Travel to Italy

Travel to Italy
Travel to Italy

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Orange Crunch Cake

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I’ve realized recently I don’t make enough layer cakes. There are some cakes that I should take the time to make over and over again. This Orange Crunch Cake is one of those cakes.

I just love the ease and speed of bundt cakes and upside-down cakes. I tend to always rely on them and they usually never let me down. When I want to dream of gorgeous layer cakes, I check out some of my very talented cake baking friends around the internet like i am baker, Sweetapolita and Sprinkle Bakes. I could stare at their photos for hours and just drool. But every once and a while, I’ll get the urge to bake in layers. Sometimes for a special occasion like my baby boy’s birthday. He’s not my little baby any more, but he’s my last child and he’s my baby. I know, it sounds like I have a dozen kids. Nope, just two. Plus two dogs. So yes, he’s my baby and he deserved a fun layer cake for his recent birthday. 

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Last year I baked him this Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Layer Cake with my mom’s marshmallow frosting. Boy, you all really love that cake and frosting. I guess I should bake layer cakes more often?

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I wish sometimes I could make time stand still. The days go by in mad rushes to take care of business things, school things, life things. Sometimes it’s nice to just breath and enjoy the moments. Breath.

I need to remind myself to cherish special moments.

It goes by so quickly.

Breath. Enjoy.
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My baby boy. You still have these sweet apple cheeks and all that hair. A mischievous smile with adorable dimples and inquisitive eyes.

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Baby boy. You still love to hold my hand when we walk and give me wet kisses.

You are my heart.

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You’re growing into an amazing artist and quite a good reader! I love when you read me your Dr. Seuss books.

I’m so proud of you.

When you see me about to bake any thing, you’re the first to rush in the kitchen. You tell me you’re a good baker.

You are a wonderful little baker.

Whenever you are with our friends they tell me how well-behaved you are and that you have such good manners. That makes me so happy to know that my lessons I try to teach you and your sister every day are paying off.

I’m so proud of the both of you.

You still bug your big sister sometimes (she would say all the time) and you two argue over silly things. But at the end of the day, I see the love you have for each other. I know that you would do any thing for each other.
I see how your big sister protects you and looks out for you.

I’m a lucky mommy.

Happy Birthday, baby boy.
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a little about this cake: This cake is from the Bubble Room in Captiva Island. It’s not that difficult to put together. I printed it out from Gingerbread Bagels a while ago. Everyone fell in love with the light citrus layers of cake with a fun crunch surprise. The frosting is dreamy and has a delicate orange taste. I liked to have the pretty crunch layers showing and didn’t frost the sides. If you would like the frost the entire cake, that’s fine too! This was a huge success at our birthday party. I made it again for Easter and crushed amaretto cookies instead of graham crackers (also quite delicious)and frosted with marshmallow frosting because I was out of cream cheese. Between the two versions, I prefer this one for sure! Make this easy layer cake. Share some with your friends. Be prepared to have this be your most requested cake!

Orange Crunch Cake

crunch layer
1 cup graham crackers (7 sheets)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

cake
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or whatever milk you prefer)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp orange zest
3 large eggs

frosting
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange juice
2 tsp orange zest

Directions:
crunch layer: in drum of food processor, pulse graham crackers and almonds until coarsely ground.  Add brown sugar and butter; pulse to combine. 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray  2 9-inch cake pan with baking spray. Divide and spread crunch mixture evenly on the bottom of the pans. Press down gently with fingers to cover the bottom of pan evenly and set aside. 
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cake batter:
In medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, beat together sugar, buttermilk, orange juice, oil, vanilla, and zest.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine.  Add in the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until almost combined.  Stop mixer to scrape the sides of pan with a spatula and fully combine the ingredients. 
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Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared pans.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.  Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Run a knife along the sides of the first pan to help loosen the cake before inverting it onto your serving plate.  Run a knife along the sides of the other cake and invert that cake onto a cooking rack.  Completely cool cakes (I resisted just 30 minutes).

while cake cools, make frosting:  With your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add the orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract.  On low speed, add powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time) and beat until you have a nice and smooth frosting.  

make your cake: With a spoon, drop half the frosting onto the cake on the serving plate (you should be doing this on the crunch side of the cake). 
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With a spatula, spread this thick layer of frosting.   Place the second cooled cake crunch side down on top of frosting.  Spread the remaining frosting on the top of the cake. Decorate with clementine slices. Slice with a serrated knife and dig in!

Happy Baking! Thank you for stopping by. xo Lora

PS: Don’t forget to stop by our KitchenAid Stand Mixer giveaway!!


37 comments

  1. What a simple and delicious looking cake!! Love!!

    Mr. & Mrs. P

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  2. That layer cake looks amazing! I need to bake more too!

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  3. This is the sweetest post ever. One you'll look back on and you'll remember this day. So special. Gosh, I have dears rolling down my cheeks. Happy tears. This is just so wonderful.

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  4. Lora,
    The cake looks delish and your son is adorable. Such a lucky boy to have a devoted Mom like you. Best wishes for many more happy and healthy birthdays.
    Annamaria

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  5. What an adorable boy you have. And the cake looks so refreshing and enticing. Layer cakes definitely take work but can be so worth it.

