Orange Dream Poke Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F Butter and flour a 13x9x2" baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
Whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla, just until egg whites are broken up.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric hand beater), cream together 1 3/4 cups sugar and butter, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add half the wet ingredients, then half the dry ingredients, then the remaining wet followed by the remaining dry. (This step IS important to get a nice flat cake!).
Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly. Bake on middle rack of preheated oven for 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for at least 1 hour. With a wooden skewer, poke about 50 holes all over the cake, not going all the way to the bottom (but as close as you can).
For the filling:
1 6oz box orange jello
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
Combine the jello with the boiling water. Whisk for 2 minutes. Add the cold water. Let it set up in the refrigerator for several minutes - about 10 - until it starts to look like syrup consistency instead of water.
Pour over the cake.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, up to 1 day in advanced.
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 3.5oz box french vanilla instant pudding mix
1 3.5oz box orange jello
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla (could use orange?) extract
8oz cool whip, thawed
In a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add ingredients through extract. Beat well. Fold in the cool whip.
(the frosting was good but I felt like it was missing a little kick - maybe some fresh orange juice or orange or even lemon zest would have brightened it up a little)
Spread frosting on top of cake. Slice and serve.