Orange Cake

This Orange Cake is so fluffy and soft, with a delicious Orange Syrup, and a tangy Orange Cream Cheese Glaze on top.

Orange cake with cream cheese glaze on top, and orange zest.

I will show you step-by-step how to make this orange cake recipe. It’s super easy to make, and the results are wonderful.

The texture of this cake is super light and tender, and it’s bursting with orange flavor.

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slice of orange cake with glaze on top and orange zest.

Orange Cake Recipe

Find the complete ingredients list at the bottom of the post. Here I will show you detailed instructions with images.

Let’s start by greasing the bundt pan. I am using a 12-cup bundt pan. Alternatively, for this amount of batter, you can use a 9×13″ pan, or two 8.5″x4.5″ loaf pans, or two 9-inch round cake pans.

Grease the pans with butter, specially when using a bundt pan with a lot of details, make sure to get each crevice nicely greased. Then sprinkle flour all over the pan, and shake the pan around to spread the flour evenly. Shake off any excess flour.

Set the pan aside.

first picture: bundt pan buttered. second picture: bundt pan with butter and flour inside. third picture: bundt pan floured and greased.

Cake Batter

To make the batter, start by making the orange sugar. This step will ensure the cake will be brimming with orange flavor.

Add the orange zest and sugar to a bowl. Use your hands to rub the sugar and the zest together. The sugar crystals will help release the natural oils and flavors of the zest. Alternatively, you can place the sugar and zest in a food processor, and pulse a few times until incorporated.

first picture: bowl with sugar and orange zest inside and a hand rubbing the orange zest and sugar together. second picture: bowl with sugar and orange zest mixed together.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, and set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

Add the orange sugar and beat to combine.

Then, add the eggs one at a time, beating one egg until incorporated before adding the next one.

first picture: bowl with butter inside and a hand beating the butter with a mixer. second picture: adding orange sugar mixture to a bowl with whipped butter. third picture: egg added to the bowl with whipped butter and orange sugar. fourth picture: sour cream added to a bowl with batter inside.

Add the sour cream and orange juice, mix on low to combine.

Pour half of the dry ingredient mixture into the bowl, mix to combine.

Then, pour the milk into the bowl and mix.

Add the remaining flour mixture to the bowl, mix on low.

You can finish mixing with a spatula, to avoid over mixing.

first picture: hand pouring orange juice inside of a bowl with cake batter inside, and sour cream. second picture: bowl with cake batter inside and flour added to the bowl. third picture: hand pouring milk inside of a bowl with cake batter. fourth picture: hand mixing flour and batter in a bowl.

Baking

Pour the cake into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly on top.

Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven until a toothpick comes out clean. Find the recommendations for different ovens and baking times on the recipe card below.

first picture: bowl with orange cake batter inside and a spatula. second picture: orange cake batter inside of a bundt cake pan.

Orange Syrup

Add the water, orange peel, and sugar to a pan, bring to a boil. When the syrup comes to a boil, turn the heat off.

You can substitute half of the orange juice for 1/4 cup of orange liqueur to the syrup if desired.

Remove the peel from the syrup.

first picture: small saucepan with orange juice inside, an orange peel, and sugar. second picture: saucepan with orange syrup inside boiling. third picture: spatula stirring orange syrup inside of a saucepan.

Let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes once it comes out of the oven. Prick with a fork on top. Pour the syrup over the cake.

first picture: orange bundt cake in a pan, with a hand poking holes in the cake. second picture: hand pouring orange syrup over a cake in a bundt pan. third picture: orange bundt cake inside a bundt pan with glaze soaking.

Allow for the cake to absorb the syrup for about 20 minutes, or until the cake is just warm, not hot anymore.

Flip the cake onto a cooling rack or serving cake plate.

orange cake on top of a wooden board, without glaze on top.

Orange Glaze

To make the Orange Glaze, beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine.

