Orange Cake – A Sweet and Citrusy Treat
Orange cake is a classic flavor combo that conjures memories of summer. The refreshing citrus flavor pairs perfectly with the sweetness of cake. In this post, we will provide a comprehensive orange cake recipe along with tips and techniques to ensure you bake up an utterly delicious and moist cake.
Orange Cake Ingredients
Here are the basic ingredients needed to make a scrumptious orange cake:
2 1⁄4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄2 cups (300g) granulated white sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups (360ml) orange juice
Zest of 2 oranges
Orange Cake Recipe Ingredients
Ingredient Purpose Amount
All-purpose flour Acts as a base for structure and texture. Absorbs liquid. 2 1⁄4 cups (280g)
Baking powder Leavening agent that creates rise. Reacts with acids like orange juice. 2 teaspoons
Salt Enhances flavor. A small amount balances sweetness. 1⁄2 teaspoon
Butter Fat adds moisture, tenderness and richness. 1 cup (230g), softened
Granulated white sugar Sweetener. Adds flavor and texture. 1 1⁄2 cups (300g)
Eggs Bind ingredients and provide structure, height and richness. 4 eggs
Vanilla extract Flavoring that enhances orange. 1 1⁄2 teaspoons
Orange juice Acidic liquid that activates baking powder. Moistens cake. 1 1⁄2 cups (360ml)
Orange zest Adds bright citrus flavor on top of juice. Zest of 2 oranges
The key ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter provide structure and tenderness, while the orange juice and zest infuse bright citrusy flavor throughout. Baking powder creates lift and vanilla complements the orange notes. Proper measurement is important for balance and texture. Substitutions are discussed later.
Preparing Orange Cake Recipe Batter
With all the ingredients gathered, here are the step-by-step instructions for mixing the orange cake batter:
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
Stir in the vanilla.
Alternately mix the dry ingredients and orange juice into the wet ingredients in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry.
Fold in the orange zest.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting or enjoying.
The key is creaming the butter and sugar well for air incorporation. Taking time to fully beat in the eggs prevents curdling. Alternating dry and wet keeps the batter light. Don’t overmix once wet and dry are fully blended. Proper baking time is important to ensure the cake is cooked through but remains moist.
Preparing Orange Cake Recipe Batter Steps
1 Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare baking pan
2 Whisk dry ingredients
3 Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4 Beat in eggs one at a time
5 Stir in vanilla
6 Alternate adding dry/wet ingredients
7 Fold in orange zest
8 Pour batter into pan
9 Bake 30-35 minutes or until done
10 Cool completely
Customizing Orange Cake Flavor
The basic orange cake recipe can be customized in many delicious ways to suit taste preferences:
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1/8 teaspoon cloves for an orange-spice twist.
Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit like cranberries for extra texture.
Substitute 1/2 cup orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cointreau for 1/2 cup of the orange juice for a boozy kick.
Omit vanilla and increase orange zest to 2 tablespoons for bold citrus intensity.
Use freshly squeezed juice from 2 large navels or 3-4 small oranges for peak flavor.
Top with a fluffy cream cheese or citrus cream cheese frosting for decadence.
Experimentation allows you to craft a signature orange cake that suits your tastes. Follow baking guidelines and balance flavors for an impressive yet easy dessert.
Common FAQs About Orange Cake Recipe
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q: Can I substitute ingredients like oil for butter or applesauce for eggs?
A: Some substitutions are possible but may impact texture/moisture. Applesauce can replace up to half the eggs. Oil can replace butter but the cake may be denser.
Q: The recipe calls for orange juice but I only have zest. What now?
A: Use 3/4 cup orange juice combined with 1/4 cup water or additional vanilla extract. Ensure adequate moisture.
Q: My cake did not rise enough in the oven. What went wrong?
A: Overmixing the batter, using expired baking powder, under-creaming butter/sugar, or not preheating the oven fully are common culprits.
Q: Can I make the cake ahead and freeze it?
A: Yes, the cake can be wrapped tightly and frozen for 2-3 weeks. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Q: How should I store an unfrosted orange cake?
A: Keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or wrapped tightly and freeze for 2-3 weeks.
By addressing typical issues and questions, hopefully more readers will have success making moist, flavorful orange cake! Reach out with any other queries.
Applying Final Touches to Orange Cake
To make the orange cake perfectly presentable, here are some finishing touches:
For a smooth rounded look, run a sharp serrated knife around the edges before inverting onto a serving plate.
Lightly dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with simple syrup for extra sweetness and shine.
Top with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) or fresh fruit like orange slices.
Garnish plate with candied orange zest or mint leaves for festive flair.
Serve cake slices topped with whipped cream or ice cream for decadence.
Presenting the cake attractively allows its vibrant color and aroma to entice the eyes and senses. Fresh fruit or frosting balances the citrus notes. Simple syrup or powdered sugar enhance moisture. With these touches, your orange cake will surely satisfy!
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a medium bowl, beat 8oz room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup butter and 2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar to reach a spreadable consistency. Stir in 1-2 Tbsp orange zest and 1/4 cup orange juice.