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  6. What a lovely birthday post to your beautiful son and a wonderful cake to match! Happy Birthday to him. I love his tousled hair :)

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  7. The idea of the crunch layer is amazing Lora! I will bake this, with some peaches and cream in the middle, so much better than a regular vanilla or orange cake. Happy birthday to your gorgeous son!

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  8. This is such a beautiful cake! It is screaming summertime. Happy Birthday to your little guy!

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  9. What a sweet boy! Happy Birthday!
    The cake looks beautiful!

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  10. Happy birthday to your sweet boy. And what a beautiful cake, Lora. I love the simplicity of just putting frosting on top and between layers. So very elegant. Thank you for sharing! I'm glad to be back home after a week of traveling...and finally catching up on my favorite blogs. I hope you have a blessed week!

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  11. Happy birthday to your Prince, He is cute. Wishing many more happy returns of the day. Delicious orange cake Lora. Full of summer flavor.

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  12. This looks sublime. What a sweetie!

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  13. I remember the Bubble Room in Orlando. I was so sad when they closed that. The desserts always looked 10' tall. (it was the plate I know but still... :) )

    Your darling boy has eyes that go straight to his soul. What a lovely child. He deserves this special cake. I got a bit nostalgic for my own boy when reading this. Of course he's older than you are now - long time ago. LOL

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  14. This cake looks fabulous! But the big hair on your baby boy is so stinkin cute!!!

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  15. I love the crunch layer on this cake. Beautiful, Lora!

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  16. I LOVE THE BUBBLE ROOM!!!! When I saw this cake in my inbox I just about died- I had to revamp their red velvet recipe (on my blog from a week or so ago) because I was dying without it! This looks just like theirs, delicious!!

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  17. Awww...Happy Belated Birthday to your handsome little guy! This was such a sweet post..I almost cried, seriously. I've got to make this beautiful cake because I love layers of different textures and that crunch layer paired with sun-kissed orange is driving me crazy! N ow I have to go eat something sweet to stop the mouth watering so I won't be up thinking of this cake all all night! xo

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  18. You never cease to amaze me. Gorgeous pictures.

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  19. Love the crunch layer of this cake.. Happy Birthday to your little man..

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  20. What a sweet post! Life is very precious and it is so important to take time to appreciate it. This cake looks and sounds incredible! Love the different textures.

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  21. Lora, your little one is adorable! A very Happy Belated Birthday to him, and kudos to you - for putting together this beautiful layer cake. The orange cream cheese frosting sounds dreamy indeed!

    Time is a slippery thing. If only we could all grab it, and sit on it, and take turns enjoying it's absence. :D

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  22. Happy Birthday sweetness ;-) I would like to bake more layer cakes-they are just so good!

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  23. What a gorgeous little boy you have! Your words to him are so sweet and touching.

    That orange cake looks dreamy. I love orange desserts. I have never baked a layer cake, but this recipe might just convert me!

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  24. Awww, happy birthday to your sweet little one. :) This cake looks lovely, Lora! That crunch layer sounds amazing.

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  25. This cake sounds so delicious, Lora, and I agree with making more layer cakes. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Your endearing love shows so much...Happy Birthday to your sweet son!

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  26. What a sweet post Lora and Happy Birthday to your sweet boy. He really is adorable! Your cake looks yummy definitely a keeper.

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  27. STUNNING POST...Beautiful, moving tribute to much-loved son...and his mother's profound appreciation for his very existence!...

    And the cake...a marvel...and one that reminds me, a bit, of a long-standing favorite in our family "Graham Cracker Torte" from the Steinbeck House cookbook I received for our wedding over 25 years ago....

    Alas...living in France, it is extremely difficult to find graham crackers...could I possibly use speculoos cookies (Biscoff/Lotus Brand) as a substitute without damaging your superlative recipe?...This is an exquisite cake...and post..Thank you mightily.

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  28. Your cake sounds delightful but your little fellow steals the show! What a cutie!

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  29. What a stunning cake! Simply love it. Your little one is adorable!!

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  30. Happy Birthday to your son!! What a little man!
    The cake is gorgeous, and sounds perfect for a celebration!

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  31. Happy birthday to your li'l man! Love the rusticity and simplicity of this cake - I mean that as a compliment! I want a slice NOW!

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  32. Aww, what a sweet post. Happy birthday to your little one. And look at those eyelashes! :)

    Layer cakes are kind of a pain but this one definitely isn't. I can totally do filling a cake and topping it, but the icing the sides... so annoying. This one looks so fresh and yummy!

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  33. hi! love orange cake it makes the cake tastier with the great flavor of orange.

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  34. I have been thinking about cake lately, specifically about making a layer cake. I think this might be the one I make - it sounds wonderful.

    happy birthday to your son - your photos of him are beautiful!

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  35. Happy Birthday to your sweet, beautiful boy. What an equally sweet post, Lora. Love this cake. :)

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  36. Lora, what a beautiful post! A wonderful, sweet, loving ode to your baby boy, who is absolutely adorable by the way. And I love that you took this occasion to make a special cake like this. I would've never thought to have used a graham cracker crust on cake before - brilliant and delicious! Happy birthday to your little one :)

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  37. Aw, what a sweet tribute to your darling son. Luca is going to make a wonderful husband and father one day...you've done a marvelous job raising your children, Lora. And this cake is spectacular! I don't make enough layer cakes according to my family, either!

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