Whole Wheat Orange Bundt Cake

Despite all of the sugar I’ve been posting about lately, I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  I’ll have a bite of something sweet, enjoy it, and then be done.  I’ll make a batch of cookies, eat one, and then give the rest away.  I absolutely love to bake, but I’m not really into eating the stuff.  However, this cake?  This cake was a problem.  I kept sneaking bites from the fridge — it was calling out to me.  When I have trouble resisting a dessert, that means it is good.

This cake is moist, not overwhelmingly sweet (giving you the perfect excuse to eat it for breakfast!), orangey, and delicious.  And, since it’s made with whole wheat flour, it’s practically health food!  You need it in your life.  Trust me on this one.

Whole Wheat Orange Bundt Cake (Adapted from VegKitchen)

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Oil and flour a 12-cup bundt pan very thoroughly.  I repeat: oil and flour.  I only oiled the pan the first time I made this cake, and it broke into a million pieces when I tried to flip it out.  More on that mini-disaster later.

Sift together the dry ingredients over a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Stir together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and pour the wet mixture into the dry.  Whisk just to combine, being careful not to overmix. (And be super careful not to drop your camera into the bowl while clumsily trying to get an action shot.)

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and tap it on the counter a couple times to get rid of the air bubbles.

Bake on the middle oven rack for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is light golden brown and a tester comes out mostly clean.  It was perfect at exactly 45 minutes in my oven.

Cool completely in the pan before flipping onto a wire rack.  Pray to the cake gods that it comes out in one piece.  If your pan was floured well enough and the cake is completely cool, it should come out easily.  Rejoice!  Otherwise, well, follow my lead and turn your giant bowl of crumbs into a small army of cake balls.

For the cake that did turn out, I made a simple glaze out of powdered sugar and orange juice.  A drizzle of chocolate ganache would be fabulous on this cake, too.  That’s probably what I’ll do next time.  Bundt cakes are great in that they look sophisticated without any complicated decorations.  I don’t like buttercream, so maybe I should just start making all my cakes in bundt form.

Whoever invented cake balls was a genius.  I seem to spend a lot of my kitchen time doing damage control, so I appreciate ideas for turning failures into successes.  Sometimes cakes just don’t turn out, and cake balls save the day every time.  Often, they even end up being more impressive than than the original cake ever would have been.  I love that.

Most cake ball “recipes” will tell you to add a can of frosting to the cake crumbs to make everything stick together.  I guess that makes sense if you have a ridiculously dry cake, but I’ve never had to add extra moisture.  I just clump the crumbs together and roll into balls (a 1-inch cookie scoop works great for this!).  Refrigerate.  Dip in melted chocolate.  Laugh when everyone raves and begs for the recipe.

The cake that became these balls had chocolate chips in it (but was otherwise the same as the above recipe), so there’s all kinds of chocolate going on here.  Chocolate, good.  Broken cake, bad. Chocolate covered broken cake, very good.

(And yes, those are vegan chocolate sprinkles!  I found them during my great vegan sprinkle hunt.  Awesome!  I’m amassing quite the collection.  What else can I put sprinkles on?!  How about broccoli?  Tofu.  Healthy foods, healthy foods, healthy foods…)

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10 Responses to Whole Wheat Orange Bundt Cake

  1. Hi Ashley,
    I am so happy to have found your blog via Nava Atlas who alerted me to your post of the making of my Orange Bundt, per my book, website, and her Vegkitchen.com. The cake balls-agreed, genius in every way. I wanted to point out the possibility of sticking to pan in case someone, including you, might not want to make cake balls next time. Per the note in my book (where this recipe appeared first), More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Natuarlly, and Nava’s post: here is a tip: oil the pan well.
    and Troubleshooting: If your cake does not release from the pan.
    If the cake sticks to the pan when it is inverted on the rack, wet a kitchen towel in hot water, wring it out, and place it over the inverted pan for few minutes. Shake pan gently to release the cake.

    Thanks for sharing. I am now subscriped to your terrific blog!

    • Ashley says:

      Thanks for the great recipe! Unfortunately, your kitchen towel trick didn’t work for me. Flouring the pan, however, made it come out nicely.

  2. June S. says:

    This cake looks delicious. Have you tried making it substituting something for the oil? I’d like to try but not sure what to use. Any ideas?

  3. chefshellina says:

    Delicious- I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Charissa says:

    Funny, I’ve never really heard of cake balls! But this is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I’m just like you. I don’t eat too many sweets, but if there’s something particularly delicious, I can’t help but nibble. Thank goodness I don’t have your bundt cake in my apartment right now or else I think I’d be eating that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweets-for-saturday-10.html

  6. Yanic Arsenault says:

    Amazing! What a wonderful recipe. I was so antsy about it being vegan… I can’t believe how moist it is without any eggs or milk! Wonderful…

  7. About “Vegan baked goods get such a bad rap for being dry and cardboardy.” Funny, no one ever says, that conventional cake was dry…tasteless…awful…disappointing. When I left the conventional pastry kitchen in the late 80’s, vegan baked goods were nearly all dry, cardboardish, or gummy and brown. Add to that the cakes being passed off as chocolate cakes and we can understand why the general consideration was that vegan desserts = yuk, why bother. We have come a long way. Today’s offerings are not our grannies vegan baked goods! And just as is the case with conventional desserts, not every single one is a home run. But they can be and when made carefully, following foundational pastry techs and a good recipe, vegan baked goods are consistently FABULOUS, and unless you tell, no one knows!

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