Before we get further into this post and the recipe, I just want to say that there is a reason why I haven't stopped posting recipes and photos despite the current situation. Some might find it disrespectful or ignorant, but food photography and baking are my ways of creative expression. In a way, these things act as an escape from the mental torture that I often subject myself to. Many people might relate with me, and who knows, looking at my cooking and baking might be helping someone feel better.
That being said, I am trying my best to amplify and share as many resources as possible through Instagram. I encourage you to do the same. These are incredibly scary and anxious times, but we can get through this.
Now, you can scroll down and find all the juicy details about this yummy cake.
I realize that we're well into summer and that everyone's frantically searching online for refreshing summer recipes. But, guys, I'm not ready to let go of autumnal flavors just yet. I just love my spices way too much.
I love anything citrus, and while I have a soft spot for lemons, oranges aren't too bad either. I am a self-proclaimed fan of orange juice; I'll take orange juice over anything any day. So, I knew I wanted to make something with oranges.
I actually was working on an orange cranberry cake recipe back in November. It seemed wintry and season-appropriate, but I never really got around finishing it. So, there I was last month, trying to work up another orange cake recipe.
I was on a short family trip a while ago where we purchased a bunch of honey. I wanted to know if honey and orange would work well; they had to because honey and lemon work together. But, just to cross-check my suspicions, I started looking at fruit flavor pairing charts online. And to my utter satisfaction, honey and orange did go together, confirmed by many specialists across different websites.
One of the fruit flavor pairing charts that I referred to: The Ultimate Fruit Flavor Pairing Chart by The Baker's Almanac
I also wanted to add another flavor dimension to this cake. While skimming across the flavor pairing charts, I came across cloves.
Cloves, or laung, is a really under-appreciated spice. When it comes to warm spices, it's usually cinnamon and nutmeg taking the cake. Cloves are generally sidelined.
There was a vision in my mind; it was oranges, cloves, and honey. And that's how this cake came to be. It's a really warm and comforting cake with a zingy glaze. Some might think it's not appropriate for summer, but who cares? Oranges and cloves are marvelous together, and you gotta make this cake!
What goes into the orange, clove, and honey cake?
Of course, apart from the titular oranges, cloves and honey, you have a bunch of other ingredients that you need to make this cake.
This is an eggless cake, so I've used yogurt as a replacement. I find it the best substitute for eggs because it doesn't tamper much flavor-wise and results in a tender and moist cake.
I've used whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and powdered cloves for the dry ingredients. The wet ingredients are honey, brown sugar, neutral-tasting oil, yogurt, baking soda, milk, vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest.
All of the ingredients are super accessible, they're things that you probably already have in your pantry or can purchase really easily.
I've also topped my cake with a zingy orange glaze. It's completely optional, but I like it because it gives the cake a refreshing feel. The glaze just calls for orange juice and icing sugar. You can adjust the thickness per your liking. Definitely do not skip the glaze, it is perhaps the crowning glory of this cake.
What equipment do I need?
Okay, let's address the elephant in the room. You might've noticed the shape of the cake is a little different. It's a bundt cake. A bundt pan yields in a cake that's in the form of a ring. It usually has decorative embossing on the outer part, making the cake look all the more attractive.
Bundt pans are usually measured in cups instead of inches like regular cake pans. The one I've used is an 8-cup bundt pan.
If you want to use any other pans, you can find the exact details in the notes section below the recipe.
The other equipment you need is two mixing bowls, a mesh sieve, a wire whisk, and a rubber spatula.
The recipe for orange, clove, and honey cake
Yields: 6-7 servings
Time: 60 minutes
200 grams (1 ½ cup) whole wheat flour (atta)
6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) baking powder
3 grams (¾ teaspoon) salt
4 grams (1 teaspoon) powdered cloves (laung in Hindi)
100 grams (¼ cup) honey
45 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar
100 grams (½ cup) neutral oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
130 grams (½ cup) yogurt
2 grams (½ teaspoon) baking soda
60 grams (¼ cup) milk
3 grams (¾ teaspoon) vanilla extract
60 grams (¼ cup) orange juice
6 grams (1 tablespoon) orange zest
40 grams (2 ¾ tablespoons) orange juice
120 grams (1 cup) confectioners/icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease an 8-cup bundt pan and dust it thoroughly with flour.
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk well. Set it aside.
In a separate, larger mixing bowl, add the honey, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk until combined.
Next, add the yogurt and baking soda. Whisk until the yogurt and oil have emulsified.
Add the milk, vanilla extract, orange juice, and zest, and whisk really well.
Sift in the dry ingredients and fold gently until no dry spots are visible.
Carefully break up any lumps with the whisk.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180°C for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the cake sit in the pan for 5 minutes and then invert it onto a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, whisk together the orange juice and icing sugar until no lumps are visible. Adjust the thickness and consistency according to your liking.
Drizzle the glaze onto the cake once it has completely cooled down.
If you wish to bake this cake in a different pan, you can use
an 8x8 square pan (bake for 25-30 minutes)
a 9x5 loaf pan (bake for 45-47 minutes)
an 8 or 9-inch round pan (bake for 25-30 minutes)
a muffin pan (bake for 18-20 minutes)
If you have a bundt pan and don't know its size/volume, get a 1 cup measure and fill the pan with water until it's full. Note down the number of cups of water you had to fill the pan with, and that's the size/volume of your bundt pan. For example, I had to put 8 cups of water into my bundt pan; hence, my pan is an 8-cup bundt.