Mandarin Orange Cake

What do you do with the cans of mandarin orange purchased early in the pandemic and still hanging out in the pantry?

Well, I like baking cakes so the answer is easy. The only problem is coming up with a recipe.

My friend Mr Google hooked me up with a lot of recipes for Mandarin Orange Cake. 90% of them had the first ingredient as “yellow cake mix” or “white cake mix”. Well, that’s not happening.

But there were a few “from scratch” recipes. Because I wanted a simple recipe, I narrowed it down to two that are very similar and this is a slight variant on those. This worked out surprisingly well and was very quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1.5 cups white sugar

2 large eggs

22 oz canned mandarin orange pieces, drained

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease a 9×13″ pan or line with parchment paper and lightly grease that.

Sift flour with baking soda and salt.

Put all ingredients in a large mixer bowl and beat well for 3 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

The cake is done when a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.

When cold, ice with a cream cheese icing to which several drops of orange oil have been added.

Notes and Variations:

The original recipes called for a syrupy topping. I have changed to a cream cheese icing because the original is too sweet for my taste.

The original recipes listed two 11 oz cans of mandarin orange. My cans were 15 oz, so I went with 1.5 cans, more or less.

You can replace the 2 tsp vanilla with almond essence.

You can add a few drops of orange oil to the batter to kick up the flavor.

I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would make a good layer cake if baked in two 8″ square pans or two 9″ round pans. I would use the same cream cheese icing between the layers.

You could add raisins or coconut or nuts (chopped almonds?) to the batter.

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