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 so much, Cindy! I hope you find many recipes to satisfy your taste buds. I LOVE the fact that you chose this recipe to send greetings from The Sunshine State! 😎 Happy New Year!

  1. This glorious winning wreath looks smashing but Why do you call this a coffee cake when there is not any coffee in it? I must make this soon,…Yummmmm! 😉

  2. Kala

    I found that the filling was a little too runny. Is that normal? It didn’t look like your consistency up top at all…

    • I’m sorry to hear that! My filling oozed out a little bit during baking, but I wouldn’t consider it runny. When you say the consistency was different on top, do you mean the dough or the filling? My filling was very thick, like a paste, before baking.

  3. Lots of lovely sunny orange in your cake, and great shape Nancy! Very tempting! 🙂 I make lists to go shopping too, by the way. And I’m not sure where some of them end up but they don’t always make it as far as the shops either! 🙂

    • Thank you, Lilli. 🙂

      I’m happy I’m not the only that suffers from missing list syndrome. However, I do find, that once I write down what I need… it is fresher in my mind. So even if I do forget the list at home, I still manage to purchase the majority of what I need. 🙂

    • 🙂 All the credit goes to King Arthur Flour for the naming rights. It was extremely good, and sunshine =Vitamin D, right? So, it must be good for me too!

  4. YUM! So cool that King Arthur has a magazine! I have to check it out! Your pictures and story are awesome. I bet this cake tastes, and smells as good as it looks! Cheers!

  5. This coffee cake looks so good, Nancy! I try to stick to my grocery lists, but inevitably I get sidetracked and make impulse purchases. If I had seen the King Arthur Flour magazine, I probably would have bought it, too! 🙂

    • Thanks, Nancy! The increasing size of the grocery stores in my area is part of my problem. It seems the bigger the store, the more impulsive purchases in my cart! The KAF magazine was definitely a good pick. 🙂

  6. I would try this method to shape the ring next time I bake bread with sweet filling! It looks so good! As I am not familiar with the term ‘coffee cake’, I was looking for a ‘coffee’ in the ingredients list. How silly! I did the same thing when I saw a recipe of ‘Blueberry coffee cake’ in a book written by American chef. 😉

    • Hahhah… I can see your confusion! It’s called coffeee cake because it typically is served with coffee. 🙂 It’s usually served in the morning hours (though I’ll happily eat it anytime!).

      I hope you give the procedure a try, the results make for a very nice presentation. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment!

  7. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #57 | The Novice Gardener

  8. I like how you formed your coffee cake Nancy, just makes me want to pull out a piece! Love the citrus flavor throughout. I have not seen the new magazine from KAF. I was a long time subscriber to their Baking Sheet and they said they would be coming out with something new. Thanks – I will be looking for it 🙂

    • Thanks, Judi! Once I figured out the directions, the cake was a breeze to form. 🙂 I highly recommend picking a copy of the magazine up (I purchased mine at Hiller’s). There are many delicious looking recipes in the first issue – enough to keep me busy until the next issue arrives!

      • I was out shopping today and looked at Busch’s and Little Professor Book Store and they did not have it. Hillier’s is over in Ypsilanti so I probably won’t get over there any time soon. So, I just ordered it from KAF- they are real quick to send things out. I order a lot of stuff from them, they draw you in with their recipes and then of course you have to buy certain ingredients, pans, etc. 🙂

    • How lucky that you grew up with a mom who loved to bake treats like this… the coffee cakes and strudels in my childhood home tended to come from a cardboard box! This cake had a certain specialness about it… Thank you, Arl!

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