Cakes/ Classic Desserts/ Dessert/ Fruit Desserts

Mom’s Easy Orange Cake

March 22, 2020

A soft and tender orange cake that’s bursting with fresh orange flavor. This everyday orange cake recipe is easy to make and only gets better over time.

Orange Cake

I’m not the only baker in my family. My mom is famous for her orange cake, or perhaps for letting me sneak in a slice before it cooled down completely (my sweet tooth began at an early age). Her recipe is something I grew up with, but it wasn’t until a recent nostalgic craving for the citrusy cake that I finally asked her for it.

I vividly remember moments in the kitchen, waiting in anticipation for my mom to take the orange bundt cake out of the oven. She always told me to wait for it to cool completely, but my impatience usually won me a slice of warm cake. Now with my own daughter, this cake is passed through our family and soon we all can enjoy a slice of my mom’s easy orange cake.

Orange Cake

How to Make Orange Cake

Since we’re using oil instead of butter for extra moisture, it’s really important to properly beat your eggs for a light and fluffy crumb. This is the only step that adds air into the cake, so I like to use my mixer for an extra boost of power. You’ll whisk together the eggs and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

The benefit of using your mixer is that this orange pound cake recipe only uses one bowl! Once your eggs are fluffy, turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in your oil. Once combined, follow with the orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract and keep whisking slowly until combined. Add the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix the batter.

Orange Cake

Using Fresh Oranges

I highly recommend using fresh oranges for this cake. Just like in my lemon bundt cake, using fresh citrus really helps the flavor burst through in each bite. To keep things easy, I use the zest from the same number of oranges I use for juicing, about 3-4 total. A tip: I find it easier to zest the oranges before juicing them.

Orange Cake

Baking Your Orange Cake

My mom always made this as an orange bundt cake, but since it’s a very moist pound cake I’ve often struggled getting it out from the pan in one piece. I prefer to use loaf pans instead of a bundt pan, but whichever pan you use be sure to butter and flour it well. Since this orange juice cake is full of moisture it can easily stick to the pan.

The trickiest part in making this recipe is being careful not to overbake it. I like to use a toothpick to test for doneness; it should come out clean when done but may have a few crumbs. If it comes out gooey then it needs more time.

Once baked, let it cool completely before eating. For the best texture, let the cake rest for a day at room temperature before eating. The citrus flavor becomes stronger over time, giving you a juicy punch in every bite.

This simple bundt cake is one I grew up with and now I’m finally sharing it with you. I love to have a slice of it for breakfast or with some tea in the afternoon. Food is full of memories and my mom’s orange cake is one of my childhood favorites. I’m so glad to be able to share this recipe with my daughter and hope you will bake it for friends and family too.   

Orange Cake

Other orange recipes:

5 from 34 votes
Orange Cake
Orange Cake
YIELD: 2 loaves

This recipe yields 2 loaves or as my mom used to make it – one bundt cake. I find that it’s not easy to remove the cake from the bundt pan because it’s a very moist cake unless you butter and flour the pan well, so I prefer using a loaf pan and I think it looks beautiful. If you only want to make one loaf, you can halve the recipe.

  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Orange zest from 3-4 oranges (I use the same amount of oranges I use for the juice)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 12-cup (10-inch) Bundt pan or two standard loaf pans (either 9 x 13 inch pans or 8½ x 4½ inch pans for taller cakes) and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment, whisk together eggs and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On low speed and with the mixer running, add oil slowly until combined. Add orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract and keep whisking slowly until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Don’t overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan/pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes for the bundt pan or 40-50 minutes for the loaves or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning quickly while baking, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow cake/cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For the best moist texture, the cake is best served at room temperature. This cake freezes well so if you make two loaves, cover well, and freeze one of them in the freezer for up to 2 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge

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  • Reply
    March 22, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    When you say orange zest from 3-4 oranges? How much of it is that roughly? 1 cup full of it?

    • Reply
      March 23, 2020 at 2:54 am

      It’s about 5–6 tablespoons.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    This cake is sooooo delicious……thanks for posting the previous pantry friendly recipes too, so thoughtful of you. Thanks to you, I also discovered babka. I have made your chocolate babka but would love to see some more babka recipes in different flavors and shapes.
    Love the simplicity and elegance of this blog too
    Lots of love xxx

    • Reply
      Sheri L Metternick-Jones
      July 7, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      I run a Historic Bed & Breakfast south of Atlanta. Always looking for timeless classics. Thanks so much for this beauty!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I halved the recipe and made a loaf in a 8.5 x 4.5 inch pan and it was absolutely delicious! My family loved it and they keep asking me to make it every week. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2020 at 10:34 am

    I couldn’t believe I managed a cake for the first time! Thank you for your mom’s recipe.
    This might be a silly question – could I substitute oranges with lemons using the same recipe?
    Thanks again!

    • Reply
      May 5, 2020 at 6:22 am

      Hi Grace! Lemon has a stronger flavor and than orange and it’s more sour so it won’t work, but I have many great lemon loaf recipes on the blog!

