1-2-3-4 cake with orange creamsicle icing

Well, here we are.  Isolated, secluded, quarantined or social distancing, it’s all the same thing.  Sitting at home with more time on my hands than is natural means I have to face chores.  That means pulling the patch of weeds growing quite happily amongst the palm trees behind the jacuzzi.  No one’s stopping me from cleaning the pool filter either.  Or spray washing the brick paths.  And the pool deck.  I could also get the seeds started that I recently bought in Puerto Rico.  There’s always this blog that forever seems to be behind schedule with my posts.  Unfortunately I’m easily distracted.  Oh, look!  Is that a Hallmark movie?  Then there’s always nap time time to fall back on.  Sigh.  But, on the bright side, I can pull out tried and true recipes and share them with you.  Okay, everything you just read I wrote 2 days ago.  I took a little break and did some weeding in the palm trees behind the jacuzzi.  Worked on the pool a bit and trimmed back a ton of foliage growing around the pool.  Did the cooking, a photo shoot, wrote and finished a whole different post for the blog.  How’s THAT for putting off this post? I tell myself, “It’s okay.  I am doing everything I’m supposed to be doing during these uber weird times and with a smile on my face.”  Plus I’m keeping an eye out for my elderly neighbor I told y’all about a couple of posts past.  “I will not worry about tomorrow, next week or next month.  I have peace and I WON’T let it go.”  I just saw some official from Spain on BBC news who all but said, “It’s the end of the world!”.  No!  As the worry began to roil in my chest I thought, “No!”  I am in charge of my peace and I refuse to let it go.  And if it’s slipping, well, I’ll just have to interrupt my husband and he’ll talk me off the ledge, sweetly, too.  I guess that’s why I took a two day break from writing. When I’m busy, moving about outside or baking and cooking inside, my mind and body are occupied and focused.  But I have to remember, I have peace and I choose to try my hardest to keep it in my hot little hands.  I guess that’s my mantra.  Actually I have two. One is “God is in control.” The other is “I have peace.”  Maybe it’s queer, maybe it’s silly but these are the times, as Filch murmurs in Harry Potter, that you “Got to have your wits about you, eh?”  Everyone reacts differently during troubled times but it costs nothing, NOTHING, to say “good morning”, “how you doin?” or thank you.  We don’t know what hurdles the lady in front of us in the grocery line has to deal with.  I have a neighbor who not only has her husband and daughter at home but also has her diabetic mother and two handicapped friends living in her Victoria Park bungalow.  And let’s don’t forget a handful of dogs and cats.  I ran into this neighbor at our neighborhood Winn Dixie, where, by the way, the employees are a thousand times sweeter and friendlier than the surly associates at Publix.  FYI Publix you done dropped the ball.  Anyway, I mentioned I was looking for toilet paper for an elderly neighbor and do you know she texted me later in the day to let me know Winn Dixie was getting a truck in that day and it was loaded with paper products?  Yep.  How considerate that was of her.  Kindness begets kindness.  So here’s a little snacking cake, easy as pie to make, that your family AND neighbors will love.  It’s an old fashioned recipe… been around forever.  You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  If you have children why don’t you teach them how to bake this little gem?  It could be their science lesson for the day.  While the cake’s in the oven you can read them a book.  Play a game of Scrabble and you can call it a vocabulary lesson.  There’s a myriad of activities we can enjoy while helping and caring for others.  So spread the love, not the germs!

I had such a good time baking this cake, y’all.  It’s all sunshine and beach vibes.  With no time constraints, I had all the time in the world, I totally played with the cake and the icing, tweaking her and there.  This is a basic butter and vanilla cake which can be baked in a 9×13-inch pan, 2 9-inch round pans or 3 8-inch round pans.  It’s moist and sweet but not too sweet.  The cake has a lovely crumb as a yellow cake should and is so quick and easy to put together.  This icing, y’all, is a dream come true.  Seriously.  It tastes exactly like the orange creamsicles we ate as children.  Make certain you sift the confectioner’s sugar before mixing into the butter-cream cheese.  Any lumps you have in the sugar will not dissolve into the icing… ever!  And you want it smooth so don’t leave out this step.  It only takes a second.  The recipe makes quite a bit of icing but it’s enough to crown this cake with a thick, creamy coat of orange and cream cheese deliciousness.  Perfect as a birthday cake or a cake to share with your neighbors… at a distance.  Bake it, y’all.  You’ll be so glad you did.

1 2 3 4 Cake with Orange Creamsicle Icing

  • Servings: 1 9 by 13 inch cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, I used 1 small can of evaporated milk plus a few tablespoons of water to complete the come.  Saving my fresh almond milk for my morning coffee during these… troublesome times.
  • 2 tablespoons cream, coffee creamer is just fine as long as it’s plain or vanilla flavored
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.  Spray a 9×13-inch pan with vegetable spray.  Line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. To a large bowl add butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  5. Stir vanilla extract into milk.
  6. Add flour mixture in thirds to batter adding half of milk in between flour additions.  Begin and end with flour. Mix each addition until just combined.
  7. Transfer batter to baking pan.  Smooth top of batter with a spatula making certain to fill all corners.
  8. Bake cake 35-40 minutes.  Cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  9. Cool cake completely prior to icing.  If not icing, cool 15 minutes prior to serving.
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated orange zest, that’s about 1 large navel orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 1/3 cups SIFTED confectioner’s sugar
  1. In a medium size bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add orange zest and juice and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar, beating well until there are no lumps and icing is smooth.
  4. Ice cake and serve.
  5. Store remaining cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


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