This cake is a take-off on Maida Heatter's Famous Florida Lime Cake. As her daddy, Gabriel Heatter, used to say on the radio a long time ago, "there's good news tonight" when you serve this velvety, tart tangerine cake. It's also wonderful made the original way with lime zest and juice and an extra kick of lime oil. Sweetened whipped cream rounds out the flavor and texture.
Fine, dry bread crumbs, for coating pan
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon tangerine (or lime) oil, optional
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large or jumbo eggs
1 tiny drop yellow (or green) food coloring, optional
1 cup milk
Finely grated zest of 3 tangerines (or limes)
1/2 cup tangerine (or lime) juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon tangerine (or lime) oil, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly butter a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle the pan with the bread crumbs.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and oil until soft. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Tint with the tiniest drop of food coloring, if using.
On the lowest speed, alternately add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions with the milk in two additions, scraping the bowl as necessary, beating just to mix after each addition.
Stir in grated citrus zest by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, pouring half the batter on one side of the tube pan and half on the other. Level the top by briskly rotating the pan back and forth.
Bake the cake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack, 10 to 15 minutes.
Now prepare the glaze. Stir the fruit juice, sugar and oil in a bowl just to mix.
Place a cake rack over the tube pan and invert the cake onto it. Place the rack over a large sheet of foil.
Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze all over the warm cake, until completely absorbed. Brush on any glaze that has dripped onto the foil.
Let the cake cool completely. Using a flat-sided baking sheet or a very large spatula, transfer the cake to a round platter or cake plate. Let the cake stand loosely covered with plastic wrap for several hours, so that the glaze has time to penetrate to the interior of the cake. When ready, the cake will be completely dry. Cut into slices to serve.
NOTES: The batter for the cake can also be baked in two loaf pans.
The cake freezes well. But glaze it after defrosting so that it will be freshly moistened.