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.
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
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.