Another Spring Delight

My mother had a dear friend named Alice Moore. Alice and her husband lived in a town nearby and spent many summer vacations with us cruising Georgian Bay and environs on dad's boat. It also happens that Alice was an exceptional cook, which of course was how the friendship got started because so was my mother. They babbled on and on about recipes and entertaining and as a result of their long friendship, I have inherited quite a number of Alice's recipes.
One of Alice's tastiest desserts was a family favorite and we served it often  at Easter because not only does it serve a lot of people but it brings a much needed breath of spring to a gathering. It needs to be refrigerated so it's also a cool, refreshing dessert on a hot summer's day. It used to be simpler to make because years ago the A & P carried a ready-made yet excellent quality orange sunshine cake. Not anymore so you have to make the cake yourself. It's a basic orange sponge cake and really quite easy. The cake is divided into three layers and spread with a lovely mixture of fruit and whipped cream. I decorated it with some of those cute William Sonoma Easter cookies. (Luckily we didn't eat them all before I got them on the cake!)
Alice's Party Cake

Ingredients:1 orange chiffon cake (recipe follows)
1 #2 size can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 packaged instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup marachino cherries, cut up
2-1/2 cups whipping cream

Cut the cake into three even layers. Whip the cream, add the pudding, cherries and pineapple. Layer with this mixture and frost the entire cake. Refrigerate.

Orange Sunshine Cake

6 large eggs, separated plus 1 additional egg white
2 -1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1- 1/2 cups superfine white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil or safflower oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 - 3 large Navel Oranges)
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:Separate the eggs and place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and have ready a 10 inch two piece tube pan (ungreased).

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar (minus 3 tablespoons , baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks, oil, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Beat about one minute or until smooth. In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).

Pour the batter into the ungreased 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. (When lightly pressed the cake will spring back). Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert 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 to 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.

You can store this cake (unfrosted of course) in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or for about a week in the refrigerator. This cake (unfrosted) can also be frozen for a couple of months.


  1. That is RIGHT up my alley. Seems to me I've seen a sunshine cake somewhere, in a store bakery. Regardless, I think I have to make this for Easter!

  2. That does look like springtime on a plate!

  3. Alice is my kinda gal!
    This cake just screams SPRING!

  4. How fun to have the picture of your mother and Alice. My mother had friends like Alice. That cake just jumps out of the picture. Very beautiful presentation.

  5. The ingredients are similar to the Maria Luisa cake from Colombia. It looks delicious.

  6. This looks like pure heaven and it made me even more convinced how much I really need a chiffon cake tin. I love the photo of your Mum and her friend and have to say I admire their courage because just th thought there could be a snake around would paralyse me with fear. I love the plate you served the cake on too - just beautiful!

  7. Beautiful cake and it's perfect for spring! I love the photos that you shared with us!

  8. I have heard about Orange Sunshine Cake for years but have never seen a recipe - terrific!! And I love the story too!

  9. What a great picture of your mom and her friend. I love these recipes that come from family and friends. They're always the best!

  10. Orange sponge cake sounds lovely! It looks so airy and fluffy...just as it should be.

  11. So glad we don't have water snakes here, I love the water, and they'd ruin it for me! Your inverted pan suspended on a funnel in such a clever solution.

  12. So gorgeous! I love the adorable decorations on top!

  13. Chan: They might be available some places, but not here!

    Pam: It is!

    Leslie: Alice was a doll as well as a good cook!

    Sam: I hope they had some good recipes to share!

    Erica: I'm not familiar with that cake. I'll look it up!

    Vanessa: Mother went completely to pieces when she saw one. She was a really good sport to do all the camping and boating we did.

    Lyndsey: Those old photos are such fun to go through! I cherish them.

    Smith Bites: That cake is good with so many other toppings too.

    Kathleen: Alice was a charming hostess and always had fabulous luncheons.

    Joanne: I am partial to those cakes and the reason I have an angel food cake tin is my favorite birthday cake since I was a child is made in one!

    Francesca: Yes, it's the only answer because the cake actually is so high, it would hit the table if you tried to lean it on it's legs.

    Natasha: I ran across those cookies in Wm Sonoma and thought they'd be really cute. I have also used edible flowers and colored marshmallows. So many things you can do with this cake.

  14. The cake sounds so delicious and perfect for Spring. I love the Easter toppings you added!

  15. I love the old Photos! I am not much of a baker (though oddly I have been doing a lot lately) but I think I will give this a try. Looks Great.

