Our Lady of Altagracia, Our Lady of Grace, is the protector of the Dominican people. They believe with all their hearts that Our Lady watches over their island, leading the people to her Son, Christ Jesus. Her feast day is huge in the Dominican Republic.
It is also a big deal in other parts of the world with a large Dominican population such as parts of New York City. Mass is held, processions led and people gather to pay homage to Our Lady of Altagracia. As with nearly all Feast Days dedicated to Mary, legend surrounds the creation of the day. In the case of Our Lady of Altagracia, it revolves around a painting that was given to a merchant under mysterious circumstances.
But the story does not end there. The merchant hung the painting in his home, yet each night the painting disappeared and reappeared in an orchard among the orange blossoms. Our Lady did not wish to be kept away from the people. She wanted to be among them, protecting them and carrying their prayers to Heaven.
In honor of her feast day and the association with Orange Blossoms, I thought a beautiful cake was fitting to celebrate the day. Be blessed and enjoy!
Our Lady Orange Dream Cake
1/3 cup Oil
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup water
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 (3 oz) box Orange Jell-O
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1-1/2 teaspoons Orange Extract
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 9 inch cake pans with nonstick spray, line bottom with parchment paper, then spray paper. Set prepared pans aside.
Let eggs warm to room temperature. Crack eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat eggs until light in color. Add oil, beat until foamy. Add cake mix, Jell-O, sour cream and orange extract. Beat on low until blended, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in the heated oven for 23 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
Remove cake from oven, let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans, remove paper and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Orange Extract
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
Place butter and cream cheese on the counter; let soften while remaining cool. Sift powdered sugar in a large bowl, set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar about a cup at a time, beat well between additions. Add in orange extract and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
To frost cake: Cut dome from one cake layer to level if necessary. Place cake on a cake plate, cut side down. Frost top with a generous spread of frosting. Place second layer of cake on top of the first, dome-side up. Frost top of the cake then sides. Place cake in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.