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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

    • Yuliana

      5 stars
      Planning on making for Easter how many cupcakes does this make?

    • LW

      5 stars
      I made this yesterday and frosted it with your silky buttercream. Both were excellent. I will definitely use that creamy buttercream again.

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So so happy to hear you loved both recipes 😀

    • Bonnie Antonini

      5 stars
      I made the orange cake plus the orange cream cheese icing. Both were delicious! The only thing I changed was doubling the amount of orange zest in the cake to 2 tablespoons packed zest – I like the extra orange flavour. Absolutely delicious! Moist and tender!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you loved the recipe Bonnie 😀

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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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