Mamie Simone’s Orange and Grand Marnier Cake

Gran Marnier Cake
Gran Marnier Cake

Photograph by Adeline Borra

At 92 years old, my grandmother Simone is still a force in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to her tangy Grand Marnier glaze cake. Ultra moist and perfect for winter, this cake is easy to make—and even easier to consume in one sitting if you aren’t careful. If you don’t have any Grand-Marnier or Cointreau, use dark rum or Cognac.

Ingredients for a 9-inch round cake

1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar, divided in two ½ cups
5 large eggs
3 Navel oranges
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 big tablespoons of Grand-Marnier (or Cointreau, Cognac, or dark Rum)
1 pinch of salt


Preheat the oven at 356°F.

In a bowl beat ½ cup of sugar with 3 egg yolks until the mixture starts to whiten. Zest and juice two whole oranges and, and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Add the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and the butter. Whisk until well combined.

In a stand mixer or a mixing bowl, beat the 5 egg whites with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of Grand-Marnier, until firm. Then delicately stir egg whites into the orange mixture.

Butter a round aluminum cake. Pour the final mixture into the mold. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. When the cake is done, unmold while it’s still warm.

For the Grand-Marnier glaze: Mix together ½ cup of sugar with the juice from 1 orange and 1 big tablespoon of Grand-Marnier. Pour syrup over the top of the warm cake. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature along with orange slices or a dollop of Grand-Marnier Chantilly (whisk in a stand mixer 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with one tablespoon of Grand-Marnier; or orange juice and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar).

About Adeline: Adeline Borra is private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website,