Easy Orange Cake
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This soft, moist, easy orange cake recipe from scratch is loaded with with cream cheese frosting, mandarin oranges, orange marmalade and lots of fresh orange zest.
In my opinion, Summer is the BEST time to make citrus cakes like this easy mandarin orange cake.
The aroma and flavors of oranges that fill the air while this cake is baking is intoxicating!
This cake tastes like an orange creamsicle cake!
Now, this is NOT an orange juice cake because no juice is used. I like to use buttermilk instead. It’s also NOT an orange pound cake, which has a firmer texture and is usually made in a loaf pan.
2 key ingredients: Marmalade and fresh orange zest!
I seriously LOVE marmalade and truly believe that’s what makes this the BEST orange cake, hands down! In each bite, you get to taste, the soft and moist zesty cake, marmalade, cream cheese frosting, and orange slices. It’s a heavenly combination of all those flavors and textures.
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Tips for Moist Orange Cake:
- Don’t replace all-purpose flour with any other flour because the texture will change./li>
- Use unsalted butter to prevent this cake from becoming too salty.
- Only assemble the cake with frosting and marmalade when they have completely cooled down.
- If you plan to include any add-ins in this recipe like chocolate chips or cranberries, check out my baking tip on preventing chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom.
- This recipe works great as cupcakes too.
- Recipe can also be easily doubled to make a cake with more layers.
- Mandarin orange slices must be patted dry on paper towels to prevent the cake from becoming too wet and soggy.
- Don’t omit the orange marmalade because it really enhances the orange flavor in this cake. You can even use orange jam or jelly if you like.
- Don’t replace buttermilk with any other milk because it adds a lot of moisture to this cake.
Other Flavor Variations:
- To make orange pineapple cake, replace mandarin orange with small pineapple slices or you can even use pineapple frosting.
- To make orange olive oil cake, use olive oil instead of canola oil. I would suggest using a mild brand so that the oil flavor and fragrance does not overpower the orange flavor.
- To make orange cranberry cake, replace mandarin oranges with fresh cranberries. Use them between the cake layers and top as well.
- To make chocolate orange cake, use this chocolate buttercream frosting instead of cream cheese frosting. The flavors compliment each other very well.
- To make an orange overload cake, use this orange buttercream icing and the rest of the steps are same.
How to Make Orange Cake From Scratch?
- Whisk together flour and baking powder and keep aside.
- In another bowl, mix together eggs, butter, sugar, buttermilk, zest, extracts until smooth.
- Add flour and mix until just combined.
- Pour into cake pans.
- Bake and let it cool down.
- Spread marmalade on top of each cake and top it off with frosting.
- Decorated with mandarin orange slices. Enjoy!
How to Make Orange Cake Recipe From Mix?
This cake mix orange cake recipe is different than my printable “orange cake from scratch” recipe below. They are both delicious. Use whichever one you like.
- 4 eggs (Large)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange extract
- 1 package pre-made vanilla pudding (Snack packs)
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- In a mixing bowl, add eggs, oil, orange juice, orange extract, zest until smooth.
- Add cake mix powder and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Pour batter into two round cake pans (Dimensions: 8×2).
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool down. Then, frost in your choice of icing and enjoy!
What Filling Goes With Orange Cake?
Some cake filling options are:
- Orange curd
- Orange jam, marmalade or jelly
- Whipped cream (stabilized)
- Buttercream frosting
- Orange frosting
- Chocolate frosting or ganache
- White chocolate buttercream frosting
- Cherry pie filling
- Blueberry pie filling
How do you get Orange Zest?
Use a zester. They are cheap and can be found online on Amazon or at most grocery stores. You can also use a cheese grater.
How do you Make Orange Colored Frosting?
Use gel food coloring. The two brands I recommend are Americolor or Wilton.
What Can you do With Oranges?
You can use them in many sweet and savory recipes such as:
- Orange banana mango smoothie
- Orange fruit salad
- Chocolate orange brownies
- Coconut orange cupcakes
- Slow cooker orange chicken
Other Summer Cake Recipes:
Easy Orange Cake
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking powder
- 2 Eggs Large
- 1/4 cup Butter Unsalted, Melted
- 2 cups Granulated sugar
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Orange extract
- 2 tbsp Orange zest
- 3 cups Cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup Orange marmalade or Jam
- 1 cup Mandarin orange slices Patted dry on paper towels
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, butter, sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix!
- Pour batter into two round greased/floured cake pans (Dimensions: 8x2).
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool down completely. Then, cut the dome on top of the cake and the stiff sides.
- Place one cake on a cake stand. Spread a thin layer of marmalade. Then, spread a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. Add some mandarin orange slices if you like.
- Place the other cake on top of the frosting. Spread another thin layer of marmalade and another thick layer of cream cheese frosting. Top it off more mandarin orange slices. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- To make orange cranberry cake, stir ⅓ cup dried cranberries into the batter. To make chocolate orange cake, stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter. Make sure to toss them in some flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Until next time, tata my lovelies!