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    Moist Orange Cake

    There’s something special about the bright, tangy flavor of oranges that just makes you smile, and this super moist orange cake recipe captures that sunny essence perfectly! The cake layers are packed with orange flavor and have the most soft, tender crumb. With a delicious orange cream cheese frosting to top it all off, this citrus packed cake is sure to become a family favorite!

    orange cake

    Why you’ll love this orange cake

    There are two things which make a cake truly special – flavor and texture.

    This orange cake has wonderful orange flavor, using fresh oranges only. You could add additional orange extracts or essences to the batter, but in my opinion, it really doesn’t need it. The natural orange flavor that permeates through both the cake and frosting is what truly makes this such a ‘bright’ and fun cake!

    Now don’t even get me started on the texture! This orange cake truly has one of the most soft, tender crumbs I have ever come across. It’s light and fluffy (almost like a sponge cake!), and the velvety texture leaves you with a cake that literally melts in your mouth (similar to my lemon and vanilla cake recipes). IT IS INCREDIBLE!

    How to make orange cake

    This cake consists of two orange cake layers sandwiched between a delicious orange cream cheese frosting, adapted from my original cream cheese frosting recipe.

    Orange cake

    Begin by preheating your oven to 180 °C (350°F) and grease and/or line two 8 inch round cake pans (I use my homemade cake release). If using a fan function (also known as convection mode) then you will need to reduce the temperature to 160C (320F).

    Sift together all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix together using a whisk or fork and set aside.

    orange cake

    In a large bowl add in butter, vegetable oil, sugar and orange zest. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer will both work) on a medium speed, cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy. By adding in the orange zest during the creaming stage, it’ll help release more of the flavor from the orange zest.

    Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between addition.

    orange cake

    Add in milk, orange juice (freshly squeezed) and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.

    Add your flour mixture to your wet mixture, and using a spatula, fold until just combined. Do not overmix, so only fold until you can’t see anymore streaks of flour and the batter is uniform. If you overmix the batter, you’ll develop too much of the gluten in the flour, which will give you a dense cake.

    orange cake

    Pour the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins. Level the tops and drop the cake tins lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.

    orange cake

    Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, before turning them out onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake layers to completely cool before frosting.

    orange cake

    Orange cream cheese frosting

    Cream your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

    Add in the powdered sugar (also known as icing or confectioners’ sugar) in 3 batches while mixing on a low speed. Ensure that each batch of powdered sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.

    orange cream cheese frosting

    Next add in the cold cream cheese, vanilla, orange zest and fresh orange juice. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing.

    orange cream cheese frosting

    How to decorate orange cake

    There are so many wonderful ways you could decorate an orange cake, but here is how I decorated mine 🙂

    So to start off I levelled off the tops of my cake layers so that they were nice and flat. These cake layers do bake up quite flat, so I only trimmed off a really small amount, mainly to remove the caramelised top.

    I also trimmed off the caramelised edges of the cake layers. This step isn’t necessary though – I just wanted the perfect thumbnail (haha!), so you can skip it if you want 🙂

    I then went ahead and placed my first cake layer in the middle of a cake stand and smoothed out some frosting on the top with my offset spatula.

    orange cake

    I then placed the next cake layer on top, and again smoothed out some frosting on top and sides of the cake, so that the cake was completely covered. I didn’t bother doing a crumb coat (check out this video for more info on what a crumb coat is), but you can do one if you prefer. I then used my cake scraper to smooth out the sides.

    Now when you scrape the sides of a cake, you usually end up with a lip of frosting around the top edges. To get rid of these and get a ‘sharp edge’ on the top, slowly bring your offset spatula into the middle of the cake, catching that lip of frosting as you go.

    orange cake

    I then finished off by doing some piping around the top edges using a 1M piping tip.

    orange cake

    How do you store orange cake?

    This orange cake can be left at room temperature for the day, however overnight it will need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese in the frosting. The fat and sugar in the frosting will prevent the cream cheese from going off immediately, which is why you can keep it out at room temperature for an extended period of time.

