This soft, flavorful orange cake is made with a whole orange for tons of citrus flavor in every bite. The sweet orange glaze just makes the cake even more incredible!
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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. It sounds a little crazy but I promise you that this will be the best orange cake you have ever made. If you love easy cake recipes like Cannoli Cake, Honey Bun Cake , Chocolate Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake, this orange cake will be a new favorite!
Italian Orange Cake Recipe
My whole orange cake recipe makes one, beautiful, thick eight-inch cake. The cake stays moist as it bakes thanks to the yogurt and butter. However, don’t worry about the cake being too dense or heavy—it actually has a perfect tender crumb that will melt in your mouth.
My favorite part of this Italian orange cake recipe is not the fact that you can toss the entire orange into the blender or the simplicity of the recipe itself. My favorite thing about my orange cake recipe is the sweet orange glaze. A simple mix of orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract is whisked together and brushed over the top of the warm cake. The cake absorbs the glaze, soaking up every bit of bold orange flavor. It really is amazing!
So, are your taste buds enticed yet? Are you excited to try this elegant and easy orange cake? I hope you are because this is an incredible cake recipe I think you will really enjoy.
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Eggs – Here’s the best way to crack eggs.
- Baking powder
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter when baking.
- Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is much thicker than other types of yogurt. It’s perfect for making an orange cake, as it adds a tangy taste and also makes the cake very moist.
- Orange – I use a navel orange for this cake because they are easy to find in the grocery store and a perfect size for the recipe. You want an orange that is about 6 ounces. A large cara cara orange, Valencia orange, or even a good-sized blood orange would work.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract is used in both the cake batter and the glaze for the orange cake. Vanilla adds a subtle, natural sweetness to the cake.
- 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.
- 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.
- Replace the vanilla extract in the cake batter and the glaze with almond extract to create a wonderful orange almond cake. Sprinkle the cake with a few toasted sliced almonds for the perfect finishing touch.
How to Make Orange Cake
- Prep your equipment: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and then prepare the cake pan by spraying it with baking spray and dusting it with flour.
- Beat the eggs: Beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and fluffy. Use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a hand blender to mix the eggs.
- Add the dries: 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. Mix the orange puree into the cake batter and stir until smooth.
- Bake the cake: Pour the orange cake 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 before flipping it out of the pan and placing it on a tray or plate.
- 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. Then, the cake is ready to slice and serve!
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 keep in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it at room temperature for about 3-4 hours then add the orange glaze, slice, and enjoy!
How to Store Orange Cake
Once your cake has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for 2-3 days. The soft, moist texture of the cake is best when kept at room temp.
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 make it fresh once again.
The white part of the orange peel has a slight bitter taste. If your orange had 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. In fact, the slight bitterness actually goes well with the sweet cake.
Orange cake would be dry if it was overbaked. This is the most common reason why this recipe would make a dry cake. Be sure to test the cake with a toothpick starting at about 50 minutes of baking time to ensure it is perfectly baked.
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.
More Amazing Cake Recipes
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 5 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large orange, washed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your 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.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the eggs and beat slowly into a thick batter.
- Add the softened butter to the bowl and mix again.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 stand mixer, use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer 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.