on the menu ~ orange, naked cake

On the menu - orange  naked cake

I don’t have much orange in my decor this Fall but I am all about this orange, naked cake!

On the menu - orange  naked cake1

I have been wanting to make this for awhile and today was the day, which was perfect timing since we celebrated Mr. M’s birthday.
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. I will be the first to admit I am not a full fledged baker by any means but I do dabble a bit. Plus my daughter loves to bake and she always inspires me.

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Since I am not above taking short cuts, I used a boxed orange cake mix for this but I did make my own homemade butter cream frosting.  I also dried the orange peels.  The cake mix was actually super yummy and even Mr. M commented on the orange peel flavor.  Unfortunately I couldn’t take any credit.  Thank you Duncan Hines.

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I used one boxed cake mix which yielded two 9-inch pans.  I refrigerated the cake{s} over night since I read somewhere that it’s better for frosting this way.  I took the cakes out of the fridge to let them temper to room temperature a bit when I was ready to frost them, slicing them horizontally in half to create a layered look.  You can also bake two boxes if you want your cake layers to be thicker but that was way too much cake for me right now.

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Once I sparingly frosted the cake to create that “naked” look, I decorated it with dried orange slices, fresh blackberries and sage leaves.

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To dry the orange slices I simply baked them in my oven for about 4-5 hours at 170 degrees {the lowest setting for my oven}.  I placed them on a rack on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper although the latter was not necessary since they did not drip at all.

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There are varied steps to bring this cake together but nothing is super complicated and it’s well worth the effort.  It’s so pretty and quite delicious too.

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A trick I learned from a baker at my local Safeway years ago when I baked my kiddos’ birthday cakes, is to substitute milk instead of water for boxed cake mixtures.  This yields a moister and richer cake, which I have done it ever since.  The box instructions call for water, just simply replace the exact same quantity with milk.  I use whole milk since that’s what my family drinks so I am not quite sure how a 2% or skim milk would do, but it’s got to be better than water, right?

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I decorated the cake with a Fall vibe but you could do an orange cake for Spring | Summer, using dried oranges, fresh berries plus eucalyptus, fresh flowers, etc.  For the winter I think I would do a chocolate ganache since orange & chocolate are such a classic combination.

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I handed Lexi, Miss M, the bag full of accumulated birthday candles we have kicking around  in the drawer and this is what she came up with to celebrate her dad’s 54th birthday.  I thought it was so clever.  I love the fact that we recycled a candle from when one, if not both, of the kids’ turned 5. 🤣

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This had inspired me and I am looking forward to doing a bit more baking than usual this holiday season.  Bon Appetite!
“Cakes are like books, there are new ones you want to read and old ones you want to reread.”
~Ellen Rose~


  1. This beautiful cake looks so yummy! I’ve wanted to make a “naked” cake for a while. I love to bake! Funny how you used the “5” candle and 4 single ones! Great save! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm, Pinned! xo Kathleen

  2. Naush Samama says:

    What a darling cake ! And I love how cleverly you added candle 5 with 4 other single candles !
    Thank you for dropping by at Meraki Link Party.

  3. I love orange cakes!! This looks so good! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

  4. Thanks so much Kathleen. You should totally make one. They are super fun and I hope to better my technique, Yes, my daughter is the one that came up with the candle arrangement and I thought it ws super clever. XO- MJ

  5. Thanks so much Naush. Yes my daughter was the clever one with the birthday candle arrangement. Love visiting your lovely party every week. XO- MJ

  6. Thanks so much- that’s a super compliment coming from you. I don’t do a ton of food posts but when I do I love to join Fiesta Friday. XO- MJ

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