I have a confession to make. I adore European cakes. I love their spongy texture, I love that they’re usually soaked with some delicious syrup or filling, and most of all, I love that they’re just sweet enough without going over the top. This Swedish recipe for orange torte with whipped cream has been in my family since the 1960s, and I have to share it with you. It’s a light, refreshing classic you’ll want to enjoy at least once or twice a year.
This torte starts with two layers of citrus sponge cake. The “torte” distinction comes from the facts that only a cup of flour is used, and there’s no leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder. Instead, the cake gets its fluffiness from air that gets incorporated into the batter as you beat…and beat…the egg yolk-and-orange mixture for 10 minutes. Then you’ll beat egg whites and sugar into soft peaks and fold everything together before baking.
Then comes my favorite part — the filling. It’s like a delicate citrus cloud, thanks to more beaten egg whites that get folded with a blend of fresh orange juice, sugar and orange zest. Yum!!! This divine fluffiness gets spread atop each cake layer so that it will be absorbed (ideally overnight). Then, fresh, vanilla whipped cream gets added to the center and applied to the sides and top of the stacked cake layers. Perfection, I tell you.
If you love oranges, orange juice, or anything citrus, you need to try this orange torte with whipped cream. It’s special enough for holidays like Easter, or for birthdays and company. It’s not a quick recipe, but good things come to those who wait (or those who ask someone else to make it).
(Recipe Source: Barely adapted from Mom, who got it from a friend she met in her Italian Club when she first came to America. The original source is unknown, but was likely a magazine.)