Then add the orange juice, and mix. To adjust the consistency of the glaze, you can add more powdered sugar to make it thicker, and add more orange juice to make it thinner.

first picture: bowl with butter beat inside with a hand mixer next to it. second picture: bowl with butter mixed and sugar in the bowl. third picture: hand pouring orange juice inside the bowl with glaze mixed. fourth picture: bowl with glaze inside.

Decorate

To decorate, pour the glaze over the cooled cake.

Top with orange zest.

Once the cake cools down, slice and serve.

first picture: orange bundt cake with a hand pouring glaze over the cake. second picture: a hand zesting an orange on top of a glazed orange cake.

Store any leftover cake in an air-tight container in the fridge. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

Orange cake with cream cheese glaze on top, and orange zest.

Tips for making this Orange Cake recipe:

  • Once you add the flour to the batter, mix just until combined. Over mixing the batter can cause the cake to turn out dense or dry.
  • Bake the cake just until done, over baking will also result in a dry cake.
  • Read the recipe thoroughly, including the pan size, and oven temperature indications.
  • Make sure the eggs, milk, sour cream, are at room temperature before adding to the batter. It will allow for them to incorporate better, resulting in a smooth batter.
  • Let the cake cool down before slicing. While the cake is still warm, it will continue to cook and hydrate, so if you slice it before, it will lose moisture.
slice of orange cake with glaze on top and orange zest.

This Orange Cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, to serve for dessert, or afternoon tea time. You will find yourself making it again and again.

You can also make this Orange Cake into mini bundt cakes, using a mini bundt pan. I was able to obtain about 12 mini bundt cakes with my specific pan. The amount of mini bundt cakes you obtain will depend on the size of your pan.

mini orange bundt cake on top of a wooden board, with glaze and orange zest on top.

Orange Cake Variations

This cake can be made into different variations.

  • You can use any citrus variety to make it.
  • Make a sweetened condensed milk such as in this Lemon Bundt Cake recipe, substituting the lemon for orange.
  • Substitute some of the orange juice in the syrup for orange liqueur.
  • Add some fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries to the cake batter before baking. You should need about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of berries. Pour a layer of batter on the bottom of the pan, then mix the berries with the remaining batter and pour on the pan. This first plain layer of batter on the bottom of the pan will prevent the berries from sinking.
orange bundt cake sliced, on top of a board, with orange slices around.

If you like this recipe, here are some other recipes you might enjoy:

Orange cake with cream cheese glaze on top, and orange zest.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you make this Orange Bundt Cake, leave a comment below, or tag me on instagram I love seeing your creations. Thanks for reading!

Orange cake with cream cheese glaze on top, and orange zest.

Orange Cake

Camila Hurst
This Orange Cake is so fluffy and soft, with a delicious Orange Syrup, and a tangy Orange Cream Cheese Glaze on top.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients
  

Orange Cake
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
  • 4 tbsp orange zest from about 2 oranges
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 335 grams
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 120 grams
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 60 ml
  • 1/2 cup milk 120 ml
Orange Syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 120 ml
  • 1/2 cup sugar 100 grams
  • Peel of one orange
Orange Glaze
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese 75 grams
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter 14 grams
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp orange zest to decorate

