Quick and easy orange frosting recipe (orange buttercream icing), made with simple ingredients and perfect for Summer desserts. It's fluffy, creamy, tastes great on cakes, cupcakes, cookies. Variations like orange cream cheese frosting also included.
Summer is in full force and that calls for this HOMEMADE orange frosting from scratch, also known as orange CREAMSICLE frosting.
It's delicious, fluffy, creamy, zesty and packed with citrus flavor.
It has a NATURAL pale orange color but, I always add orange gel coloring to make the color even more vibrant.
Use it to make frosted orange cookies or use it as an amazing orange cake frosting.
The orange flavor comes from 3 ingredients:
- Orange zest
- Orange extract
- Orange juice
I also want to make it very clear that this is NOT an orange whipped cream frosting because it does not use any whipped heavy cream. This is also NOT an orange icing glaze because the consistency for that is thinner and it's typically used as a drizzle on top of cakes, cookies and rolls.
Orange cream cheese frosting vs. Orange buttercream frosting
The cream cheese version has cream cheese as an ingredients and the buttercream version is made with butter and shortening or just butter with NO cream cheese.
Both taste great. However, there are 2 issues with cream cheese orange frosting:
- The cream cheese flavor overpowers the citrus flavor.
- Cream cheese is not a very stable ingredient, which makes the frosting difficult for piping.
Use this orange frosting for:
- Carrot cake
- Angel food cake
- Orange cake
- Chocolate cake
- Cinnamon rolls
- Bundt cake
- Vanilla cake
- Sugar cookies
How to make orange frosting?
Start off by creaming together butter and shortening. Then, mix in orange zest and extract. Start mixing powdered sugar, alternating with orange juice until frosting is fluffy. Mix in orange gel coloring, if you like. Enjoy!
Tips for easy orange frosting:
- Use both, butter and shortening, to maximize the stability of this icing. If you make an “all butter” frosting, it will be a bit unstable in warmer temperatures and melt easily.
- DON'T make plain orange buttercream frosting with orange extract/ orange extract frosting because the orange flavor is not strong enough and very artificial.
- The vibrancy of this orange colored icing can be enhanced with gel food coloring. DON'T use liquid food coloring since it's "watery" and can "thin" the consistency of the icing.
- If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- If the icing is too thick, add more orange juice or water.
- To make chocolate orange frosting, add ½ cup - ¾ cup cocoa powder. You will have to add some water get the desired consistency.
- To make a lemon orange frosting, replace ¼ cup of orange juice with ¼ cup mixed orange and lemon juice. Also, replace 2 tablespoon orange zest with 1 tablespoon orange zest and 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
- To make vegan orange frosting, replace butter with vegan shortening.
- To make orange cream cheese frosting, follow the recipe below but omit shortening and add 4 oz cream cheese. You may have to add some additional powdered sugar to get the desired consistency.
Other orange desserts:
Orange Frosting Recipe
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- This recipe is enough to fill and frost one 8×2 cake OR 24 cupcakes.