I thought with oranges (all citrus) being in season right now that I would try something a little different. I have never had an orange cake before and this one seemed especially yummy. I will tell you that is cake did not disappoint. It was fantastic! Light, but full of flavor, the orange zest in the batter came alive in your mouth, there is not the slightest taste of bitterness . The "crunch" was so good you could just sprinkle it over ice cream or add it to yogurt. This is a perfectly sweetened, wonderful cake that you will be proud to take to any gathering. But, in order to make this a little lower in calories I did make some adjustments to the recipe but I did not take out anything you will miss all changes in bold). What a great recipe this week.
You will find this weeks "Recipe of the Week" link at right, just click on it and it will take you to the full recipe for printing
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, softened (I just short of melted only 1/3 a cup)
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (I used white cake mix)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs (I used 3 egg whites only)
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 (16 ounce) can prepared vanilla frosting (I only used 8 ounces)
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used 12 ounces)
3 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch pans. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, walnuts and butter. Divide mixture evenly between the prepared pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, orange juice and oil until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the orange zest. Pour the mixture evenly over the crunch layer in the pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost (crunch side up) between layers, on top and sides. Arrange orange sections on top, then refrigerate.
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the vanilla frosting until light and fluffy, then mix in the whipped topping. Stir in the orange and lemon zest. Use frosting on completely cooled cake layers.