Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Orange Cognac Sheet Cake

Dessert last night was orange cognac sheet cake with orange cream cheese frosting. It's a simple cake and came from Ina Garten. I've never made anything of hers that didn't turn out fabulous and this cake was no exception. I did change it a bit by substituting orange for the lemon and adding about a tablespoon of Cognac to the batter. I like the combination of orange and cognac.

With 32 for dinner, dessert needed to be easy. If I made pies and we cut it into sixes, I'd have to make six or into eights, at least four. A layer cake can be cut perhaps into sixteen which means two and 9 x 13 cakes would take at least two as well.

The sheet cake was the perfect solution. One sheetcake indeed fed 32 and the pieces, although not huge, were sufficient. For a garnish, I used violas from the garden.

Ina frosts her cake with a chocolate frosting but instead I used my favorite cream cheese frosting (think carrot cake) and added the zest of a whole orange. It was perfect!

It's Friday which means that it's Foodie Friday which means that we all need to go over to Designs by Gollum and visit Michael and see what everyone else has made this week.

Orange Cognac Sheet Cake

18 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
1 T. Cognac (or Brandy)
3 cups flour
1/3 c. cornstarch
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2 inch sheet pan.
Cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, zest and Cognac, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed,
slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a
spatula and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan at room temperature.

Frost with your favorite frosting. I chose cream cheese with the zest of one orange added and a teaspoon of orange extract.


SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

How pretty with the pansy petal on top! This sounds like a wonderful recipe and I love how Ina never disappoints.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Martha, Orange cake is my absolute favorite! I'll make this cake. And then hide it. I could eat most of it I'm sure.

Pondside said...

Every summer we have dinner in the garden - 30 to 40 guests. This will feature on the 2010 menu!

Allie and Pattie said...

I LOVE any citrus cake. 32 for dinner! How wonderful!
xoxo pattie

Sonny G said...

I too love the taste of citrus cake.
Your's is so pretty with the blossom on top.
I might give this a try though I'm not a very good baker..


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Looks good and sounds delicious, Martha!

lesapeamusings.blogspot said...

Oh, Yummy,...Thank you so much for sharing.

house things said...

Looks divine. My mother used to make a citrus (orange) cake that I loved.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely cake, Martha. It sounds delicious. I'm sure your party was a smashing success. Have a great day...Mary

Kathleen said...

This cake sounds delicious. i really love the changes you made.

Southerncook said...

Love the changes you made and I will be making this very soon. Everything tastes fabulous with a splash of Cognac IMO.


*Ulrike* said...

That sounds so yummy. I need to add it to my little book. I have to do that otherwise I'll never remember where I saw it!

Marigene said...

My favorite flavor! I bet the addition of the cognac made it even better; sure looks delicious, Martha. This will be at the top of my "try" list.

Nancy Jane said...

This looks wonderful and bet it tastes even better. I love recipes that feed a crowd, and this one is very chic with the cognac and orange. Definitely a must try...