feasting with friends

Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake

When you’re off doing your weekly (or daily or monthly) shopping, are you the type of person who “sticks” to a list? Or are you the type of person who is a bit more impulsive? One who purchases what looks or sounds good at the moment?

Food-wise, I tend to head to the store with a haphazard list. It contains a list of the basics we’re running low on or simply out of. A run-down of items needed for the new recipes I’m trying for the week will also grace the list. Sometimes my list is left behind on my kitchen counter…but that’s another story!

Orange Sunshine Coffee CakeI’m not too impulsive in the grocery stores. Until I get to the check-out! That’s where my impulsiveness shines. Mints? Why, yes…I must have mints. Warm, fresh-baked bread? OMG…really…I can’t live without out a loaf! Magazines? How could I make it through the day without the latest Hollywood gossip?

And then, there are the food magazines, recipe collections and pocket sized recipe books! Ugh, they know my type too well!

A recent Saturday I was wooed by “Sift”. A new magazine from the folks at King Arthur Flour. Be still my heart! I snatched it up. :))

Orange Sunshine Coffee CakeThe very next morning I was in my kitchen by eight am…making this delectable coffee cake. Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake! I wonder, is it a “sunshine” coffee cake because it contains orange? Or, because it resembles a sun shining brightly? No matter which, I can say this cake went well with coffee and it certainly brought a bit of sunshine into my day!

I hope this coffee cake brings a little sunshine to the group at this week’s Fiesta Friday, as well. Make some time in your day to stop on over at The Novice Gardener’s and drool over the offerings! If you’re a blogger and you’ve never linked up to the party, there’s no time like the present. Join us! Angie has created a little twist to this week’s party. There will be no official co-hosts helping her out…so, voting on features from the week is open to everyone! Be sure to go back to the Link-up after noon next Wednesday to pick your favorites!

Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


For the Dough:
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg
2¾ cup AP flour (divided use)
2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons salt

For the Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon AP flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons orange zest
3 Tablespoons orange juice

For the Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons orange juice


For the Dough:

  1. Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. When the butter has melted, add the orange juice. All to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, yeast and sugar. When the milk mixture is barely warm, add it to the dry ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to activate.
  3. Once you see some bubbles (the yeast is activated) add the egg, salt and 1¼ cups of the flour. Hold back on the remaining 1/2 cup of flour until you determine if the dough needs it or not. the dough can be hand-kneaded or by machine. (I used my mixer with the dough hood attachment.)
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. If the dough appears/feels too tacky (sticky), add more flour in 2 Tablespoon or so increments until a firm, smooth dough is achieved.
  5. Place the dough in a greased (cooking spray is fine) bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume (about 60-90 minutes).

For the Filling: Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, orange juice and orange zest in a small bowl; mix well and set aside for assembly.

To Assemble the Coffee Cake:

  1. Once the dough has risen for the 60-90 minutes, deflate it by gently punching the dough down. Allow the deflated dough to rest 5 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a (roughly) 12×18-inch rectangle.
  3. Spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on one long side uncovered (for sealing).
  4. Roll the dough, starting from the filling covered long edge, into a log shape.
  5. Place the rolled dough log on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pull the ends around to shape the dough into a circle. Seal (pinch) the dough ends together.
  6. At approximately 1-inch intervals, cut the dough into slits 3/4 of the way through the dough. DO NOT go all the way through. The dough ring remains intact on the bottom.
  7. Gently alternate newly formed rolls (from the slit cutting) to the center of the ring or outside of the ring by pulling/placing them in the appropriate location. The dough will stretch, with encouragement, to where you want them placed.
  8. Cover the cake with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough becomes quite puffy looking (about doubled in size). At about the 20 minute mark of rising time, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  9. When the cake has risen, bake (remove that plastic wrap!) in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the Icing:  While the cake is cooling a bit, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until you have a smooth icing. Drizzle over cake while it is still warm. Slice the ring into serving pieces, or simple pull the rolls from the ring.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Sift, premier issue


    • Thank you, Julie. 🙂 I highly recommend purchasing the magazine. There are many delicious recipes including savory meals. In fact, I have my next “experiment” rising right now!

    • Thanks, Linda! The cake actually made a nice centerpiece on the table… until we destroyed it’s beauty by eating it up! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother making a list…the stores always seem to have “new” items that I must have! It seems at least half of my menu planning goes out the window once I enter a store. 😉

    • Thank you, Justine! It certainly did help to brighten my day and I did find myself humming the song “You are my Sunshine” while it was baking. 🙂

    • Thank you, Julianna. I’m pretty sure you have the required skill set… and then some, to get this cake made! No bravery is required, just an appetite! 🙂

    • Thank you… it does require a bit of time in the morning, but I did have it on the table by 11am or so. It ended up being perfect timing for brunch! 🙂

