Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Fancy Fruit

with 2 comments

I don’t think I’ve ever met a fruit I didn’t like. Some of my favorite memories are of me, my mom, and my sisters standing over the kitchen sink armed with forks, attacking a red juicy summer watermelon. Or a colander full of fresh blueberries. As a kid I was strictly an apple, banana, grape girl. I never tired of the green granny smith, so crisp and sour and sweet, tucked into my lunch all the way through school (thanks, Mom!). I always loved coming home and reaching into the fridge for a handful of grapes. Evan seems to have inherited this trait… no grapes are safe in this house once he gets off the school bus.

Citrus fruit is something I look forward to every winter season, but for some reason the best oranges, tangerines, and clementines (I could devour my weight in clementines) are found on my mom’s kitchen counter. She has a knack for picking THE BEST fruit. You want sweet strawberries in January? Or a perfect pineapple in February? My mom has them.

And this year I should have let my mom pick out the tangerines, because every single one I’ve brought home has been a great big disappointment. I hate to throw food away. I use every scrap of leftover everything up because I don’t like to waste food. Wasting good fruit is a crime worth severe punishment! But I could not bring myself to peel one more seedy, unsweet, let-down of a tangerine.

I tried unsuccessfully to send the tangerines to work with Chad. After I found a pile of uneaten citrus in the cupholder and threw him a questioning glance he said (with pleading puppy dog eyes in a honey-don’t-take-this-the-wrong-way sort of voice), “Will you please not send anymore tangerines? They’re just not good.”


So the pile of tangerines sat in a pretty bowl on the kitchen table. They sat and sat and sat. I thought about tossing them. I couldn’t do it.

Then it came to me. Tangerine cake.

So I smashed the unworthy fruit and made it fancy.


Totally Tangerine Cake


1 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1 package of instant lemon pudding

juice from 6-8 tangerines (or any other offensive sort of orange that has let you down), about 3/4 cup; you could also just use orange juice if you’re not mad enough at the fruit to smash it

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon lemon extract

8 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons softened butter

1 teaspoon orange zest or tangerine zest (optional)

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

To Make

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter two 9″ round cake pans. In a large bowl mix together the yellow cake mix, lemon pudding, tangerine juice, vegetable oil, lemon extract, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Distribute evenly between the two round cake pans and then bake for 35-40 minutes. The top of the cake will look a little dark. Don’t worry. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth. Gradually add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar and continue beating until your frosting is creamy and has no lumps.

I only frosted the top of each cake and stacked them together. You’ll have enough to frost down the sides, but I like the thick creamy cheese frosting stuffed mostly in the middle of the spongy tangerine cake. It’s your call.

And let this be a warning to all fruit that decides to not live up to my standards: if you do not taste good, you WILL become dessert.


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

January 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

Posted in Sugar

Tagged with , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Wow. This sounds delicious. I’m ashamed at how much food I waste 😦 ….

    Pam Wolfe

    January 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

  2. Any citrus cake is delicious to me. I bet yours is super good!


    January 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm

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