Sour cream and buttermilk get all the attention. How about a creme fraiche cake?
I bought some at Sea Breeze Farm‘s booth at the UD farmer’s market, and it cried out to be used in place of buttermilk in one of my favorite cakes. Blood oranges give its glaze a fabulous pinkish color.
Recipe for Creme Fraiche Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
Recipe 55 of 365
Adapted from Kathy Gunst’s recipe for Lemon Cake with Lemon-Vanilla Glaze from Stonewall Kitchen Favorites, which is made with buttermilk, this cake relies on crème fraiche for acidity and moisture. It’s simple to make (no mixer required), and excellent both right out of the oven and a few days after it’s made.
For a fancier dessert, double the recipe and make two cakes, and fill and top them with an orange buttercream, such as the one in The Gourmet Cookbook, made with blood oranges.
TIME: 10 minutes, plus baking
MAKES: 10 servings
Vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup crème fraiche
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 blood oranges, zested and juiced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” cake pan with the vegetable oil spray and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl and set aside.
In another mixing bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar, crème fraiche, eggs, and vanilla together until blended. Stir in about 2/3 of the blood orange zest, add the oil, and gently fold the oil into the batter until combined.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake the cake on the middle rack for 30 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, or until the cake is lightly browned at the edges and just barely beginning to crack in the center (the toothpick test is appropriate for this cake).
When the cake is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the remaining blood orange zest, and the blood orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Using oven mitts, place a cooling rack on top of the cake pan and flip the cake and the rack together. Remove the cake pan, so the cake is upside-down on the rack. Place a serving plate upside-down on the bottom of the cake, and flip the plate and the rack together, so the cake is now right side-up on the serving plate.
Spoon half the glaze on top of the cake, using the spoon or a brush to spread the glaze evenly over the cake, and let sit for about 5 minutes. (Some glaze may spill over the side, that’s okay.) Spoon the remaining glaze over the cake. Cut and serve warm or at room temperature.