Yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated it in the best way possible - in the company of my family. The girls took a day off work and school, and joined Andrew in helping me celebrate. The day was unseasonably warm, and we enjoyed a lovely walk along a nearby river. (I only wish my birthday was this warm every year.)
My oldest daughter gifted me with a professional cheese tasting (given by her! She works at a local cafe and has been educated in how to sell cheese.) And we finished the day by going to dinner at one of my favourite restaurants. All in all, a great day.
One of the highlights was baking with the girls in the afternoon, something we used to do together all the time but, with our busy schedules, rarely do anymore. At the top of my list to try was an orange cake with orange cream cheese icing that I saw a few weeks ago on my friend Liz's blog. It was every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped - a fine addition to a day that couldn't have been any better.
Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(from That Skinny Chick Can Bake)
1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp orange extract
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1 Tbsp orange marmalade
2 Tbsp orange juice
additional grated orange zest for decoration (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Beat 1 cup butter until soft. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes, until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then add orange extract and zest and beat for another 2 minutes.
Remove from blender. Add flour and salt, and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
When cake is cool, make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and beat until well-combined. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth. Beat in the zest, marmalade and orange juice. Spread over cake. Sprinkled with additional grated orange zest, if desired.