A crumbly combination of brown sugar and pecans makes a thin bottom crust for this cake, and a small amount of cornmeal adds texture to the batter. If there is any juice left in the plate after slicing the oranges, spoon it over the cake.
|1½||tablespoons light brown sugar|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter, melted|
|3||tablespoons pecans, chopped|
1. In a bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar.
2. Add the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the pecans and toss well.
|Butter (for the pan)|
|⅓||cup yellow cornmeal|
|1¼||teaspoons baking powder|
|½||teaspoon baking soda|
|½||cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature|
|1||cup granulated sugar|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|Grated rind of 2 navel oranges (reserve the fruit)|
|1||cup heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until it holds soft peaks|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment cut to fit; butter the paper. Sprinkle the crumb mixture into the pan.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them.
3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and orange rind.
4. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, blend in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, peel off and discard the parchment paper, and turn the cake right side up; leave to cool completely.
6. Remove the rind and pith from the oranges with a slender serrated knife. Set the oranges on a plate and slice across the sections to make thin slices. Serve the cake with oranges and whipped cream.