Within 24 hours of joining Pinterest, it happened. A photo of a Stella McCartney-inspired citrus cake (an obvious case of beauty over function) made me feel grossly inadequate about my life. There was only one thing to do: Drop everything and make it.
CITRUS CAKE with ORANGE LEMON FROSTING
(aka. “Stella Cake,” recipe by Apollina)
for the cake:
1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
grated zest of 2 oranges & 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
oranges, lemons, limes sliced to garnish
fresh mint leaves to garnish
Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10″ round cake pan.* In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the grated zest of the oranges and lemons. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and the milk incrementally and beat until combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely (you can put it in the freezer to speed this up) before turning it out and frosting it. Once the frosting is smoothly applied, artfully arrange the citrus slices and mint leaves on top of the cake.
*The original recipe calls for 2 cake rounds with lemon curd in between — highly recommended if you have time.
for the frosting:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons very finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
a pinch of salt
Beat the butter, orange juice, and lemon zest on high until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Keep at room temperature.