The Chocolate Cake Sagas….Part 1

Dec 14


Eureka! Yreka! Que es muy rica! One could go on and on and loudly praise the wonders of chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate in some form or another?Whether one prefers a favorite dessert-chocolate mousse or chocolate cream pie ; perhaps a luscious chocolate truffle made of a fine Swiss couveture , or just a good simple Hershey’s chocolate bar……chocolate seems to rush to the top of choices for most everyone’s favorite sweets.

When the Europeans came to the New World they brought back with them many wonderful foods. These foods, in many ways changed complete eating habits of some countries. Imagine what the foods of Southern India, Thailand , Burma, and many areas of China and southeast Asia would be today if  chili peppers had not been brought by those early sea travelers? Corn (maize),the potato,bell peppers,vanilla,the lowly peanut (ground nut in Africa),tomatoes and on and on ….have had a tremendous impact on the foods of the world. Those stories are for another time; here and now we want to present our small bit about CACAO BEANS and a saga about some cakes.

It is June and my seventh birthday is coming up. My Mom asks what kind of cake I want,”Chocolate “, I exclaim. ” with orange frosting. Please!” Of course I wanted to help make the cake. My Mom seldom had the time to make a cake from scratch, and since I had been helping her make them and she always started with Betty Crocker mixes , I got to man her trusty   Sunbeam Mixmaster that day( she had been using it for almost 20 years). She always reminded me to whip lots of air into it so the cake was light and tender. The two pans came from the oven and were turned out after a bit of time cooling. She put them on those ancient racks she had to cool all the way.”Do you want your favorite cream cheese frosting, she asked?”My favorite was always her cream cheese frosting; good on any cake if you asked a 7 year old. She put the cheese and some margarine in the glass bowl, it turned until smooth-adding powdered sugar , a bit of vanilla…tasting for flavor. next came some grated orange peel, a small slosh of OJ…more tasting and it was good. “How orange do you really want it?”, she asked. “Really orange, I said.” The bowl started back turning around and I added the food coloring, yellow and red. “Is that enough ?, “no…much more!” This went on until I could see what I wanted.The color that brought a smile to my face was a “day-glo orange” frosting that came shining forth up from that bowl. Mom , always cool, said”so you like this color?”Her face said it all now that I remember the occasion. Her very ‘cagey’ fix for this crazy cake (even more bright after finished cake was frosted) was brilliant. Off we went outside and she had me pick my favorite pansies to help camouflage it’s orange-ness! (Before I forget, I want to thank my friend Julia again for her hard work on recreating my 7 th birthday cake and the use of her wonderful kitchen and her garden…and of course ABBY, for constant K-9 entertainment!)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Frosting
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10-12

This frosting is always received well. It can be made plain or flavored any way you choose. Best to keep the ratio of cream cheese and butter the same for good results.
  • 3 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese-room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter-room temperature
  • 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar (add more or less to get consistency you like)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • grated rind of 2 med. navel oranges (wash first)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice from the oranges
  • orange food coloring as pleases you!
  • Fresh pansy blossoms (optional)

  1. With electric mixer on low, add cheese and butter. Mix to medium until mixture is smooth; while mixer is running add sugar slowly , mixing until fully incorporated.and completely smooth. Add vanilla , mix some more and taste fro flavor and consistency. Add more sugar if needed.
  2. With mixer on low, add orange juice and rind until smooth; taste to see if flavor is what you want.
  3. Place finished frosting in refrigerator until firm enough to frost your cake.
  4. Please Note- Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled so as not to melt your frosting into an ugly pool orange on the table and thus having several hungry cake lovers unhappy and disappointed!!!!!!

I was a kid who loved all the rough and tumble things  that me and my neighborhood fellows did on “the acre”, however, I did love my British Mom’s garden…especially the pansies. I have to admit, after we placed those blossoms over my cake that day, that darn Betty Crocker cake mix looked pretty grand!  NEXT TIMEThe saga continues and more about chocolate cakes and how they change things that go on around us!   (Maybe we will even visit another favorite cake story too?)

A slice of cake and a glass of milk!

My Chocolate Cake with Orange Frosting


  1. I’ll bet lots of folks have stories about eventful chocolate cakes. Fun!

  2. I’ve lost count of the numbers of ways I’ve made that cake! Drizzling the layers with Gran Marnier, spreading then with orange marmalade and topping the cake with chocolate ganache. Using raspberry filling instead of orange. Blackberry jam filling with whipped cream frosting. Baking it in the shape of a heart for Matt’s Valentines birthday. I’ve served it to so many of my friends and neighbors! Thank you, Ross and Belinda for the best cake recipe ever!

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