I'm so pleased to have this recipe from my ALA Editions Editor, the lovely Stephanie Zvirin. She knows just about everything about YA books, loves mysteries, and is a pleasure to work with. What other talents could a person need? Oh yes, she likes to cook, too. She sent me this recipe for the blog. It reminds me of Jan Karon's Mitford series - how they all loved the Orange Cake they had for special occasions. (There's a reason I don't booktalk...)-Amy
I pulled this recipe from a book called Delectable Desserts by Wendy Louise and Maryann Koopman. It's one of my favorite desserts cookbooks, with recipes for some unusual, old-fashioned desserts. A bonus: most are quite easy to put together. As you'll see the recipe below has not butter or shortening in the cake itself, though there is butter in the frosting.
Preheat oven to 350; grease and flour 9 x 13 pan
2 tsp baking soda
2 12/ oz. cans mandarin oranges, drained well (if desired, set a few pieces aside for decoration)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped nuts
Put all cake ingredients in bowl of electric mixer in order given. Beat well. Bake 45 min. or until cake springs back at touch. Immediately after removing cake from oven, poke holes in it down to the bottom of the pan. Cool.
1 1/2 C brown sugar
6 Tbsp Butter
6 Tbsp whole milk
Combine over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over cooled cake.