Vegetarianized Recipe: Orange Cake with Grand Marnier Sauce


A colleague, Roy E., baked a lovely cake drizzled with a rich cinnamon sauce for a recent meeting—totally sinful, but I had to have the recipe. I made a few slight alternations in my attempt to be better (not exactly good) by reducing some of the fat and sugar and, looking at all the oranges in my fridge, I added an orange flavor all around with zest, juice and Grand Marnier.

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Servings: 8
Time: About 15 minutes active; one hour total

For the cake:
1/4 cup butter (I used Earth Balance), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk (I used fat free)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 orange, zested then juiced (juice is for the sauce)

For the sauce:
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
Up to 1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add egg, vanilla and milk and mix until incorporated.

3. Slowly add flour, baking powder and salt. When combined add orange zest.

4. Pour batter into a cooking spray lined 9×9 baking dish. Bake 30 minutes until knife comes out clean (dip into the center of the batter). Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, heat water, brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon stick and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Let simmer during the 30 minutes of baking. Depending on how thick the sauce is (or how thick you want it), add up to 1 tablespoon of cornstarch by spooning some of the hot sauce out, whisking the cornstarch in, and then pouring the mixture back into the pot.

6. When it has reached desired thickness, remove from heat and add in Grand Marnier.

7. Make 10-12 holes in the top of the cake (still in pan). Pour Grand Marnier sauce all over the top, making sure it goes into the holes. Wait 10 minutes for the cake to adsorb the sauce.

8. Turn cake onto serving platter and cool or cut and eat warm.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog,, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.