Minneola Orange Toasted Walnut Cake




Oh January, you’re a cold one, but you have been very good to me.


I know it’s early, but so far so good for 2011. I’m so happy with my pal January that I think I will share a recipe that will make you happier than a Kardashian in a room full of diet pills. How about Minneola Orange Toasted Walnut Cake? This is a tasty one. Of course, a large variety of oranges are in season right now, so although it seems like your typical, obligatory January dessert, this one’s so good, the only thing you will feel obligated to do is make this baby again and again.

The Minneola is a variety of a tangelo, which is a hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit. Did you follow that? What a job, cross-pollinating fruit. Sounds intriguing, and I’m sending in applications as we speak (or read).

I like the Minneola, named after Minneola, Fla., just so you know, because it has the sweetness of the tangerine, but then a nice blast of tart from the grapefruit side. It’s extremely juicy, and easy to peel, which makes it convenient when you are using multiple oranges to bake with. This little fruit is also adorable, not in the ittybitty clementine kind of way, but rather in its deep reddish-orange color and distinctive bell-like shape. It’s so pretty you don’t want to eat it, just admire it in your fruit bowl.

But you must work through your admiration and rip off those thin peels and sink your teeth into it or you will never know how tasty this cake is. The toasted walnuts are a perfect complement to the Minneolas; they have a slightly bitter taste, which makes for a nice combo. The bit of crunch they add makes for a perfect crackling sensation for your taste buds.

Darn, I’m happy about this cake.

You know, I just must add that Cointreau would be the perfect addition to the cake. Just reduce a bit of juice and stir it on in, or you can enjoy it in a little snifter on the side, which is how I’ll be rolling. Minneola orange goodness all around. Orange you glad I didn’t say banana? Come on, that’s funny.

Now follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

Minneola Orange Toasted Walnut Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1/4 tsp. almond extract Zest from

2 Minneola oranges

1/4 cup orange juice (one orange) (you will use the other orange in the glaze)

1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts (Toast for five to seven minutes in 350-degree oven)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease an 8-inch, round baking pan.

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in sour cream. Add in eggs and almond extract. Zest your oranges (use a small cheese grater if you don’t have a zester) and add to mix. Cut orange in half after zesting, and squeeze out juice (about 1/4 cup). Fold flour mixture into wet mixture and stir until just combined Pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until top is turning brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Take out and let cool 25 minutes. Run a small metal spatula around edge of cake. Flip cake over onto serving platter. Poke holes with fork all over cake. Pour glaze over top and let run down sides. Top with toasted walnuts. Garnish with orange zest if desired. Let set. Cut into slices.

For the orange glaze, combine 1 ½ to 2 cups powdered sugar and juice from one Minneola orange (1/4 cup). Stir until smooth.

Enjoy! Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com