  16. Beautiful cake. And I am in love witht he name - Orange Sunshine Cake. What a great way to celebrate spring!

  17. What a fabulous photo!

    Wat a lovely cake, it looks and sounds delicious! Definitely looks like*´¨)
    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ * ƸӜƷ Spring to me!


  18. This looks like the perfect Easter or spring cake! Yum, thanks for sharing this, Barbara! (PS my mother is also terrified of snakes! I'm not as scared of them...but snakes in the water? Eeek, not so much.)

  19. wow what a lovely cake for Easter love the snap of your Mum beautiful place

  20. well. this is pretty much the perfect easter cake, is it not? the name just brings a smile to my face and the components just bring a hunger to my belly. :)

  21. Hi Barbara,

    How lovely to see the photo of your Mother and Alice and what a gorgeous place.
    Love the idea of the orange sunshine cake, such happy connotations and yours looks so pretty with the decorations.

    Happy week

  22. MS: Sonoma always has such cute Easter things!

    Bryan: Your popovers looked excellent. Try the cake!

    Anh: It's a happy cake, isn't it?

    Karyn: Hard to keep everyone's hands off of it to get my photo!

    Phonenix: I don't care for them much either, but after all the scuba diving I have done, I now don't mind eels as much as I used to.

    Rebecca: It was taken in the 60's, but she still looks ready to leap and get away, doesn't she?

    Grace: It is, isn't it? Always thought so but it's super at a summer picnic too.

    Carolyn: Alice and my mother had fun together!

  23. What a wonderful photo of your mother and her friend in such a gorgeous setting! The water is such a gorgeous shade of blue. Eeeeww on the snakes, though.

    Alice's cake sounds absolutely delightful and I'm so exciting to take a copy of her recipe.

  24. what better to celebrate spring than with this cake...yummy!!

  25. I'm with your mother on the snake issue. Your cake is perfect for spring, orange and pineapple are so refreshing.

  26. What a perfect cake to welcome in spring!

  27. Adore cake (a favourite food), so have to try this one. Thank you.

    Was that picture taken with your Dad's awesome camera? Just delightful how real and fresh the colours are and your mom and Alice are beautiful.

  28. Barbara, next time I also want to make my chiffon cake this way, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Those easter decorations on the cake are so cute. What a lovely pic of your mum and I didn't realise snakes could get into boats through the drain..eek!

    (Can't believe Easter is round the corner, haven't even thought about baking anything yet, double eek!)

  30. Susan: It's beautiful country up there!

    Sweetlife: I agree! And it tastes like spring too.

    Mimi: Poor mother! She was such a good sport about it too.

    Deborah: Thanks!

    Clarity: My dad took the photo, but with mother's stero 3D camera. Which was a big deal back then; the pictures come as slides and you see them through a viewer in 3D. I scanned them into my computer.

    Sonia: I like Alice's fruit in the frosting.

    Shaz: Frankly, I doubt snakes could get in that way, but you'd never convince mother of that.

  31. Barbara,
    I agree with Mom, snakes are a drag and this cake is fabu! I have one of these pans I inherited from my mother-in-law. Now I know just what to do with it!
    Thanks for sharing Barbara.
    I always find something terrific here.

  32. I love the story and the photo of your mom and Alice is beautiful. I have a recipe very similiar to this that I do with my classes. It is called a Mandarin Orange Cake and is made with a cake mix. It is actually very good even though I detest cake mixes. I am going to try your recipe. It has to be great. The picture is lovely.

  33. Cute and adorable cake!!

    Barbara, I have something for you at my blog... Please click...

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  34. I have to say, I'd never heard of orange cake until I read this and it looks delicious! Also, we don't use instant pudding much in France other than for, well, pudding. Mixing it with whipped cream to make a frosting is something I'm looking forward to trying!

  35. Barbara> I love your stories. I wish I had been better about saving things like that but I wasn't a foodie for so long (making dirt soup got me banned from the kitchen in perpetuity). You make the food come alive with the history of your wonderful family. The lake looks like heaven and your cake...mmm good.. the orange is a great idea!

  36. waou that's a cake juste like in the book's , I'll like to dive my spoon in to it.
    have a nice day

  37. Gorgeous cake, Barbara! I love chiffon cakes. And the photo of your mom and her friend is fabulous. Lucky you still have it!

  38. Pam: Those pans are perfect for angel food cakes too!

    Wanda: Chiffon cakes are really a snap to make and I love how light they are.

    Kris: Thank you so much for my award!

    Lucie: I think I have one other recipe that uses the instant pudding. What it does is give body to the whipped cream and it will hold up longer in the fridge.

