Orange Swirl Coffee Cake

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to ordering the first issue of King Arthur Flour’s magazine, Sift. It was, as you’d expect, fully of gorgeous photography and delicious looking recipes but, after making the Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake from the first issue, I’m underwhelmed.


The recipe in the magazine was full of errors (ingredients calling for orange juice and then the instructions saying “add the water”, etc) and I find so much of the helpful information in the reviews and replies back from KAF on the website. With Sift, you are basically paying (a lot–these magazines aren’t cheap!) for an out of date printed out version of their website. Anyway–the Orange Coffee Cake recipe is available (without all of the errors) on their website for free: King Arthur Flour’s Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake

Even with all the problems I had during assembly because of the errors in the text, this was a delicious and impressive looking cake. Think orange flavored cinnamon roll in cake form. This is described as a spring flavor but I always associate oranges with Christmas and New Years since my family always received a box of oranges from my Grandmother and then, later, my Aunt.

This was received well and it is, as everyone noted, an impressive looking cake even with my fairly novice construction skills. Like many of the online reviewers, I had a problem with the filling leaking out while waited overnight in the fridge. It wasn’t a disastrous event but this cake would be better either with the clear gel called for in the recipe (instead of the suggestion of subbing flour) or baked immediately after the resting phase instead of putting it in the fridge overnight like I did.

The flavor was great and my Mom loved it so I’ll give this another try some day with a better edited recipe and a little more cake shaping experience under my belt.

Orange Swirl Coffee Cake
from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Instant Clearjel
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons grated orange peel (zest)
3 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice

To make the dough: Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the orange juice. When the mixture is barely warm to the touch, mix in the yeast, 1 cup of the flour, and the sugar. Cover the bowl, and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, to give the yeast a chance to get going.

After 10 minutes, the mixture should be showing some bubbles. Mix in the egg and salt. Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until cohesive. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; use the remaining 1/4 cup flour for your hands as you knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. It should be soft, smooth, and supple.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

To make the filling: Combine the sugar, Clearjel, cinnamon, orange zest, and juice to form a spreadable paste.

To assemble the coffeecake: Deflate the risen dough and pat it into a rectangle. Cover it with greased plastic and let it rest for 5 minutes. After this rest, roll it into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Spread the filling over the rectangle, leaving 1/2″ along one long edge uncovered. Roll the dough up (starting at a long edge) toward the opposite uncovered edge. Pinch the seam to seal, then transfer the log to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pull the ends around to form a circle; pinch the ends together.

Cut slits about 1 1/2 inches apart, three-fourths of the way toward the center of the ring. Lay the rings on their sides to overlap, or twist alternating slices to the inside and outside of the ring, as shown in the recipe’s photo. **I simply stretched these apart rather than try to twist them** Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until quite puffy-looking. After 20 minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

When the coffeecake is almost doubled, remove the plastic. Put the cake into the preheated oven, and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

When the cake is lukewarm, combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the top before serving.


2 thoughts on “Orange Swirl Coffee Cake

  1. I always enjoyed your blog posts about your baking, but for some time now I can’t see the photos anymore. I don’t eat gluten anymore, but still like to look at baked goods. 🙂


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