Friday Faves – The Apron Archives makes Orange Kiss Me Cake

For Friday Favs today, I’m going to introduce you to a local blogger who has become a great friend over the past few months. Aimee from The Apron Archives actually won my Power of Pink challenge last year and then in March, we met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Since then, Aimee and I have been hanging out on a regular basis, sharing our love of a good gin and tonic, all things Harry Potter, and just good old fashioned girl time. Aimee’s blog features all sorts of delicious baked goods and vegetarian meals. Aimee is a history nerd and also blogs for Yankee Magazine over at The Yankee Seeker. In a few short months, she has become one of my dearest friends and I definitely recommend checking out her blogs!

Hello Beantown Baker readers! I am Aimee from The Apron Archives, and I am delighted to be this week’s Friday Fave. I was a longtime fan of Beantown Baker before I had the opportunity to get to know Jen in person, and since then I have become an even bigger fan of the lovely baker herself. Baker friends are the best kinds of friends.

Because I have a passion for food and history, I am especially fond of paying homage to kitchen classics. While some vintage desserts are best left in the Jell-O Molds they were chilled in, there are others that never stop being table-worthy.

One such confection is Orange Kiss Me Cake, the charmingly-titled winner of the 1950 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, created by Lily Wuebel from Redwood City, CA. The name was undoubtedly inspired by the smash Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate,” which debuted in 1948.

This sheet cake is a snap to make, loaded with flavor, and ultra portable – making it the perfect cake to take along to your next potluck-brunch or picnic. As someone that doesn’t have a car and transports a lot of cakes via public transportation, this is a big plus for me.

Orange Kiss Me Cake gets its flavor from fresh orange zest, orange juice, raisins and nuts. The raisins and nuts are finely chopped so the texture isn’t overwhelmingly busy, and the combination of citrus, raisin, and nuts had me mentally bookmarking this cake as a must-make-again for the holiday season.

Many shortcut versions of this recipe exist – some use frozen orange concentrate, some orange extract, while others (including the original) call for an entire orange, pith and all, to be ground up into the batter. I wasn’t too sure about that, and neither were the expert (and local!) testers at Cook’s Country, so I put my trust in their adaptation.

One pleasant variation I saw substituted the glaze topping with a combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and chopped nuts instead, or even on top of the glaze. Feel free to experiment. I think cream cheese icing would also taste wonderful.

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Orange Kiss Me Cake


For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup milk

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp

For the Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
Water (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease/flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and milk. In a food processor or blender, pulse the raisins, walnuts, and orange zest together until finely chopped.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping at the end to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the flour mixture and juice mixture alternately in two batches, until just combined.

Gently fold in the raisin mixture with a rubber spatula, then place the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan completely, or for at least 2 hours.

Once cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Add a few drops of water if necessary (see note). Spread the glaze over the cake and let it sit until hardened. Cut and serve!

The cake can be stored at room temp for up to 4 days.

Note: The glaze seemed too thick to spread onto the cake without kicking up some crumbs, so I thinned it with a little water. Of course, then the glaze didn’t harden up as much, so choose your battles!

Recipe developed by Lily Wuebel for Pillsbury - adapted by America’s Best Lost Recipes from the editors of Cook’s Country

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One Response to “Friday Faves – Cook Like a Champion makes Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins”

  1. #
    Kate — April 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Oh WOW! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just pulled them out of the oven – the look stunning. The batter was so thick – I used a cookie scoop to heap the batter into muffin tins, and they rose beautifully. I thought that it would be too much, but it seemed like the tins that I “over-filled” were the most beautiful. Can’t wait to put the frosting on and try them!

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