Florida Orange Flower Cake – light and fluffy orange cake layers with an orange flavored whipped cream filling and fresh oranges.
Time for a little mid-week pick-me-up with my first Vintage Cakes post. When my friend, Alexis, first gave me a collection of used cookbooks from the early 1900’s that she found on ETSY, I was so eager to dive in and look for recipe inspiration. I didn’t expect, however, that I’d be so drawn to the idea of actually baking everything in the books, as-is! But as I looked through each recipe’s ingredients and instructions, I was just too curious not to try one of the recipes as it was written in 1940.
Florida Orange Flower Cake
The first cake that caught my eye was a Florida Orange Flower Cake (I love the names of the cakes in these vintage cookbooks, by the way!). I haven’t done an orange cake in a while and the idea of starting with something basic and budget-friendly just felt like the perfect fit.
During round one of this Florida Orange cake, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
I was immediately worried about some of the ingredients, and definitely that bake time and temperature. But, I had to remind myself, ovens were different back then and so were ingredients. This particular cookbook was published in 1940 – in the middle of a war! Some ingredients were probably really expensive and rationed, so bakers had to find inexpensive substitutes.
Anyway, I went ahead with the recipe and recorded everything in THIS Instagram video.
The bake time was definitely too long for my oven and the cakes didn’t rise well. Additionally, as the cakes cooled, they definitely tasted dry.
In round two, I changed only a few things. My goal in re-working these “vintage” cakes is to keep the integrity of the recipe as much as possible. I just want to enhance the recipe a bit.
In order to enhance the cake, without changing the recipe too much, I switched out the shortening for butter, added buttermilk, a little more flour and one extra egg. The added egg and flour help to stabilize the cake so it doesn’t sink. And then the butter and buttermilk create a little more moisture.
Don’t those layers look delicious! I showed a great comparison of the original recipe cake layers and my updated version on Instagram in the link above. You’ll definitely want to take a look.
Perfect Cake Layer Tips
- Don’t overmix the cake batter once you add the flour mixture
- Use good quality pans, like Fat Daddio
- Make sure cold ingredients get to room temperature before using
- Use fresh ingredients
- Don’t use bake even strips (at least for my cakes)