Orange Crunch Cake

I hope you all had a very happy Easter. I know I did. Look at the cute Easter basket Barbecue Man made for me. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

He’s so good to me: all my favorite candies and coffees.

Since it was Easter I had to break out my favorite cake recipe. I say break out, like I only make it for Easter, but in reality I use this recipe for everything. I give out this recipe, because I believe in sharing. My mom has always been a church preschool teacher and she sings this song with the kids that goes… Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more. So I am giving out this recipe because I love you, and I hope more people start making this. I hold it very dear to my heart and make it for literally every occasion I can. Not only because it is insanely delicious, but also because it is easy and impressive to take to things. This cake goes back to my childhood in Florida. There is an island of the coast of Florida called Sanibel island, and on this island there is a restaurant called the Bubble Room. sanibel

Photo courtesousy of Traveleatlove.com

This restaurant is famous mainly for their outlandish decor. The whole restaurant is filled with Christmas lights and strange scenes made out of manikins, but also they are highly known for their desserts; In particular for their orange crunch cake. A very tall orange flavored cake, with a brown sugar and walnut crunch layer. The cake stands tall and is frosted with a light citrus-y whipped cream frosting. We have not lived in Florida for many many years, but my family still holds this cake near and dear to their hearts. When I was in high school I made it my mission to find the recipe for this cake and I did end up finding a copy cat recipe online. since then I have made changes to the recipe to suit my taste buds or to cut corners. But here is my recipe for orange crunch cake. Crunch layer

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, melted

Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup orange juice
  •  zest of one orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 1⁄3 cup oil
  • 2 tsp orange extract

Start by crunching up graham crackers to make graham cracker crumbs. This is Barbecue Man’s job.

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Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave (or on the stove if you are a show off). To the melted butter add the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and pecans. In the real recipe walnuts are used, but I love the combo of pecans and brown sugar too much to go with walnuts.

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Press this layer into the bottom of two 8″ circular cake pans

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Mix the cake ingredients together. There is no magic order that I combine these in. I don’t even do wet/dry separately. However I do tend to put the orange extract and zest in at the very end. That way I have a better sense of if the flavor is powerful enough. I like to try to get the cake as orange-y as possible.

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Next pour the cake batter over the crunch layer.

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And stick the pans in the oven at 350 for about 35 mins. Watch them carefully.

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After the cool stack them layers on top of each other so that the graham cracker layers are touching. This meas one of the cakes will be upside down.

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I like to frost this cake with any canned cream cheese frosting. I think the flavors go well together, but you could easily frost this with almost anything. A whipped cream frosting, a homemade cream cheese frosting, a canned vanilla frosting….use your imagination. You will notice the frosting in the picture is green. I added food dye because I was trying to be creative with my Easter cake decorating.

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Here’s what my Easter cakes ended up looking like.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Anyways, I hope you make this recipe next time you need a whole cake (which is every day right?). It really is a fantastic recipe. It’s orange-y and brown sugar-y…all of the best flavors. It’s the kind of cake you have seconds of.

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