    When storing, place it into an airtight container, and into the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

    orange cake

    Moist Orange Cake

    There's something special about the bright, tangy flavor of oranges that just makes you smile, and this super moist orange cake recipe captures that sunny essence perfectly! The cake layers are packed with orange flavor and have the most soft, tender crumb. With a delicious orange cream cheese frosting to top it all off, this citrus packed cake is sure to become a family favorite!
    5 from 16 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Cooling Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Orange Cake

    • cups (270 g) flour - plain, all purpose (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
    • cup (40 g) cornstarch
    • tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cup (75 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • cups (250 g) white granulated sugar
    • 3 tsp orange zest - see note 2
    • 3 large eggs - room temperature
    • tbsp (90 g) milk - room temperature, full-fat. In the video I say 90g (3/4s of a cup) but that is incorrect sorry! It should be 90g (5 1/2 tbsp) 🙂
    • ½ cup (112 g) orange juice - freshly squeezed
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract/essence

    Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cups (570 g) powdered sugar - also known as icing/confectioners sugar. Use more for a thicker frosting (see note 4)
    • cups (335 g) cream cheese -  cold, firm type (see note 5)
    • tsp vanilla extract/essence
    • 2 tsps orange zest - see note 2
    • tbsp orange juice - freshly squeezed

    Instructions

    Orange Cake

    • Preheat oven to 180 °C (350°F) (see note 3 if using a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).
    • Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix together using a whisk or fork and set aside.
    • In a large bowl add in butter, vegetable oil, sugar and orange zest. Using a hand or stand mixer on a medium speed, cream together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in eggs one by one, mixing well in between addition.
    • Add in milk, orange juice and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Add your pre-sifted dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and using a spatula, fold until just combined. Do not overmix, so only fold until you can't see anymore streaks of flour and the batter is uniform.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins. Level the tops and drop the cake tins lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.
    • Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, before turning them out onto a wire rack to completely cool.

    Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the powdered sugar in 3 batches while mixing on a low speed. Ensure that each batch of powdered sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in the cold cream cheese, vanilla, orange zest and fresh orange juice. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 6).

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (300g total required). 
    Note 2. When zesting the oranges, you only want to grate the top orange layer of the orange. Don't grate it down to the white part of the orange as the white part is bitter and we don't want a bitter cake 🙂
    Note 3. In this recipe I use an oven with no fan function. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if using a fan function (also known as convection mode) then you will need to reduce the temperature to 160C (320F).
    Note 4. If you want a thicker frosting, you can add more powdered sugar (I'd add 2 tbsp extra at a time at the end and taste test as you go), until you're happy with the level of sweetness. You can also use cornstarch to make the frosting thicker, just don't use too much 🙂
    Note 5. To ensure that your frosting isn't too soft, you want to use a firm cream cheese, not the spreadable type. You also want to use cold cream cheese as this will help your frosting stay firmer for longer, particularly if you want to use it for piping. If you stay in a hot climate and your frosting is softening up after some time, simply place it into the fridge for 30 minutes and then re-whip it. This will bring it back to a pipeable consistency. 
    Note 6. Only mix the frosting until it's smooth. Once it's smooth stop mixing as over-mixing can result in a less stable frosting. This is because of the liquid in the cream cheese breaking down the powdered sugar. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 751kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 1013IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: easy orange cake, moist orange cake, orange cake, orange cake from scratch, orange cake recipe, orange cake recipes, orange cream cheese frosting, orange flavor cake, orange flavored cake, orange frosting
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

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    26 Comments

    • blue_eyes998

      I just made the cake batter and it’s in the oven. After a lot of internal debate, I used 90g milk (about 90ml or 6 Tbsp) instead of 3/4 cup milk (12 Tbsp) after watching your video and looking at your milk bowl and cake batter texture. 🙂 I hope that was right! I just wanted to let you know about the discrepancy because it is 6Tbsp vs 12 Tbsp, and I am sure I won’t be the only one confused. I’m SO looking forward to eating the cake! Thanks!

      • Cakes by MK

        Oooops I am so sorry about that! You were totally correct going with the gram measurement. So sorry fixing this now, the gram amount is correct (90g) but it should be 5 and 1/2 tbsp not 3/4 cup! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention 🙂
        Hope you love the recipe! 🙂

        • blue_eyes998

          5 stars
          It was delicious! The whole family loved it!

