This super-moist cake, which won the 1950 Pillsbury Bake-Off, has, as Farmer Stew would say, ‘complicated’ flavors–bitter and sweet and then some. I don’t know why it’s called “kiss me”; perhaps because the bitter element causes your mouth to pucker…Make sure to use a thin-skinned orange, otherwise the bitterness dominates. This is a delicious cake!!!!
1 thin-skinned orange
1 c raisins
1/3 c walnuts
2 c all-purpose flour (I use 1 c white and 1 c white whole wheat), plus extra for pan
1 c sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c milk
8 T (1 stick) butter, very softened or melted (plus more for greasing the pan)
2 large eggs
1/3 c orange juice
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c finely chopped walnuts
1 t ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
2. Squeeze the orange to obtain 1/3 cup of juice for the topping. Remove and discard any seeds. Cut the orange halves into smaller pieces, then place them–peel, pulp, all–in a food processor. Add the raisins and walnuts, and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. In a large bowl, or the bowl of the food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, milk, butter, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer or pulse in the processor until combined and moistened; then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed or process for 1 minute.
4. Combine the flour mixture with the orange mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
5. With the toothpick, pierce the cake all over. Pour the orange juice over the warm cake. Stir the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over the warm cake. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares to serve.