This Italian Orange Cake comes from the central region of Italy in an area of 20 districts known as The Marches. The original recipes uses Mistra, an anise flavored liqueur local to the area. Without Mistra, I used the best substitute available – Ouzo, the Greek anise flavored liqueur.
The idea of feeding the cake after it is baked is very familiar to me. With my Caribbean heritage, there is a cake that I make every Christmas. It is our version of fruit cake. After the cake is based, for 2 days the cake is periodically fed with a combination of cherry brandy and rum. It is a drunk cake. While this Italian version is a more sober cake, the feeding results in a soft and moist cake.
In the Italian version, it is traditionally made with juicy blood oranges, which yields a tie die red and yellow cake. Blood oranges here are not as easily to come by and are pretty dry compared to what’s available in Italy, according to my research. In my version, I added a little Blue Curacao, the orange flavored liqueur, to yield a yellow cake with a slight green tinge.
This recipe I adapted from my 1998 version of The Best of the Best, with the original recipe coming from Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Cucina.
This isn’t one of those orange cakes where unless someone tells you, you’d be hard pressed to guess the orange flavor. In this version, the orange flavor slaps you in the face!
If you love Italian treats as much as I, why not try one of these other Italian treats to celebrate Mother’s Day!
- Tuscan Coffee Cake
- Fiorentini – #GlutenFree Chocolate Cookies
- Sbrisolona – Italian Almond Cookie Cake
IN THE MAKING
This cake is so soft and moist – perfect to celebrate any occasion!
…linking to Cookbook Cooking Challenge