My mother is a fantastic cake decorator, and she has ALWAYS sworn by Duncan Hines cake mixes as the most reliable, never fail, never fall cake mix on the market. Her wedding cakes weren't just beautiful -- they were moist and flavorful too, in an era where most resembled sawdust under the frosting. (Sorry, but I don't have pictures!) Yesterday, we were talking on the phone about a cake she'd made recently that almost been a disaster (not her fault!) and she mentioned that the cake she'd made that got the most raves was a Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake with cream cheese frosting.... and that got my wheels turning.
On my way home, I bought an Orange Supreme cake mix at Publix (BOGO - next up is Red Velvet!) and mixed it with a stick of melted butter, then patted into a 9" springform pan, topped with a filling flavored with the zest of a large orange and LOTS of vanilla, plus a good handful of white chocolate chips. I didn't know how it turned out until I took it to the office this morning, to rave reviews -- "It really does taste like a Creamsicle!" I have to say, it was pretty darn good. So here it is:
For the crust:
1 box Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
1 stick melted butter
For the filling:
3 8 ounce packages cream cheese: regular, light or a blend (I used 2 light and 1 regular)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla (or more to taste!)
Grated zest of 1 large navel orange
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350. Place the top rack of the oven in the middle, and the lower rack far enough below it to accommodate a 9x13 baking pan. Fill the baking pan halfway full of water and let it heat in the oven while you make the cheesecake.
Mix the butter and cake mix. Spray a 9" springform pan with no-stick cooking spray, or rub the sides of the ring mold with butter. Press the paste of butter and cake mix in the bottom only of the pan, making it as even as possible. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes -- it will NOT be done!
While the crust is baking, beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. I like to do one block of cream cheese at a time, followed by 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg and splash of vanilla. It's just easier to beat the cream cheese smoothly that way. Sprinkle the corn starch and orange zest over the batter and stir in by hand; follow with the white chocolate chips.
Spray or butter the sides of the springform pan again. Pour the batter in, smoothing it over with a spatula. Tap the sides of the pan to help eliminate air bubbles -- if your pan is still hot from the oven, use a wooden spoon to do this. Bake for 40 minutes before checking it. The cheesecake should still wobble a little in the middle -- you're really just baking it to cook the eggs. Let it cool at room temperature for at least an hour, then chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
For a beautiful presentation (which I didn't do!), top it with canned whipped cream and a little pile of curls of orange peel in the middle.