Recipes sometimes stem from not having enough of a good thing; money is often the missing ingredient that can spur creativity in the kitchen. At other times, we find ourselves with too much of a particular ingredient and must look for new ways to use it. This cake recipe falls into the latter category and involves tangerines, lots of tangerines.
Our tangerine trees have pulled out all the stops this season. We have eaten, given away, and begged others to take bushels (carloads! tons!) of this delicious fruit, but still it keeps coming. I’m beginning to suspect that a tangerine fairy adds new fruit to our trees every night while we’re sleeping. So now we are juicing the balance of the harvest, converting the juice to a concentrate, and storing it in our freezer for later use.
In this poppy seed cake recipe, I experimented with using some of this fresh tangerine concentrate (1 cup concentrate equals 3 cups fresh juice). We loved the results: an intensely citrusy and flavorful glazed cake, which you may also enjoy. For readers less blessed with citrus trees, store-bought, frozen tangerine or orange juice concentrate may be substituted, with no other modification of the recipe. See the notes below the recipe if you prefer to make your own fresh juice concentrate.
For the cake:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, unsifted
3 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) fresh or frozen tangerine (or orange) juice concentrate, at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest
2 tablespoons poppy seed
For the optional glaze:
3 tablespoons tangerine (or orange) juice concentrate
1/2 cup powdered sugar
(optional) 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
- Generously oil a bundt pan or 10″ x 13″ cake pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Add the eggs, one by one, beating for approximately one minute after each addition until the mixture is fluffy and light.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Alternately add one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the juice concentrate to the batter, beating lightly after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and poppy seeds. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40-55 minutes (depending on the type of cake pan used) and cool the cake to room temperature.
- If using the optional glaze, heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan until bubbly and drizzle over the cake.
To make your own fresh citrus juice concentrate, which may be made in any quantity and frozen for later use: Measure the liquid volume of the fresh juice being used and then boil the juice until it is reduced to one-third of its original volume.