    Deana: Canada's Georgian Bay area is lovely and I spent every summer of my childhood there...and quite a few years after. My children loved it there.

    Evouchette: Chiffon and angel food cakes are delcious!

    Hungry Dog: They were slides and I have boxes and boxes of them!

  39. I love sponge cakes and angel food cakes, but have never made one! I would love a piece of that one!

  40. How cute! I love the cookies on top of it!

  41. What a lovely cake! It does indeed look like springtime on a plate. I'll wager it's delicious.

  42. You are right, we are on the same wavelength for cakes! I absolutely love that picture of your mom and her dear friend on the rocks. That is priceless. The cake looks so refreshing and light...and I love any cake that cools upside down!

  43. What a lovely photograph, Barbara. My family always makes orange-chiffon cake at Easter also, but it's made into a lamb shape. I bet this version is absolutely delicious with the fillings!

  44. OMG! My mother is just turning 80 in 2 weeks and I am doing an angelfood post for and on her. This is beautiful. Thank you so very much. I have awarded you with the beautiful blog award this week. COngratualtions. Stop by to pick it up and pay it forward!
    (You are getting it again!

  45. OMG Barbara this look awesome, really delicious, huggs Gloria

  46. Beautiful!! I also ADORE that plate you served it on!!


  47. Chiffon cakes became my favorite types of cakes when I discovered them; so light and so delicate tasting! Love that cake for spring, I would make it happily (minus the cherries) for any old sunday!

  48. I'm with your mom. No snakes please. Actually, I'm kind of afraid of water too. =/ Beautiful scenery though.

  49. I can imagine how terrifying it is to be in a place full of snakes... That is a lovely cake! Yummy...



  50. Oh my dear Barbara...this is super cute ...ur dear mommy as also the super recipe and those absolutely cutey BIG kitty, ducky and b'fly sprinkles u have,where do u find these ?
    they are really cute and ur cake looks super cute:-)))

  51. I really love the way you made this cake, Barbara. I normally shy away from layer cakes, as I don't like the way I have to cut so much of the risen part off of each layer to properly stack the cakes and have a pretty ending product. This way it just one big cake that gets divided into three. I would imagine one only might have to cut some off the top to get it even, no???
    I might have to try Alice's cake...

  52. What a cake! It looks so light and delicious. Hooray for Alice! I was smiling here about your Mum being scared of snakes, at least we don't have that to worry about in England!- spiders are bad enough ha ha. That is a lovely, happy photo - great memories for you to treasure. Lucie x

  53. That looks wonderful Barbara! I do cutting a slice from a tall cake with layers and this is a beauty! ;)

  54. There is something almost magical about a chiffon cake. It's the kind of dessert Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream would eat. Yours looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post.

  55. This sounds like such a delicious cake for spring! The cookies on top look fantastic.

  56. Barbara, you do make the prettiest desserts, you know! I always find your instructions so easy to follow. Thank you for that! I have to tell you that the picture of your mother and Alice is just so awesome. They are both so beautiful in it.
    Thank you for your sweet message. I get so excited when I see you stopped by. I really enjoy this friendship.
    It's not as fun as sitting together on a rock in the middle of a river, but It's the next best thing.

  57. First of all, WOW, that is what you call paradise! Wow, the scenery is outstanding. WOW.

    The cake is sooo gorgeous! Not only that it looks, gorgeous, loooks soooo delish as well. I want to try this soon and then keep you updated. Thanks Barbara!

  58. The top photo is gorgeous! Love the scene! And the family cake sounds like a truly sunshine to me. Must have tasted really good.
    Have a nice day!

  59. BD: Can't tell you how easy they are!

    Blonde Duck: Try one!

    Mary: It is; everyone loves it!

    Melanie: My mom looks ready to take off, doesn't she? She was!

    Faith: Fun to make it in a lamb shape!

    Valerie: Thanks so much for my award!

    Gloria: Thanks!

    Amanda: I have no idea where I got that plate and only have the one!

    Joumana: No problem leaving out the cherries!

    Jessica: I'm sorry you're afraid of water...snakes we agree on!

    Rosa: Mother was a good sport about spending all summer camping!

    Mia: I got those cute lemon Easter cookies at Williams Sonoma.

    Stella: A sponge cake is big anyway so when you make it 3 layers it feeds a lot of people. Because the frosting is full of pineapple and cherries, it is not smooth so you don't need to worry about cutting the top. (you turn it upside down when it cools anyway, so the bottom is at the top.)

    Lucie: Alice was lots of fun to have along, she was always so cheerful!

