Orange loaf cake is, simply put, wonderful any time of the day. Whether having it for breakfast or tea, this rich, flavorful cake will leave you wanting more! And if you love the orange-chocolate combination, simply sprinkle some chocolate chips over the batter. Easy and delicious!
The size of this cake isn’t very big, making it very practical if you’re just baking for yourself or a small number of people. The recipe is quite easy to follow.
The only inconvenience is that you’ll have to whip egg whites. I normally avoid recipes like this but since it is Philippe Conticini’s recipe, I thought it would be worth a shot. And it really was! So let’s look at all the ingredients we will need.
Orange Cake Loaf Ingredients
You will need:
- Almond flour: If you can’t find almond flour, you can buy whole almonds (I use raw) and grind them yourself in a small food processor. If using this method, try to make the texture as fine as possible (without making almond butter!). I had initially left small pieces of almonds in the flour and they sank to the bottom of the cake during baking.
- Sugar: We’ll be using brown sugar and powdered sugar for the main batter. You’ll also need a little bit when whipping the egg whites. I used white granulated sugar but you can use brown sugar if you prefer.
- Butter: The butter will add richness, flavor and tenderness to the cake. We’ll be using melted butter but you could even brown the butter as we did when making financiers, for a more complex flavor.
- Orange zest: The wonderful orange flavor of this cake is just from the orange zest. I used 2 large oranges but you can use as much or as little as you want. Use organic oranges if possible, to avoid any pesticide residues.
- Eggs: You’ll need in total 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. But you should separate one of the eggs. For the main batter, we’ll actually use 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. And then we will fold in 3 whipped egg whites.
- Flour: We will be using a little bit of flour, for structure.
- Baking powder: For rise.
- Salt: For flavor. If you have fleur de sel definitely use that. If not, regular salt will work.
- Chocolate chips: This is optional but I absolutely love the chocolate-orange combo. The chocolate chips are a bit too heavy for this batter. They will tend to sink to the bottom of the cake, forming a wonderful layer. Once you invert the cake, the chocolate will become the top layer.
Okay, time to bake!
Making Orange Cake Loaf, Step-by-Step
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F, conventional setting). Grease and line a 20 x 8 cm (8 x 3 inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. I like to grease the parchment paper as well after I’ve lined the pan, just in case! You can use a little bit of butter to stick the overhang (of parchment paper) to the sides of the pan. This way it won’t bother you when you are filling the pan.
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool down.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Prepare the batter
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar, orange zest and salt.
- Separate one of the eggs. Add the egg yolk along with the other whole egg to the mixture. Save the egg white for later, in a bowl with the two other egg whites. Whisk until combined.
- Whisk in the melted (and slightly cooled) butter.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and whisk just until combined. Don’t overmix.
Whip the egg whites
- In a separate bowl, whip the (three) egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form. Tip: Wipe off the bowl with vinegar before using it to get rid of any fat residues which would make it harder to whip the egg whites. Avoid using a plastic mixing bowl.
- Add a third of the whipped egg whites to the batter and whisk to lighten the batter. Don’t worry about deflating the egg whites at this stage.
- Add the whipped egg whites in two more additions and gently fold into the batter just until combined. Don’t overmix.
Bake the orange cake loaf
- Pour part of the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips, if desired. Cover with the remaining batter. The chocolate chips will sink to the bottom of the cake so there is no point folding them into the batter. Simply sprinkling them in will also reduce the chances of overmixing the batter.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If you notice that the top of the cake is browning too much, loosely cover with parchment paper.
- Cool on a wire rack (in the pan) then invert onto a serving platter.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoy the cake!