This soft, flavorful orange cake recipe features a whole orange for tons of bright, citrus flavor in every bite. Paired with a sweet, orange glaze, this homemade cake is moist, flavorful, and easy to make!
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While this orange cake looks and tastes like it came from a fancy Parisian bakery, it is actually quite simple to make. You don’t even need to peel the orange!
The whole fruit goes right into the blender, along with the tangy Greek yogurt. I know it sounds a little crazy to blend a whole orange. However, I promise this will be the best orange cake recipe you ever make.
Italian Orange Cake Recipe
This recipe makes one beautiful and thick eight-inch cake. It stays moist as it bakes thanks to the yogurt and butter. And don’t worry about it being too dense or heavy. The tender crumb practically melts in your mouth with every bite.
All you have to do is combine the ingredients, whole orange and all, in a blender, and your dessert is ready in minutes! However, my favorite part of this recipe is the sweet orange glaze.
A simple glaze, it consists of a combination of orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Brushed evenly over the top of the warm cake, it sinks into the dessert, creating a moist texture and a bold orange flavor.
Ingredients for Orange Cake
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Eggs – Here’s the best way to crack eggs.
- Granulated Sugar
- All-Purpose Flour – Feel free to use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- Baking powder
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter when baking.
- Greek yogurt – Look for plain Greek yogurt, and opt for full-fat varieties for the best taste and texture. It adds a nice tang and keeps the cake moist!
- Orange – I use a navel orange for this recipe. However, you can use any orange you like best. Cara Cara, Valencia, or blood oranges will work. Just try to find some that are about six ounces in weight.
- Vanilla – Use this in both the cake batter and the glaze. It enhances the natural sweetness of the rest of the ingredients.
- Orange juice – Use pulp-free orange juice to ensure the glaze is perfectly smooth. You can also squeeze your own orange juice and then strain it to make a fresh, flavorful glaze. Fresh orange juice always has an amazing flavor!
- Powdered sugar
- Replace the flour with gluten-free all-purpose baking flour to make a gluten-free orange cake.
- Use 4 tablespoons of buttermilk in place of the Greek yogurt. You can also use sour cream in place of yogurt for a tangy taste that compliments the sweet orange cake.
- Use almond extract in place of vanilla extract in the cake batter and glaze. It adds a wonderful nutty flavor. Then, sprinkle the cake with a few toasted sliced almonds for the perfect finishing touch!
- Skip the glaze, and just dust the moist orange cake with a little powdered sugar.
How to Make Orange Cake
- Prep your equipment: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, grease a springform pan with cooking spray, and dust the inside with flour.
- Beat the eggs: Beat the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a hand mixer to beat the eggs.
- Add the dry ingredients: Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the bowl with the eggs, and mix until smooth. Add the softened butter, and blend again.
- Puree the orange: Puree the whole orange, vanilla, and Greek yogurt in a blender until smooth. Try to make it as smooth and lump-free as possible! Then, mix the orange puree into the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the floured pan, and bake the cake for one hour. Once baked, let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then, flip it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Glaze the cake: Whisk the ingredients for the glaze together until smooth. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over the top of the warm orange cake.
You can freeze this orange cake if you wrap it in plastic wrap. I like to also put the wrapped cake in a gallon-sized freezer bag for an extra layer of protection.
The cake will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it at room temperature for about 3-4 hours. To serve, add the orange glaze, slice, and enjoy.
How to Store Orange Cake
Once cooled, you can cover any leftover cake with plastic wrap, transfer slices to an airtight container, or cover it in a cake stand. The cake will stay fresh and moist at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
You can also store the cake in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat a slice in the microwave for about 15 seconds just to remove the chill and freshen it back up before serving.
The white part of the orange peel has a slightly bitter taste. If your orange has an especially thick peel, it may be slightly more bitter. However, the amount of sugar in the cake and the orange glaze should make up for any bitter taste. The slight bitterness goes well with the sweet cake.
This orange cake recipe will be dry if it is overbaked. Keep a close eye on the oven, and use the toothpick test to check for doneness. You know your cake is done baking when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
Underbaking the orange cake will cause it to sink. If the center of the cake is too raw or undercooked, it will fall as it cools. Be sure to check the cake with a toothpick to ensure it is fully baked.
If the toothpick is wet or has batter on it, the cake is not fully baked. Bake the orange cake until the toothpick comes out cleanly from the center, with no sticky batter.
- 1 (8 inch) Springform Pan
- 2 Mixing bowls
- 1 blender
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 5 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 large orange, washed
- 5 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8” springform pan with baking spray and then dust the pan with flour. You want the sides of the pan to be well greased and floured.
- Add the sugar and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy.3 eggs, 1 1/4 cup sugar
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the eggs and beat slowly into a thick batter.1 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- Add the softened butter to the bowl and mix again.5 Tablespoons butter, softened
- Wash and slice your orange, keeping the peel on but removing any seeds. Place the orange slices in a food processor or blender along with the yogurt and vanilla extract. Blend until the orange is smooth. A few pieces are okay but you want to get it as smooth as possible.1 large orange, washed, 5 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the orange mix into the mixing bowl and blend again.
- Pour the orange cake batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake the cake for one hour. Test the cake to see if it is done by sticking a toothpick in the center. It should come out of the cake cleanly, with no stick batter on it.
- Let the orange cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze.1/2 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Remove the sides of the springform pan.
- Brush the glaze over the top of the cake, covering it completely and letting some of the glaze drip down the sides. The cake will absorb most of the glaze right away, soaking up all that sweet, orange flavor.
- Cut the cake into slices and enjoy while warm.
- If you do not have a , use a large bowl and an electric instead.
- Be sure the orange is washed before slicing. You will be using the entire peel of the orange so you want it to be clean.