Talk about the dreamiest cake…wow, you will fall in love. I promise.
I have always been an advocate for fruit in my desserts. A simple cake with filling is one of my favorite ways to get a little extra fruit into the perfect after dinner treat.
Now, before I go on about fruit and dessert, let’s talk specifically about oranges. My oldest son has had a love affair with oranges and orange juice his whole life. Nothing else would ever do. We call it his “signature flavor”. His adoration for the orange carries on to other foods as well; scented orange chicken, orange popsicles, orange beef and yes…orange in his cake. This boy should have grown up on an grove instead of a vineyard.
With orange juice as a staple in his life, I have never worried about his vitamin C intake. And I have always made sure he was getting the best orange juice I could find. His only requirement was it had to be “pulp free”. Luckily, in thirteen years, he has rarely been sick. I have always suspected his love and daily intake of orange juice has kept him well.
Over the years I have found using orange juice in recipes to be quite versatile. Smoothies, salad dressings, marinades, and today’s dessert take on a lovely citrusy flavor when orange juice becomes part of the ingredient list.
The orange creamsicle flavor comes from the addition of creme of coconut to the cake, making for an authentic, mouthwatering experience. The layer of intense orange curd adds a brightness to the cake, injecting a zesty taste in every bite. Don’t worry if you have never made curd, it’s so easy!
Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
Orange Curd (can be made up to a week ahead)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup 100% Florida orange juice
- 9 large egg yolks (save some of the egg whites for the cake)
- 1/4 cup orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 (16.25 ounce) white cake mix
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1-1/2 cups cream of coconut (usually found with drink mixers)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- For the curd, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the fresh lemon juice. Set aside for 20 minutes. In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, orange juice, egg yolks, orange and lemon zest. Place over medium heat and add butter. Continue to whisk until the curd begins to thicken. Small bubbles will begin to appear on the sides of the pan; about 8-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in gelatin until dissolved. Pour curd into a bowl and place plastic wrap right on top of curd. This will prevent curd from developing a skin. Cool completely and place in the fridge overnight (this can be made up to a week ahead).
- Make cake in a 9 x 13 pan according to package directions. When cake is removed from the oven and is still hot, poke holes in the top with a skewer. In a medium bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and creme of coconut and pour over the warm cake. Let cool completely.
- With a mixer, combine orange curd and cream cheese until the mixture is spreadable. Spread all over the top of the cake. Spread whipped topping over the orange curd mixture and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.