While it’s hard to improve upon one of your mom’s best cakes, I think this comes close as a very suitable equal. (Yes, even she approves!) The secret to a tender crumb is the addition of club soda — the carbonation acts as a leavening agent.—Jennifer Appel
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup club soda (not seltzer)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add the flour in thirds, alternating with the club soda, beating after each addition until smooth. Add the vanilla, zest, and liqueur and mix well.
4. Pour two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, take the cocoa powder and 1 cup of the remaining batter and mix together until smooth. Spoon this mixture into the pan. Cover with the remaining batter bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes until golden brown, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe © 2001 by Jennifer Appel. All rights reserved.