Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Orange coffee cake a delicious treat

This column first ran in August 2005.

I’m always cutting recipes off cake mix boxes, pasta boxes and the paper insert of graham cracker crusts.

The recipes always look so tasty.

But after sampling a slice of orange streusel loaves made by my co-worker Thea Simpson last week, I was surprised to find she got the recipe from the side panel of a box of Duncan Hines orange supreme cake mix. I would have guessed the loaf was made from scratch.

Thea had made two loaves of the quick bread for a meeting at work. I quickly spotted the loaves — one made with nuts, one without — when I walked into the conference room and hoped I’d be offered a slice. And I was.

The bread had a wonderful, fresh orange taste and immediately perked up my taste buds and my spirits. I had a slice with the nut-laden streusel filling and knew, immediately, that I must make that recipe for my family — and, in turn, share it with my readers. I made my two loaves Monday night, and they were a hit with my family and the friends I shared with the next morning.

Thea said she’s been making orange streusel loaves for a long time and always keeps an orange supreme cake mix and box of vanilla instant pudding on hand so she can make the recipe whenever she wants.

The recipe suggests cooking it in two loaf pans, but Thea said it works just as well in one Bundt pan. When she makes it in a Bundt pan, she said she often pours half the batter in the pan, tops it with the streusel filling, then adds the remaining batter.

She’s also made the cake using Lemon Supreme cake mix and lemon juice in the drizzle, and says that variation is especially good in the summer.

The day after I sampled her orange loaf, I confessed to Thea that I had come close to going to the grocery store at 9 o’clock the night before to purchase the ingredients and bake my own orange streusel Loaves right then. I craved a slice that much. She laughed and told me that she had come close to coming back to work late that same night to retrieve the leftovers she had left at the office.

It’s that good.

Orange Streusel Loaves
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe orange supreme cake mix, reserving 2 tablespoons of mix
  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons reserved cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

For streusel topping, place 2 tablespoons cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon and margarine in a medium bowl and mix with a fork until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Set aside.

For cake, combine remaining cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Sprinkle with streusel mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Loosen loaves from pans. Invert onto cooling rack. Turn right side up. Cool completely.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar and liquid (milk or orange juice) in small bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

Makes 2 loaves.

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