This amazingly moist Orange Cake is teeming with flavor from fresh squeezed oranges. You won’t be able to stop at just one slice! This simple cake is easy to make but hard to resist!
Thanks to the fresh orange juice and the orange zest in both the tender cake and glaze topping, you get a burst of citrus in every bite. This orange cake is perfect for every day, but it is delicious enough for a special occasion. Think Christmas or Easter brunch, a simple dessert after a big meal or enjoy a slice while relaxing with a cup of tea. This recipe will become everyone’s favorite cake!
Table of contents
Ingredients and substitutions
I have added this cake to my list of go to recipes for when I need something special, but I am short on time. You will need simple ingredients that we all have in the house, and it doesn’t take long to make.
• Oranges: Don’t try to make this with store-bought orange juice, you really want to use fresh oranges to get the best and brightest flavor.
• Sour cream: This is what makes this cake extra moist and tender. If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute Greek yogurt.
Step by Step guide to making this delicious orange cake
Make the cake:
- Mix the eggs, sugar, butter, sour cream, fresh juice, orange zest and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat at medium speed for a minute or 2.
- Pour the cake batter into your prepared baking pan (a greased and floured Bundt cake pan) and bake in a 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Insert a cake tester or a toothpick, in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is done.
- Cool the cake in the Bundt pan for 5 minutes then invert the warm cake onto a wire rack until it is completely cooled before frosting.
Make the orange glaze:
- Combine sugar, orange juice and zest in a bowl and whisk until creamy and pourable but not thin. If it is too thin, add a little more sugar and if it is too thick add a little more juice, one teaspoon at a time. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.
When you zest the orange, try not to get the white pith as this is bitter.
The eggs should be room temperature so that they mix easily with the other ingredients.
I recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control how salty the cake is.
I like to whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together before I add them to the batter so that they are evenly distributed throughout the cake.
Start to check the cake for doneness at 35 minutes. Everyone’s oven heats differently and this can affect the baking time.
• This recipe can be made in a loaf pan.
• If you would rather have frosting versus icing on the cake you can use a buttercream frosting, whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.
• Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract for a delicious sweet almond essence.
• Consider some add ins such as poppy seeds, fresh blueberries, chocolate chips, toasted coconut, or dried cranberries.
• This cake is also yummy when used in a fruity trifle.
Storing and freezing recommendations
The cake should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container such as a covered cake plate or covered with aluminum foil. To freeze the cake, I recommend covering it tightly with plastic wrap and then placing it in a freezer bag.
If your cake is bitter, you probably got some of the white part of the orange peel in the batter or the frosting. The white part of the peel is called the pith and it is very bitter.
This could be because the cake was left too long in the oven, or it was baked at too high a temperature.
Have you tried this recipe?
I love to get your feedback so if you tried this or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below. I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!
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The Best Orange Cake
- 2½ cups All purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 3 Eggs large
- 1¼ cups Sugar
- ¾ cups Butter unsalted, melted
- ½ cup Sour cream
- 1 cup Orange juice fresh, about 3-4 small oranges
- Orange zest from 1 orange
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/¼ cups Confectioners' Sugar
- 5 tbsp Orange juice
- 1 tsp Orange Zest optional
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Beating with an electric mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat for up to 2 minutes.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake come out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack before frosting.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk smooth and pourable but not thin. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
- When you zest the orange, try not to get the white pith as this will be bitter.
- The eggs should be room temperature so that they mix easily with the other ingredients.
- I recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control how salty the cake is.
- I like to whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together before I add them to the batter so that they are evenly distributed throughout the cake.
- Start to check the cake for doneness at 35 minutes. Everyone’s oven heats differently and this can affect the baking time.