Orange flavor turns up often in African American cookbooks, whether the cook enlivens biscuitswith a bit of sweet citrus juice or uses it to make pecan pie extra special. Mildred "Mama Dip" Council included two recipes for orange-flavored cake in Mama Dip's Family Cookbook, her collection of recipes and reminiscences. One is a rich butter cake laced with fresh juice and grated zest. The other relies on an orange cake mix that's "doctored up" with Mountain Dew. The poke cake featured here, inspired by the latter, is filled with a tangy citrus curd made with Nehi orange-flavored soda. —Toni Tipton-Martin
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