    Lorraine: It's a huge cake! You only need skinny slices.

    Valerie: I know... they're sort of light and feminine.

    Lisa: Those cookies were really good!

    June: You are so sweet! I remember the day that photo was taken. Mother was scared to death. It's such a lovely place, it's too bad she always had to worry about seeing snakes.

    Rylan: Yes, it really was paradise. The Georgian Bay area of Canada is lovely.

    Kristy: Exactly. It really is a sunshine cake!

  60. It looks so "springy!" I'm looking for a good dessert for Easter Sunday, and this is going on the list! :)

  61. its so pretty, but i am smitten by the water shot, yet at the same terrifed at water snakes! egads i guess i don't want a boat afterall!

    great post!

  62. That is one great looking cake.

  63. That has got to be one of the happiest names for a cake I've ever heard. Mmmm, cake, cake, cake. I love me some cake. This is mouth watering!

  64. I loved the recipe...so springlike! Great combination of fruits...and the story of your mother and her friend !!
    Un beso,

  65. Good Morning Barbara, your cake is indeed sunshine and so perfect for Easter. I just love how you decorated it, so old fashioned, pretty and charming. Your mother and Alice look beautiful together in such a lovely setting, it is such a great blessing to have had such interesting women in your life!
    Have a happy day

  66. Megan: It's great in the summer too...a cool refreshing dessert after grilling.

    Jain: Well,the water was not crawling with them by any means, but if there was one around, it would have found my mother!

    Chaya: Not chocolate, but just as good!

    Bella: It's a happy cake all right!

    Cristina: This is really an old recipe, but so perfect in the spring.

  67. Old recipes are sometimes much better then new ones,...!!!

    The cake looks fab!

  68. Such a super looking cake, I think I'll give this one a try at the weekend.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  69. What a sentimental post about your mom and Alice. This cake sounds sensational, I adore crumbly orange flavored cakes.

  70. Barbara this cake just makes me want to smile. It reminded me so much of the fabulous desserts that my Minnesotan grandmother or her friends use to make. Her married last name was Moore! I loved the photo of your mom & Alice. It's a beautiful shot & has to be one you treasure? I'm glad for all the lakes I've swam in during my life-time that I never considered snakes..UGH....

    Hoping your week has been lovely an you are doing well. Thanks again for weaving a great story with a great recipe. xx

  71. Love love your cake today..my mom always made me an orange chiffon cake for my birthdays..she always put money in it...I think I will ask my mom to make me one next time I visit. xoxoxo

  72. I came to your for dessert as I just had a salad at Buffy's.
    That cake looks heavenly. I have never had an orange sponge cake. But now I am craving one!

  73. Mmm, the orange paired with some crushed pineapple sounds perfect for a summertime party. What a great post!

  74. Sophie: They may not be the healthiest, but they sure are the best!

    Maggie: It's delicious and fresh tasting. Orange is like that.

    Christine: Alice was well loved and so much fun to be with!

    Simply Life: It is. Sponge cakes are always so light and airy.

    Deborah: I never saw one in the water, but my mother did. They usually scoot away when you're hiking. They don't like us either!

    Koralee: Where did she put the money???

    Ubermouth: Buff is the best!

    Bridgett: It's a tasty combo!

  75. Hi Barbara - first of all, what a beautiful picture of your Mom and her friend. I love the background. And that chiffon cake - I've never seen something so tall!

  76. At one time my family had a cottage on Georgian Bay at Lion's Head. We had a little sailboat and hugged the shore from Collingwood to Tobermory. Your post has brought back such fond memories so I wish I had a piece of this delicious cake to enjoy with my tea.

  77. What a beautiful spot! I love the look of this very Spring-y cake!

  78. Trissa: Georgian Bay is such beautiful country!

    Valli: Tobermory was always our starting off point...been going there since I was a child. No doubt our boat's name is painted on one of those rocks, deep in the water.

    Jan: The cake is light and delicious!

  79. Love the cake! It's great it's being passed down to others too.

  80. This sounds like a wonderful cake. I always like chiffon.

    I love that picture too.

  81. I think the best cakes are the ones we have loved our whole lives. This reminds me of the orange sponge cups my mom made religiously growing up as well as a cake I made for my husband's birthday a few months back adding crushed pineapple and into the cake and whipped cream/mascarpone icing. This sounds delicious; I really do enjoy cakes served cold like this!

  82. Absolutely beautiful post. This case is just so pretty.

  83. Barbara, Just wanted to let you know that I did remember your cake and linked to it in my post yesterday. Thanks for your wonderful comments. Wanda



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