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Orange Glaze without Sugar?

david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 01:16 AM

Most glaze recipes I've seen use confectioner's sugar (added to OJ) as the thickener and, what-do-you-say, sticking agent. Frosting, basically. I want to glaze angel's food cake with something orangey, but how do I thicken it without sugar—so that the glaze doesn't just soak into the cake?

Would blending some apricot jam into the orange juice help? (Maybe the pectin would help set the glaze?) Perhaps add a little corn-starch? What I'm looking for is a light glaze to add some sheen and flavor.

On another note, do you think some grated ginger would work, flavor-wise, in the glaze, or would it be trying too hard? It's so easy to add stuff—orange zest, vanilla, cardamom, liqueur, coconut, etc.—you don't know where to stop . . . sigh

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  1. h
    HillJ RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 04:29 AM

    Since most jams are 75% sugar you aren't avoiding it. Adding a liquid like OJ to thin the jam won't make much difference and will be sweeter. Corn starch will then thicken the thinned jam but alter the taste.

    If you use OJ and cornstarch it is going to dry and look powdery not a sheen.

    I would go with the purest jam you can find (like apricot with no pieces of fruit) and warm it down in a small pan on low heat and then while warm brush the cake with it.

    1. w
      wyogal RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 04:46 AM

      or use melted apple jelly.

      1. h
        HillJ RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 04:55 AM

        Regarding your flavor options, depends on the kind of cake you're baking. Angel food is very low profile but typically sweet enough. If it were me I'd go whipped cream and fresh fruit. You can doctor the cream by adding vanilla beans or a liquer. Or toss some liquer with the fruit (strawberries).

        1. chowser RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 05:10 AM

          What about a marmalade glaze, like this:


          3 Replies
          1. re: chowser
            HillJ RE: chowser Feb 14, 2013 05:13 AM

            chow, don't you think marm glaze on a heavy cake is best..I'm thinkin angel food cake is to much of a light weight for glazes with fruit bits. maybe just me...

            1. re: HillJ
              wyogal RE: HillJ Feb 14, 2013 05:18 AM

              You know, I skipped right over the angel food part....
              Yes, I agree. I like my angel food plain with whipped cream. Maybe flavored with gran marnier, and garnished with some orange zest.

              1. re: HillJ
                chowser RE: HillJ Feb 14, 2013 05:38 AM

                Yes, I missed the part about angel food, thanks. I wonder why the OP wouldn't want something that soaks into the cake. I think an orange simple syrup brushed over would be fine, or your whipped cream suggestion. With a thinner marmalade glaze, she could brush it lightly on top for the shiny glaze if that's what she wants.

            2. m
              MrsJonesey RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 06:51 AM

              Wouldn't reducing orange juice thicken it? I haven't tried it. If you have plenty of juice, you might want to experiment. I think cornstarch needs heat to thicken liquids anyway, right? Just be sure to use a non-reactive pan. Personally, I think the orange flavor alone wouldn't need anything else, but that is just me. It goes without saying the original flavor would be concentrated, so I'd start with the best-tasting juice.

              Let us know what you end up doing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MrsJonesey
                sunshine842 RE: MrsJonesey Feb 14, 2013 07:08 AM

                reducing orange juice gives you orange-juice concentrate. Might as well just thaw a cn of the frozen stuff and pour it over your cake (yeccch)

                If you are going to glaze with something liquid, it's going to soak into the cake -- I can't imagine going to the work to make a light, fluffy angel-food cke and then weigh it down. I'd go with confectioners' sugar or a lightly sweetened frosting, but NOT a liquid glaze.

                1. re: sunshine842
                  MrsJonesey RE: sunshine842 Feb 14, 2013 01:11 PM

                  Suppose you're right. I definitely agree with your second point. I've yet to make an angel food cake, but even the grocery store ones are delicious on their own when at their freshest.

              2. firecooked RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 09:20 AM

                You might try a jam / glaze thickened with arrowroot, which will give a shinier finish. Something like this jam: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi.... However, I must say that you will need to experiment: when I made this, the jam didn't thicken. Next time, I will try adding the arrow root at the end (based on what I read, arrowroot loses its thickening power after prolonged cooking).

                1. melpy RE: david_ipse Feb 14, 2013 09:33 AM

                  For New Years I made a cake but then serves with whipped cream flavored with gran marnier and orange zest and people were fighting over the cream!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: melpy
                    wyogal RE: melpy Feb 14, 2013 09:36 AM

                    Yep, that was my suggestion, too.

                  2. d
                    david_ipse RE: david_ipse Feb 16, 2013 10:06 AM

                    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. After seeing all those left-over yolks when I'd made the cake, I gave in and made a thin orange curd and served with the cake and strawberries marinated in orange juice and black pepper. It was alright except that the tiny bit of saffron I'd used in the batter really took over the orange extract flavor, which was barely discernible.

                    Thanks again.

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