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Our Wood Fired Mandarin Oranges on the grill, with the batter and the final frosted cake

Our Wood Fired Mandarin Oranges on the grill, with the batter and the final frosted cake

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Desserts on the grill! Whoweey! There is nothing like a sweet influenced by smoke. Whether you do the cooking on the grill with wood or a traditional smoker, desserts become extra special.

This time, mandarin oranges are going into a cake that will be completely baked on the grill. Purchase a bag of mandarin oranges and let me introduce you to a new way of enjoying cake!

Choose Your Grill for Flavor Level

Whenever you use the grill to cook a dessert, know that the type of grill correlates to the intensity of wood-fired flavor. I’ll be using a charcoal kettle grill but this recipe works just as well on a gas grill or electric grill/smoker, even a traditional smoker.

There is no question, charcoal grills will generate the most wood flavor so know that when selecting your equipment. Regardless of the equipment you elect to do the cooking on, set up a two-zone cooking method – charcoal grill: hot coals to one side of the charcoal area; gas grill: turn on burners on half the grill or 1 of 3 burners. Add wood chunks directly to your heat shields or in a smoker box. Be sure the wood is exposed to the heat side of the grill. For the charcoal grill, once the hot coals are poured into half the charcoal area, add 3-4 small wood chunks to the hot coals.

Tasting Notes: If you’re leery about putting wood pieces directly on your heat shields, than you can use a metal smoker box to hold the wood. Try to get one that will still fit between your grill grate and the heat shield, otherwise, you’ll have to put the box on the grill grate which will take longer to heat up and start the wood smoking.

Pre-Smoked Oranges Before Batter

Before starting the cake batter, preheat the gas grill to 350°F or start the charcoal in a charcoal grill, being sure to set up for two-zone cooking. While the grill heats to temperature, time to peel mandarin oranges for the cake. Depending on the size of your Springform cake pan, 7-9 mandarin oranges will be needed. Since my pan is a 10-inch Springform, I’ll be adding 9 mandarin oranges to the bottom of my pan. I want my cake to have a prominent wood-fired flavor. That means, I add just the cake pan containing the mandarin oranges to the grill for about 3-4 minutes, to ensure they hold the essence of the wood.

Tasting Notes: Skip the step of infusing the mandarin oranges with smoke vapor if you prefer the cake to have a lighter smoke flavoring.

Batter Up!

Start the cake batter by separating 4 eggs. Whisk the egg whites with 1 cup of sugar and then fold in the 4 yolks, 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and the zest of 2 mandarin oranges or 1 teaspoon of orange peel. Peel 7-9 mandarins depending on the size of your cake pan and place them in a greased and floured Spring-form pan. Pour the cake batter over the mandarin oranges in the pan, use a spatula to smooth it out, put the pan on the grill on the indirect side (no heat), and cook 90 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and firm to the touch at the center. I like to turn the cake at about 45 minutes to ensure an even browning to the surface and even cooking to the overall cake. Let the cake rest for a least 5-10 minutes before releasing the cake ring. Then allow the cake to cool completely on a rack.

Icing for Balanced Flavor

While the cake is cooking, prepare the vanilla cream frosting as this will require at least one hour in the refrigerator before you can apply it to the cooled cake.

Combine 10 ounces of cream cheese, 1 cup mascarpone, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and ⅔ cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour. Once the cake has cooled, spread the vanilla cream frosting over the cooled cake and garnish with mandarin pieces and gold sugar if you like. You can refrigerate the entire cake until ready to serve; just remove 10 minutes before serving to allow the icing to warm for cutting.

What is your favorite cake to make on the grill or smoker? Leave us a comment to add your favorite. Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® Products used in this recipe:

Our hand split double filet smoker wood chunks

Wood Chunks- Double or Single Filet

More recipes you might enjoy:

For more reading related recipes on wood fired manadarin oranges and smoking techniques

For more reading related recipes on wood fired mandarin oranges and smoking techniques

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Dr. Smoke-Wood fired Manadarin Oranges is just one of many smoky deserts we feature. Try the others

Dr. Smoke-Wood fired Mandarin Oranges is just one of many smoky deserts we feature. Try the others