Instructions
 

Orange Bundt Cake
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. If using convection oven set it to 325ºF.
  • Grease a 12-cup bundt cake pan with butter. You will need about 1-2 tbsp to grease the pan, make sure the butter is softened when you do this. Once the butter is evenly coating the pan, sprinkle flour all over, and shake the pan against your hands, to make sure the flour is evenly being incorporated and distributed all over the pan. If using a bundt pan with details, make sure to get the nooks and crannies well covered, or the cake might stick in those areas that aren’t nicely greased and floured.
  • Make the orange sugar. Zest the oranges and mix them with the sugar, rubbing between your fingers. The sugar crystals will help the orange peel release the natural oils that have so much flavor and aroma. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. You can use a stand mixer or a hand held mixer.
  • Add the orange sugar and beat again on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy, and the butter is lightened in color, which should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  • Add the sour cream and orange juice and mix on low to combine.
  • Now add half of the flour mixture to the bowl.
  • Mix on low to combine.
  • Once the dry ingredients are just incorporated, add the milk at once.
  • Mix on low to combine.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • You can finish mixing with a spatula to prevent the batter from being over mixed, which can result in a dry cake.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared bundt pan.
  • Make sure to spread it out with a spatula so it’s nice and evenly distributed.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 55 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on your oven. Convection ovens might bake faster.
  • If the cake is browning too much but the inside isn’t cooked yet, cover with aluminum foil to help prevent the outsides of burning.
  • The cake is done baking when it doesn’t feel jiggly when you touch the top. And also a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Orange syrup
  • While the cake bakes, make the orange syrup, and have it ready for when the cake is done baking.
  • Place the sugar, orange juice, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off as soon as the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Set it aside.
  • When you remove the cake from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes. Prickle holes on top of the cake with a fork.
  • Remove the orange peel from the syrup, then pour the orange syrup all over the cake.
  • Let the cake cool down for another 15 minutes in the pan, and let the syrup be absorbed by the cake.
  • Then flip the cake over onto a cooling wire rack, or a plate.
  • Let it cool down completely before slicing, and serving.
Orange Glaze
  • To make the Orange Glaze beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer for 30 seconds.
  • Add the powdered sugar and beat for another 30 seconds.
  • Then add the orange juice and mix to combine.
  • Adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more juice to thin it out, or adding more powdered sugar to make it thicker.
  • You can add the orange zest directly to the glaze, or sprinkle on top of the cake once it’s done being glazed.
  • I left mine out, so once the glaze was ready, I drizzled it over the cake. Then, the orange zest gets sprinkled on top of the cake.
Storage
  • Store the cake in the fridge for up to 4 days, in an airtight container. Let it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before serving, it should be served at room temperature.

Notes

Cornstarch: the cornstarch helps the cake have a fluffy and soft texture.
Milk, eggs, sour cream: Make sure these ingredients are at room temperature. Just remove them from the fridge about 20 or 30 minutes before you have to use them in the recipe.
Butter: The butter also needs to be softened, but it can take longer than 20 minutes to soften butter. It’s ideal that it’s at 72ºF.
Orange syrup variation: Substitute half of the orange juice for 1/4 cup of orange liqueur to the syrup if desired.
Oranges: You will need about 4 medium oranges for the whole recipe.
Orange juice glaze: Instead of making the cream cheese glaze, you can make a simple orange juice and powdered sugar glaze by mixing 1 cup powdered sugar + 2 to 3 tbsp orange juice
Sour cream: can be substituted for greek full fat yogurt.
Orange sugar: You could also gently pulse the sugar with the orange zest in the food processor instead of rubbing between your fingers.
Oven: Bake the cake at 350ºF if using conventional oven. If using convection oven, reduce the temperature to 325ºF.
Pan size: I used a 12-cup bundt pan. Alternatively, for this amount of batter, you can use a 9×13″ pan, or two 8.5″x4.5″ loaf pans, or two 9-inch round cake pans.
Keyword cake, orange

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20 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! Love a citrus drizzle. Do you know the dimensions of the bundt pan? I’ve been wanting to buy one but put it off and this recipe is making me want to try it. I’m in the UK and these pans seem to sold by dimension here, not cup capacity.

  2. This looks like a great recipe! If I was to use a 9 x 13 pan, would you have to still invert it and take it out of the pan or can you just leave it in the pan?

  3. Tried it, won’t come out of the pan, have to spoon it out. I think it’s because of the syrup, usually I can get my cakes out of my bundt pan. Probably won’t try again, too much time for no result.

    1. You could try steaming the pan. Place a hot towel over the cake, and/or place the cake pan on top of a pan with some warm/hot water. Leave for about 5 minutes or until it’s warm, then run a knife along the edges and flip it onto a plate. Hope it works!

  4. I followed this recipe with the exact measurements and got a decadent and tasty Orange cake. Just perfect with the right amount of sweetness.
    Camila ! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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