Citrus Golden Ring Cake
I this cake lucky for New Years? Why yes: round foods represent for the cycles of the year and the roundness of a full life; yellow and orange because, they’re signifiers of wealth. But the inherent goodness of this rich, lemony cake, dense and moist, makes anyone who takes a bite feel lucky indeed, on the spot.
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar (plus a bit for pan)
3 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups sifted unbleached white flour (plus a bit for pan)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (preferably cultured)
¼ cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 10-inch tube pan or 12 cup bundt pan with oil. Combine 1 tablespoon each sugar and flour, and use it to coat the oiled pan, tapping out excess.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric beater set on high, cream together the butter until its light and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar. Continue beating until well-combined, and even lighter and fluffier. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Set aside.
- Sift into a separate bowl the sifted flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Combine the liquid ingredients, the buttermilk, orange juice, and lemon juice. Stir the flour mixture into the butter-egg mixture, alternating with the liquids, turning the mixture to low. Don’t overbeat. Stir in the citrus zests.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and let it bake for 45 to 70 minutes, or until the top is deeply golden brown, the kitchen is fragrant, and the cake tests clean.
- Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack, for 10 minutes, while you make the Buttery Citrus Icing, below. Then turn the cake out of its pan and onto a serving plate. While it’s still warm, slowly pour / spread / spoon about a third of the icing over the cake, allowing the cake to absorb as much as possible. Let cake cool completely, and spread with the remaining icing.
Buttery Citrus Icing
¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice or Grand Marnier
Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly. Add the zests and juices a tablespoon at a time.