Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites

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Eeeck! I’m late to this week’s Fiesta Friday! I have been uber busy this week, what with our yearbook deadline coming up on Monday. This is my first year putting together the school yearbook, and although it has been great fun, it has also been loads of work! I’ve been running around like a mad woman this past week trying to get last minute photos and personal quotes from the students and staff. Everyone has been extra supportive and a few camera shy students even let me take their photos!

Anyhow, here is what I’m bringing to the party this week: Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites. I was at the store a few weeks ago and saw these funny looking oranges:

Sumo Orange Pound Cake

They were listed as Sumo oranges and were going for $3.99/lb. Since I had already paid and was on my way out, I didn’t purchase any, but I Googled them when I got home. Apparently Sumo oranges were first developed in Japan over 30 years ago by a man who wanted a hybrid of Japanese Satsumas and California oranges. The official website boasts that Sumo oranges (named after the top knot worn by sumo wrestlers) are “quite probably the sweetest citrus you’ll ever eat” and I became giddy with excitement at the thought of trying them.

Well, color me disappointed because they were quite probably NOT the sweetest citrus I have ever eaten. Now, I know I can be picky (I don’t think Cuties and Halos are sweet at all), but I’ve had honey tangerines much sweeter than these sumos. Plus, I guess I expected more from nearly $4/lb. oranges. Oh well. I guess that’s why they went on sale this last week for $2.49/lb. I shoulda held out!!

Anyhow, the silver lining is that I made good use of them by trying them out in a new recipe. When life gives you sour oranges, bake them into a cake and all will be well. These little orange pound cake bites were delicious. But also dangerous because it’s so easy to pop a few (dozen) in your mouth without even realizing it. The staff at work seemed to enjoy them. They were so tasty I received another marriage proposal from a colleague. There’s a running tally of which recipes are marriage proposal quality. So far there are four!

Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar (I used organic cane)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange rind, grated
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

Cake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter mini muffin tins and set aside.

Sift  2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl add 1 2/3 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 8 oz. cream cheese. Using a mixer beat at high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add 2 large eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1/4 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons orange rind, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. The batter should be smooth and thick at the end.

Spoon the batter into the mini muffin tin and bake 15-18 minutes (depending on the size of your tin), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with only a few moist crumbs on it.

Let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Icing:

Bring 1/2 cup orange juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the grapefruit juice is reduced to about 3-4 tablespoons.

Stir in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. Spoon over the mini pound cakes and garnish with leftover orange zest.

Two out of the three oranges were extra juicy.
Two out of the three oranges were extra juicy.
These are so fun to eat!
These are so fun to eat!
Mmm...glaze...
Mmm…glaze….