This is one of the fastest cakes you'll ever put together. I haven't forgotten the butter in the ingredients because there's none in this cake except in the topping. Strangely enough, although it is called a Mandarin Orange Cake, there is very little orange flavour in it. I suppose you could add grated orange peel but I like it just as it is. Use it as a snack cake or dress it up for company and serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
This cake just gets better and better with age. It's really good the first day with the slightly crunchy topping. By the second day the topping has softened and is starting to soak into the cake and if you have any left on the third day it is deliciously soggy with the brown sugar sauce soaked through. But if you have a family to eat this cake you'll probably not get past the second day and may only know this as a one-day-wonder.
Mandarin Orange Cake
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup White Flour (I use only ½ cup)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 -284 ml (10 fl. oz.) can Mandarin Oranges with liquid
2 tablespoon Butter or Margarine
2 tablespoon Milk
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan. This is best made in a glass dish but if you must use a metal pan line it with parchment paper so you won't get a metal taste if it sits for more than one day. (I broke 3 glass baking dishes last month. I haven't replaced my 9-inch dish yet so that's why I'm using the metal pan.)
Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the egg in a medium bowl and combine with the vanilla and oranges with liquid. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir quickly to combine well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes in 350 degrees oven. Remove cake from oven, and spread topping on cake and return to oven for another 7-10 minutes or until bubbly.
Combine the beaten egg, vanilla and the can of Mandarin Oranges together.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until well combined.
While the cake is baking, mix the brown sugar, butter and vanilla together. Take the cake from the oven after about 20 minutes of baking and pour the topping evenly over the top of the hot cake. Return to oven for another 7-10 minutes.
Remove finished cake from oven to cool.
Resist the urge to stick your finger in the gooey caramel topping--it's scalding hot.
Eat from your hand for a snack (like I need a snack)
or dress it up with a scoop of ice cream.