Orange cake on a white cutting board with oranges
Cakes

Orange Cake

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I am in love with Orange cake. The soft, moist, cake with the sweet taste of oranges, not overpowering but enough to let you know it is there. A party in the mouth with every bite.

One thing I really like about this cake is that it is extremely good plain. A lot of cakes need that added frosting to make it yummy. This orange cake is spectacular on its own, however, a nice cream cheese frosting with some orange extract and orange zest in it will further amp up the overall orange taste.

You could also sprinkle some candied orange peel on the top as well. It is your cake, have fun with it! It is super easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools

Tools and ingredients to make orange cake including orange juice, flour, butter, sugar, sour cream, orange zest all in glass bowls on a wooden table

In order to make this orange cake you will need the following ingredients and tools:

  • Butter – I generally use unsalted butter but you can use salted butter as well. The butter adds flavor and texture as well as body and structure working in conjunction with the sugar and flour.
  • Sugar – The white granulated sugar is the main sweet element for this cake.
  • Sour Cream – While the sour cream is optional I always like to add it because it makes the cake moister.
  • Eggs – The eggs will act as a binder for the other ingredients as well as a leavening agent. They also help with the overall structure of the cake.
  • Orange extract – The orange extract is optional but it will definitely boost the overall orange flavor.
  • Orange Juice – The freshly squeezed orange juice is the star of this orange cake recipe. You can use premade orange juice too if you like. I always use fresh oranges because I want the zest as well.
  • Orange Zest – The zest from the oranges will add orange flavor to the cake.
  • Flour – If you have cake flour use it, otherwise you can certainly use all-purpose/plain flour.
  • Baking powder – The baking powder is the main leavening agent for the cake. It helps to make the cake light and fluffy as opposed to being a dense brick.
  • Salt – A bit of salt to balance out the sweetness and enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.

Tools

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Zester
  • Large bowls
  • Sifter or whisk
  • Spatula
  • 9×5 bread pan
  • Shortening/butter and flour for the pan Aluminum foil (optional) to cover cake to prevent over-browning.
  • Wire rack

Step 2: How to make Orange Cake

Begin by preheating your oven to 350F/176C. Place the rack in the middle position. Now in a large bowl add the softened butter and sugar. If you forget to take the butter out to soften, you can place it in the microwave and use the defrost mode to soften it up. Using the mixer cream those two ingredients together.

Step 3: Orange you glad we are making this cake batter

Next, add in the sour cream and eggs and blend those in until combined. After that, add the orange extract, and the star of the recipe, the orange juice. It took 4 of my small oranges to get the half cup of orange juice I wanted. Also, add in the orange zest.

To get the zest from the orange, use a zester and run the orange over it. The resulting shavings of peel are called the zest. Mix those ingredients all together. Then put the mixer away.

Step 4: Finished Orange Cake batter

Finished orange cake batter in a large glass bowl sitting on a wooden table.

Now use a sifter and sift the dry ingredients, the flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl. I usually just add half of it at a time and stir/fold it into the batter with a spatula. Don’t use the mixer, because it is too easy to over mix the cake batter. Overmixing the batter can result in a denser and chewier cake.

Step 5: Bake that orange cake

Orange cake batter in a 5x9 bread pan on a wooden table.

Pour the cake batter into a 5×9 cake pan. Make sure to grease the pan with butter or shortening and flour it. You don’t want the cake to stick to the pan. You may also use 2 8-inch round cake pans if you want to make a layered cake. Bake the cake at 350F/176 C for 45 to 60 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean. If you are using round pans the baking time will be shorter because the cakes won’t be as thick.

Freshly baked orange cake in a metal pan on a wooden table

Check the cake around the 35 minute mark. If the edges are getting too brown, you can always cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. I personally don’t mind if it gets a little brown I enjoy the texture and taste of it like that.

Step 6: Cool and serve!

Hands holding a sliced orange cake over a white cutting board.

Once the orange cake comes out of the oven allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then use a cake spatula or butter knife and run it along the edges of the cake. This will help loosen it. Now remove the cake from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled down, slice that cake and serve it. Of course, you can frost it, or drizzle a glaze on top too if you like. I really like eating this particular cake plain. Enjoy!

How long will the orange cake last?

If you wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container, the unfrosted cake will last about 5 to 6 days at room temperature. You can freeze it so it will last even longer if you like, 3 to 4 months.

Orange cake on a white cutting board with oranges
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5 from 4 votes

Orange Cake

This moist soft orange cake is amazing! If you like cake and oranges than you have got to try this cake. I really enjoy eating it plain, but you can certainly frost it too if you like. Let's get baking!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Cooling Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, fluffy, moist, soft
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Zester
  • Large bowls
  • sifter or whisk
  • Spatula
  • 9×5 bread pan
  • Shortening/butter and flour for the pan Aluminum foil (optional) to cover cake to prevent over-browning.
  • Wire rack

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened room temp butter 170g
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar 200g
  • 1/4 cup sour cream optional (61g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. of orange extract optional (2 to 5ml)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 118ml (approx. 4 small oranges)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. to 2 Tbsp. orange zest 9 to 12g
  • 1 1/2 cups of cake or all-purpose/plain flour 192g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 6g
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt 2g

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer. Add the eggs and sour cream and blend those in.
  • Add the orange juice, orange extract, and orange zest and blend those in. Put the mixer away.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder into the batter. Do half of it first, then stir and fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Then add the rest. You can also whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl first if you don't have a sifter. The orange cake batter will be complete.
  • Grease a 5×9 inch bread pan with butter or shortening, and then flour it. Pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Check it at the 35 to 40-minute mark, if it is getting too brown on top add some aluminum foil.
  • After the cake comes out of the oven allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut and serve the cake! I like to eat it plain but you can certainly frost it if you like. Or drizzle a glaze on top. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Note: you can use 2- 8 inch round cake pans if you like as well, for a layered cake. The baking times will be less. Start with 25 minutes and go from there.Β 
Nutritional facts for orange cake

Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Marble Cake

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Moist Chocolate Cake

Air Fryer Cake

Orange cake pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made it for the family and it was a hit!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh man I love orange cake! this one looks really moist and delicious, love the fresh orange zest in the batter!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the perfect breakfast cake! So delicious. I love the orange flavor.

  4. 5 stars
    What a perfectly light and fluffy bread! This will be great for Easter brunch!

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