Here’s a favorite hand-me-down recipe that’s been in my Brazilian family for generations.
Our Brazilian Orange Cake recipe is a long-held tradition with the arrival of the New Year. And it’s so quick and easy to make that you can enjoy it year-round.
by Scott Adams
I’ll admit it. I love Brazilian cakes. Always colorful, tasty, and aromatic, these delicious bolos are the perfect touch for any occasion. An oven-baked treat for family meals, surprise visits from friends, an afternoon snack – or for no reason at all!
These days, cakes like these are easy to make. But do you really want a box mix filled with preservatives, chemical thickeners, and who knows what?
Try this recipe for Brazilian Orange Cake instead. Because in addition to the simple and fresh ingredients, this one is filled with childhood memories waiting to be created.
I can still recall that open kitchen window and an afternoon breeze carrying the ‘right out of the oven’ aroma of this Bola da Laranga to me. Ahh, Brazilian Orange Cake!
It’s time to make a few memories of your own! We’ll provide the music, so let’s get started!
Brazilian Orange Cake
- 3 mixing bowls – various sizes
- 2 small bowls
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Mixing spoons and spatulas
- A whisk or electric mixer
- A juicer
- A zester
- A spice grinder
- A square cake pan or a Bundt cake pan, buttered
- A cooling rack
Brazilian Orange Cake Recipe Tips:
Grease your cake pan ahead of time! Coat the sides and bottom generously with butter. This allows the cake to be easily removed from the pan once it is baked.
Let your eggs sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. We don’t want them to be ‘refrigerator-cold’ for this cake.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When baking, cover your cake pan with foil if it begins to look dark brown. This will keep the top of your cake from burning.
Ingredients for the batter:
- Soft butter
- 2 cups of all-purpose white flour, shifted
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder.
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2/ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of butter, or 1/2 cup canola or sunflower oil
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- The zest of one orange
- 1 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
Ingredients for the icing:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup of butter, melted
- 2-4 tablespoons of hot water (or alternatively, warmed milk)
- 1 Tbsp. of Grand Marnier
- 1.5 teaspoons orange extract
Here’s how we’ll bake it:
Recipe for Brazilian Orange Cake Bater
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 30 to 50 minutes. Baking time varies with the type of cake pan you select.
Yields eight servings
- Sift the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and nutmeg into one of your mixing bowls, then set it aside.
- In the other mixing bowl, adding the butter and sugar. Then, make a crème by whipping and folding the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
- Take your eggs and separate the yolks from the whites into the two small bowls.
- Add the yolks of the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture while whisking.
- Add the orange zest to the liquids bowl and stir.
- Return to your mixing bowl with the flour mixture.
- Slowly add the flour mixture’s dry ingredients to the butter creme mixture, alternating with the orange juice. Save a small amount of the orange juice for step 12.
- Mix slowly.
- Beat the egg whites until they become white and fluffy. Then fold them slowly into the mixture.
- Pour the mixture in your buttered cake pan and place it on the center rack in the middle of your oven.
- Allow 30 minutes for a square cake pan, or up to 50 minutes for a Bundt cake pan. Ovens vary in temperature, so check your cake with a toothpick as you go. When the toothpick is clean (no bater) then it is ready to be taken out of the oven.
- Use a fork to make small holes on the top of your cake, then pour the remaining orange juice over it.
Great work! Cool your cake in the pan or on a wire rack. Now, let’s get to the glaze topping.
Recipe for Brazilian Orange Cake Glaze
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 0 minutes
Yields two cups, eight servings
- Do you have your ingredients ready? Butter melted? Let’s go!
- Use your sifter with the confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl.
- Add your melted butter, orange extract, and 2 tablespoons of warmed milk or hot water to the bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Use your electric mixer to beat the ingredients into a uniform, creamy consistency. Too thick? Add a small amount of water or milk, then stir. Repeat as needed. Not too runny, okay?
- Optional: Add the Grand Marnier liquor and fold it into the glaze before spreading it onto your Brazilian orange cake!
It’s time to relax and enjoy! Serve your Brazilian Orange Cake with a smile, fresh strong coffee, dark chocolate pieces, or even a small dollop of frozen Açaí. Don’t forget to share the recipe!
MUSIC, TRAVEL, FRIENDS AND FUN! 2022 MARKS CONNECT BRAZIL’S 25TH YEAR.
Did you enjoy our recipe for Brazilian Orange Cake? If you did, why not join us at Connect Brazil?