  1. This is just “art on a plate” Nancy. Bravo to you, how absolutely gorgeous!! I love the shape, truly a burst of sunshine with those pieces jutting out like the sun’s rays. I’m on a quest to improve baking with yeast, so here’s another recipe to try for sure. I baked one of Julie’s breads last week and was quite happy with the results. I keep thinking, if I were to bake this for just my husband and myself, I’d end up eating it all myself…..then I read that you had a gathering at your place, so there were “many” happy mouths and stomachs :)). Truly beautiful! I’ll wait for our next gathering. Happy weekend! 🙂

    • Thank you very much for your kind comment, Loretta. 🙂 The coffee cake is quite delicious – very much like orange flavored cinnamon rolls.
      I saw your English muffin bread – isn’t it a wonderful recipe? I also made it and I was instantly smitten with its wonderful texture and taste! And yes, this is an excellent recipe to make when there are many mouths to feed – it’s just too tempting otherwise!

  2. This coffee cake looks incredible, Nancy! It is so beautiful with its shape, and then all that gooeyness in the middle of the slices – mmmm! Cookbooks are what get me at the store, too. So-hard-to-resist. I think you got your money’s worth out of that one already, though!

    • Thank you so much, Shari. 🙂 I’ll admit, I was scooping up the excess gooeyness from the serving platter with my finger when no-one was looking…shhh!
      I’m so easily seduced at the checkout by the food related material its ridiculous! Happy to hear I’m not alone in being an easy target…

  3. Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook

    Ahhhh this is beautiful!!! I hear you on the grocery store situation- it gets especially out of control if I go there when I’m hungry, which happened the last 2 times in a row and I don’t have enough space to put all of the food! OOPS. Good thing we’re food bloggers or we wouldn’t know what to do with it all! 😉 (So but seriously, this coffee cake is gorgeous!!!)

    • Thank you, Stephanie! Oh gosh…grocery shopping is incredibly dangerous when hungry! Those are the trips I come home with way too many snacks.

  4. Nancy, You are a Sunshine yourself, and now presenting us with a sunshine coffee cake. It is a beauty to look at, and will be a lovely centerpiece for a beautiful tea time. Hmmm, I am going to a potluck tomorrow! 🙂

  5. I’m usually good about impulse shopping, until I hit the ice cream aisle (sigh)… and I’m also a huge sucker for all those food magazines and recipe books! Now my husband on the other hand… will impulse buy alllllll throughout the grocery store. He’s no longer allowed to go by himself or else he spends double the amount we should lol. This coffee cake looks amazing!!!! I’m definitely pinning and making this on a weekend morning 😀 Happy FF!

    • Thank you, Amanda! I always spend more money when my husband is with me! I swear, I can’t let that man out of my sight. And for some reason, it’s not oatmeal or yogurt or fruit that magically appears in our cart…it’s the salty or sweet snacks he tends to favor. 😉
      I hope you get a chance to try this cake out… it was a delicious treat!

  6. skd

    It’s the baking and grocery section where I lose control. I cant keep my hands off new products.
    And whoa! I was never more in need of sunshine than i am now. As you know i am suffering from a freezing writers block 😩

    • Oh, I know…and they always place those new and exciting items in plain sight where they get be missed! Marketing genius’s are at work in the stores. 😉
      I hope my little bit of sunshine pulls you out of your writing slump…worse case scenario… just post a recipe! All your blogging buddies have certainly been in your shoes before and completely understand. 🙂 Though, I must say, I was highly impressed with your poetry today!

    • Hahhah, now that I think about it, I do the same thing Michelle! Only I arrive home to find a half dozen containers still in my fridge from the previous week! Ugh…
      Thank you…yes the magazine paid off ten fold! This cake was delicious and I’ll be trying out another recipe from it this weekend.

    I am more of an impulsive grocery shopper for fresh produce but money “wise” on packaged food. Hardly enter with a plan in my head.
    That bread is gorgeous. Love the flavors going on there. Adorably shaped too. You are increasing my list “to make from Nancy’s”. ❤️❤️❤️

    • I guess shopping can be a dangerous activity for everyone!
      You’re so kind, Sonal…Thank you! This was a great variation on traditional cinnamon rolls flavor-wise. I was very pleased with the shape/presentation. 🙂

  8. Usually when I go grocery shopping at a ‘normal’ store like Meijer I can stick to the script. It’s farmer’s markets that get me in trouble. I come up with a thousand reasons why I HAVE to ‘try’ everything. There’s just something about it being so fresh and organic and homemade that gets me every time. I have to keep away from them sometimes because it just gets to be too expensive lol

    Whoa does this coffee cake look great Nancy- a burst of sunshine in more ways than one. Thanks for bringing to the party; Happy Fiesta Friday 😀

    • Gosh, the farmer’s market has the same affect on me! It’s double trouble when my husband is tagging along. 🙂 And you’re right, the $$$ escalates quickly!

      Thanks, Jess… we had a full house when I made it last weekend and it was eaten with gusto!

I'd love to have your input....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: