This cake is kind of a showstopper. I mean, look at her! When creating a recipe, I try to think of seasonality first and the ingredients that are at the peak of their season at the time. Citrus came to mind for Winter. Blood oranges are exceptionally beautiful and their flavor blends so well with vanilla. I mean, creamsicles, right?
I partnered with Cook Flavoring Company to create a special Christmas coffee cake with their superior vanillas. This cake may look like an ordinary upside down cake of sorts but it's got a couple secrets. The cake itself has plenty of Cook's Pure Vanilla Extract in the silky batter and the sour cream makes the cake so tender and luxurious. But the top! After it bakes, you flip it over and brûlée the top by sprinkling Cook's Pure Vanilla Powder and raw sugar over the top and torching it! The oranges become caramelized and infused with so much more flavor. So. Dang. Good. Whether you bring this cake to brunch, a party, or Christmas dinner, it'll get devoured. Scout's honor. (K, I quit Girl Scouts in like 2nd grade but it still counts, right?)
Brûléed Vanilla + Blood Orange Coffee Cake
1-2 blood oranges, washed and thinly sliced (preferably organic)*
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t himalayan salt
1/2 c butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
2 eggs, room temperature
1 T Cook's Pure Vanilla Extract
1 T blood orange zest
2 T blood orange juice
1 c sour cream
2 T demerara (raw) sugar
2 T Cook's Pure Vanilla Powder
Bake the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 inch round cake pan. Layer the blood orange slices so the entire bottom is covered and the oranges overlap a bit. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest and juice. The mixture may look a little curdled at this point but it's all good. Alternate adding the dry mixture and sour cream in three additions, mixing after each addition. Fill the cake pan with the cake mixture, covering the orange slices. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is baking, mix up the vanilla sugar by combining the Cook's Pure Vanilla Powder and raw sugar in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside.
Brûlée The Cake
To brûlée the top, you can either use a culinary torch if you happen to have one or your oven broiler like I did. Once you remove the cake from the oven, switch it over to broil if you don't have a torch. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes then place a baking tray on top of the cake and gently flip over so that cake is right side up on the baking tray. Sprinkle the whole top generously with the vanilla sugar mixture then place in the oven to broil until the sugar has melted and caramelized a bit on the oranges. Watch it like a hawk so the sugar doesn't burn. Allow to cool before serving.
*Note: You can definitely use naval oranges if you can't get ahold of blood oranges. Try to find organic, though, since you'll be consuming the peel.
Thanks so much to Cook Flavoring Company for sponsoring this post!
All opinions are my own.