This is a really nice moist and tender crumb cake with a very light and spongy texture. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit then butter and flour your cake pan. If you are using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and set that aside. In the stand mixer bowl, add in sifted cake flour and to that add superfine white sugar, baking powder, salt, and freshly grated orange zest then mix all that together for about a minute. Make a well at the center of the dry ingredients and pour in all the wet ingredients starting with the egg yolks, along with flavorless oil.
The oil is what gives this cake a really moist and tender crumb in that even when you put this cake in the fridge it will remain soft. Add in vanilla extract and freshly squeezed orange juice then start mixing both the ingredients on medium speed just until its all incorporated and smooth. Transfer the batter into a large bowl then into the stand mixer you will beat the egg whites and you want them at room temperature because that way they will beat up to their maximum volume.
Beat the egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar which will help stabilize the whites and help them reach their full volume if you don’t have the cream of tartar you can just leave it out. Beat on medium speed just until the whites reach a soft peak then add in the sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until you achieve the stiff peak. Add the whites into the batter in additions using a spatula or a whisk gradually so that you do not deflate the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and into the oven bake for 55 to 65 minutes just until a skewer comes out clean. Turn the cake upside down because it tends to shrink and lose some of its volumes, let it sit that way for about an hour then to remove the cake from the pan, lightly butter a wire rack then use a knife or a flat-edged spatula and run it all the way in the inside edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan.
Press on the bottom to loosen it then pull it up and take a knife and put at the bottom of the plate of the cake and run it along with the inside until you free the cake. Transfer the cake on a plate and serve plain or dusted with powdered sugar.
- 2 cups (240 grams) cake flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar (Sugar 1)
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (from about 2 large oranges)
- 7 large egg yolks (120 grams), at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) vegetable, corn, canola, or safflower oil
- 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams)freshly squeezed orange juice (2 – 3 large oranges)
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
- 8 large egg whites (240 grams), at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar (Sugar 2)
- Separate the eggs while they are still cold. Place the egg yolks in one bowl and the whites (along with the extra egg white) in another.
- Cover with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature (about 30 to 60 minutes).
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and have ready a 10 inch (25 cm) two-piece ungreased tube pan. (Don’t use a nonstick pan).
- In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) place the flour, 1 cup (200 grams) sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
- Beat until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about one minute). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In another clean bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, on medium-low speed, until soft peaks form.
- Increase your mixer speed to high and gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup (100 grams) of sugar (Sugar 2) and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites (in three additions) into the egg yolk batter just until blended.
- Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert (turn upside down) the pan and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan (about 1 1/2 hours).
- To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula around the inside of the tube pan and center core. Invert onto a greased wire rack.
- Serve with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit or dust the top with powdered sugar.