnish with a sprig of tarragon and top with maraschino cherries, stems removed. 
Serving Suggestion
Mixed Berry Sauce:
1 pound of fresh blueberries 
1 pound of fresh mulberries 
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a medium sauce pan add berries, water, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook on medium heat, while stirring until the berries reduce down. Change the heat to low setting and press the berries against the side of the pan to make them burst. Continue cooking for 30 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add 2 drops of lemon extract while stirring with a spoon. Pour into jar and store in refrigerator. 
Hint:  This is delicious on toast or pancakes or ice cream.