This Mandarin Orange Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting has the most delicious and satisfying texture you'll ever want to experience in a cake. It's light and airy and quite possibly will be the only cake you'll make again and again.
Ahhhh...sheet cake...why is it always just what I need to eat? If I'm being honest, any cake is just what I need to be eating in that moment. In fact, when it comes to that one very important question in life...cake or pie....it's always, always cake for me. Always.
There are definitely things I would be more willing to do, knowing there is a slice of cake waiting for me on the other side. Have you eve been to a wedding where you somehow missed the slice of cake that was delivered to your table? It's seriously the worst thing in the whole world, especially for me. I want the cake...need the cake...every time.
My newest revelation about cake comes from my seventeen year old son. The lover of sleep who never gets out of bed until the last possible second; running out the door, missing breakfast to get to where he needs to be on time. However, if I have homemade cake in the house, he is up early and wanting a slice along with his breakfast. I am not even joking.
And you know what? I let him have it (the cake). I get him. I know what it is to love cake so much and how elusive homemade cake can be. I know in the scheme of life a few slices of cake and bacon are not going to make or break anything. He's growing and hungry all of the time. And soon he will be off to college, away from home, living his cake free life. Until he visits. Sigh.
I will say there are certain cakes, more than others that REALLY get my son up quickly. It includes this Mandarin Orange Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting, my Sheet Pan Banana Cake with Cream Cheese-Sour Cream Frosting or my Buttery Almond Pound Cake with Almond Glaze. He seems to hear his morning alarm when those cakes are in the house. Again, I understand him.
When it comes to baking from scratch, it makes a difference when you weigh your ingredients, especially your flour. Having a baking scale in the kitchen is a must and will have your baked goods tasting so much more light and airy. Too much flour makes them dense...even an ounce too much can make a difference.
This cake is made in a half sheet pan or a large rimmed baking tray. They are the handiest things to have around the kitchen.
Mandarin Orange Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting
- 3 cups (13.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1-1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 12 Tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 2-1/4 cups (15.75 oz) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/8 cups (9 oz) sour cream
- 3 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- slivered almonds and 2 extra (11 oz) cans of mandarin oranges for garnish
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 8 teaspoons cold water
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (36% is best)
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet (12 x 18 inches) with butter and flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light colored (about 3 minutes). Mixture will be grainy. Add eggs, sour cream, mandarin oranges and lemon juice until well-combined. Add dry ingredients and mix only until just combined. You do not want to overmix here. (This is where a stand mixer really comes in handy with the stir function.)
- Add the cake batter to prepared baking sheet and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle returns clean. (Remember, all ovens vary in temperature so cooking times will vary. Always check on your cake early.)
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the whipped cream, in a small pan, combine the gelatin and cold water, stirring to incorporate.
- Place pan over low heat, stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves into the water.
- Remove from heat and let it cool, but do not let it set.
- In a stand mixer, whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar until slightly thick. Slowly add the cooled but liquidy gelatin to the whipping cream. Whip at high speed until stiff.
- Notes: If you are looking for an overwhelmingly orange flavored cake, add 1-2 teaspoons of orange extract to the cake batter.
There are so many different flavors of sheet cakes to enjoy. If you start now, you can hopefully get them all in soon! I love the sound of this Lemon Sheet Cake. It's perfect for summer. And this Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake also needs to get in my oven soon. My Fall season baking list definitely needs to include this Gingerbread Texas Sheet Cake. And I know my kids are going to love this Cookies 'n Cream Sheet Cake when I get around to baking it. And Coca-Cola Sheet Cake never sounded so good.
Four years ago I posted a recipe called Steakhouse Bruschetta. We are still loving it today. It's time you gave it a try.