    • LW

      Is this a typo? ¾ cup (90 g) milk
      3/4 cups of milk is closer to 180 grams.

      • Cakes by MK

        Ooops yes it is! So sorry fixing this now, the gram amount is correct (90g) but the it should be 5 and 1/2 tbsp not 3/4 cup! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention 🙂

    • Pree

      Your cakes are always perfection I’ve made a few. I need to make this today for my niece but she doesn’t like frosting. Would whipped cream suit the sponge?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Pree! So happy to hear you’re loving the recipes 😀 yes whipped cream would go so well with this! You could even fold a little orange zest into the whipped cream 🙂 happy birthday to your niece!

    • Amatullah

      Assalamualaikum wrwb
      Can you please guide me if I can make this cake in cupcake form and frosting over it

      Jazakumullah khaira

      • Cakes by MK

        Wassalaam! Yes you can totally do that, the cupcakes will just require less baking (about 18 mins should be enough). Hope you enjoy the recipe 😀

    • Sally

      I just made this, it is delicious! Thank you for this recipie and video!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you loved the orange cake Sally 🙂

    • Siobhan

      5 stars
      So delicious! I just read the other comments and realised my milk was too cold as it split. It still turned out great though. Whenever I ice the cakes I get so many crumbs in my icing, like big chunks of the very soft cake come up – any tips for this?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Siobhan! So happy to hear you loved the recipe 🙂 and yes room temp milk should help with the splitting issue :). In terms of frosting the cake, applying a thin crumb coat on the cake and chilling it before applying a top layer can help 🙂 Alternatively, applying a thick layer of frosting and then spreading it out (so that your spatula never touches the cake and therefore doesn’t ‘pull’ the frosting/cake) should help. Once the cake is completely covered, you can then go ahead and use a cake scraper or spatula to thin out the frosting so that there isn’t too much. This is a common issue that can happen with many different frostings, just takes a bit of practice to get it right 🙂 check out this video for more info on doing a crumb coat etc – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtE1623OMNc
        Hope that helps!

    • Charise White

      I tried this recipe and had no issues with the instructions (used cup measurements). I did make a couple of minor changes. I added pure orange extract (1/2 tsp) to the frosting. I didn’t add this extract to the batter but I make an orange simple syrup for each layer and added it to that. Super delicious and a burst of orange flavor in each bite. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!! 🥰

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Charise! So happy to hear you loved the recipe 😀 and the addition of orange extract would have taken it to the next level!! Thank you for the feedback 🙂

    • Isabel

      The cake was a flop,! I followed all the instructions, but when I added the milk, orange juice and vanilla, to the egg, sugar butter and oil mixture, the mixture was breaking up and was not smooth anymore.Next time I will add half of the dry mixture into the egg mixture and then gradually add the milk, orange juice and vanilla, then fold in the rest of the dry ingrediants. The cake also did not rise enough and is flat. The sides of the cake nearly burnt after 30 min.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Isabel! So sorry to hear the cake didn’t quite turn out how you’d hoped – that can be frustrating! 🙁 There could be a few reasons as to why this has happened. The most likely reason that the mixture was breaking/splitting, is because one or more of the ingredients were too cold. For best results, double check that the eggs, milk and butter are at room temp (or any ingredient that may be refrigerated) 🙂
        When mixing, it may look like the batter is curdling when you initially mix it, but if all the ingredients are at room temp it will come together and become smooth (maybe a bit of extra mixing will also help for next time). I would also recommend using the gram measurements for accuracy (if you haven’t already).
        In terms of the sides burning, it sounds like the oven temp may be a bit too high. I would recommend reducing the oven temperature (especially if using a convection oven that has a fan, as the temps provided for this recipe is for a conventional oven). Hope these tips help for next time Isabel! For more troubleshooting tips, check out this video 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRy1KuFMdOo

    • Catharina

      5 stars
      Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe 💖💖💖💖💖

      • Cakes by MK

        You’re so welcome Catharina! So glad you loved the orange cake 😀

    • MARIA KARAGIANNI

      5 stars
      The cake looks delicious 😋
      Thank you for the recipe.

      • Cakes by MK

        Thank you so much Maria! Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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