Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brown-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba happily ran amok through the garden this year.

While looking for info on the plant, I found a cake. Apparently flower inspired desserts were all the rage in the 50's. The cherryful Pink Azalea Cake sounds pretty and delicious, but not very seasonable. Let's celebrate the end of summer with an orange and chocolate Brown-Eyed Susan Cake.

Brown-Eyed Susan Cake


2/3 cup soft shortening (1/2 butter For flavor)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 squares chocolate
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. orange extract
1 1/2 tbsp. orange rind, finely grated
1/4 tsp. yellow food coloring


4 tbsp. sweet butter
3 tbsp. cream
3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. orange rind, finely grated
orange juice, just enough to make orange frosting easy to spread
2 Squares chocolate; melted
rich milk or cream, to make chocolate frosting glossy and easy to spread.


1. Grease and flour 2 - 9" layer pans.
2. Cream shortening, butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Beat eggs in thoroughly.
4. Sift together: flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Stir in alternately with 1 cup milk.
6. Divide batter into two parts.
7. Into 1 part, blend: chocolate, baking soda, and milk.
8. Blend into other part: orange extract, orange rind, and food coloring.
9. Drop the chocolate and orange batters alternately by spoonfuls into prepared pans.
10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or til tests done.


1. Heat sweet butter and cream in saucepan.
2. Stir in confectioner's sugar.
3. Divide frosting in half.
4. To smaller amount, add the orange rind, orange juice, just enough to make easy to spread.
5. To larger amount, add: chocolate - melted, rich milk or cream, just enough to make glossy and easy to spread.
6. Spread some of the chocolate frosting between layers and the orange frosting around sides scalloping the top edge.
7. Sprinkle grated orange rind and clusters of shaved chocolate over the top of the cake to give effect of a field of Brown-Eyed Susans.

Baking purists please stop reading now... here's an idea - a boxed yellow cake mix could speed up the process if a person wanted to give the B-ES cake concept a try with a smaller time commitment. Just sayin'.

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