Easter Nest Orange Pineapple Cake

EASTER NEST ORANGE PINEAPPLE CAKE – one 10-inch tube cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla or French vanilla and pie-filling mix
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in-its-own-juice, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice)(see note)
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 4 jumbo or extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel
  • Sifted confectioners' sugar or Vanilla Glaze or Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting or Caramel Icing
  • Coconut dyed a light green color with food coloring and assorted very small jelly beans as desired for garnish (optional)

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, orange juice or orange concentrate, and pineapple juice; add eggs and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer for 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Stir in pineapple and orange peel.  Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch bundt or tube pan.  Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Sift confectioners' sugar over cooled cake or drizzle Vanilla Glaze over cake.  Or, frost top of cake with Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting or Caramel Icing, allowing frosting/icing to “dribble” down the sides of the cake.   May garnish top of cake with green-tinted coconut arranged into 3 to 4 small nests; fill “nests” with desired jelly beans.

Note: Thoroughly drain pineapple and then press more liquid out of pineapple with a wooden spoon or absorbent paper.

Variation: Bake cake batter in two greased and floured 9-inch round layer pans for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Fill and frost cake with Caramel Icing or Orange Butter Cream Frosting.  

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine,  at room temperature
  • About 1½ tablespoons hot milk or water

In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and butter.  Beat in enough hot milk or water to make a smooth glaze.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting – enough frosting to frost one round 10-inch diameter bundt or tube  cake

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar (about 4½ cups), sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk or reduced-fat or skim milk (approximate), divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring (optional)

In a deep medium bowl, cream butter thoroughly.  Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar and salt, beating well.  Add remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon half-and-half.  Beat until smooth. Add vanilla and remaining half-and-half as needed to achieve correct spreading consistency.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

Caramel Icing – enough icing/frosting to frost one 10-inch diameter bundt or tube cake

  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Few drops caramel flavoring (optional)

Combine butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat until mixture bubbles around the edges of the pa, then simmer slowly for 1 minute.  Transfer to a bowl and cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in half-and-half or cream, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in confectioners' sugar, one-third at a time, adding sugar as needed to make icing/frosting a spreading consistency.  Stir in caramel flavoring, if desired.  Spread on thoroughly cooled cake.

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