    • Reply
      May 20, 2020 at 3:13 am

      This recipe is just perfect. Simple and delicious. Thank you so much for this!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Sorry, forgot to rate previously.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    I was looking for an easy but tasteful orange cake recipe and I am happy I came across this one. First time ever making a cake from scratch let alone an orange flavored one and this one was delish. Not overly sweet and the orange flavor came through. It was just the perfect balance. I did 1 and 1/2 cake batter and placed it in a regular cake pan and it still cooked in 1 hour perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I had an abundance of oranges and tried this recipe due to the fact that I had all the ingredients (hence, no grocery shopping needed). This recipe is a definite keeper! I made two loaves so I could freeze one and they came out moist, soft and tender. I had to stop myself from eating a third slice! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. One question, did your loaves “fall” as well? They had a nice round to it when I took them out of the oven, then 10 minutes later they were flat.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2020 at 2:23 am

      As you can see in the photos, mine is flat as well, so that’s ok!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 8:57 am

    How much do the big eggs weight (more or less). I either find small/normal ones or XL ones 😕
    Looking forward to trying your recipe.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      About 50-55 grams for each egg would work well (without the shell).

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    I just made this and wow, so delicious and moist. Definitely will be making this again. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Reply
    beth werker
    May 24, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Do you know if I could make this with cake flour? And if so, should I still use 2.5 cups? Thank you!

    • Reply
      June 3, 2020 at 6:25 am

      Hi Beth. You can try it (use the same amount in grams) but keep in mind that this cake is delicate and I’m worried it won’t hold up and be too crumbly.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Halved the recipe and made it in a loaf pan. Everyone loves it. Thank you!

    • Reply
      August 23, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for the recipe. I don’t seem to find all purpose flour in our shops. Can I substitute it with self raising flour.

      • Reply
        August 24, 2020 at 2:20 am

        You can omit the baking powder and use self-rising flour instead. It won’t work for every recipe but it works for this one 🙂

      • Reply
        August 25, 2020 at 6:51 am

        i looked this up as am in uk and it says all purpose flour in usa is plain flour her e in the uk

  • Reply
    Kim qazi
    May 27, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Loved it thks

  • Reply
    Chang Yan Yin
    May 29, 2020 at 7:12 am

    The cake is light and fluffy and not too sweet. Definitely a keeper

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Turned out fabulous! Thanks!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I made this cake a second time this week as I blundered a bit the first time. It turned out gorgeous. I made it in a 24cm round cake tin and it cooked in 55 mins.
    I’m not the best in baking so getting this right meant a lot – thanks to you💙

  • Reply
    June 6, 2020 at 12:44 am

    It’s absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    Gloria Kambi
    June 10, 2020 at 6:12 am

    Planning on making this today evening , hopefully it goes well.
    A simple question, if I had to spread anything on it what will go with the cake?

    • Reply
      June 11, 2020 at 2:00 am

      My favorite version of this cake is with nothing on top, but if you still want to add a little something you can top it with chocolate ganache or even white chocolate ganache, whipped cream or a simple orange glaze.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I would like to Make 2kg of the orange cake. What should be the ratio of the ingredients?

  • Reply
    July 1, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Hey Shiran amazing and easy recipe. I made a single loaf with half the ingredients and as a result we are enjoying the lovely cake with tea while I am also writing this post 🙂

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 1:40 am

    Thanks so much. I had one large orange so I halved the recipe and just popped 1 loaf pan into the oven.
    The batter was smooth and looked promising…can’t wait to taste it.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    This is the best and the easiest orange cake I have ever made. Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2020 at 9:33 am


    Does this cake not having any salt in it? I baked it but it was a bitter. But I surely know where I was at fault, I grated some of the white of the orange as well that is why it might had that bitter taste. Otherwise this cake is worth of its five stars😋

  • Reply
    Delilah Almeida
    July 14, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Prepared this cake…had a beautiful texture and flavour…my family was all praises…credit goes to you for the recipe…this will be my go to cake…God bless!!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

    I made the cake yesterday and everyone loved it . Thank you for your amazing recipe . Lots of love ❤️

    • Reply
      August 2, 2020 at 1:53 am

      I made this and it’s delicious! Thank you for your recipe!😘

  • Reply
    Food for Thought
    July 19, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    This recipe was SO good! Just like your blog name– it was simple (easy to do!) and sweet (delicious!). I was looking for a recipe that would be “accessible” (e.g., did not require me to run to the grocery store during quarantine), and this recipe delivered! The cake was moist, delicate, fragrant and delicious. Plus, I had two previously failed baking attempts, so I was on the fence about baking again– but this recipe was fail proof and amazing!

  • Reply
    Julia G
    July 23, 2020 at 3:24 am

    Please thank your mom and thank you for sharing this trusted family recipe. It’s exactly the orange cake recipe I have been searching for with fresh orange juice without any artificial flavourings. Its perfect not only in taste but in texture and aroma too. Thank you!

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 4:04 am

      It will make my mom very happy 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, I subbed the flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free flour and otherwise followed the recipe. Even gluten free, this was a fantastic recipe! So moist and lush. I sprinkled it with powdered sugar and decorated with edible garden flowers. Such a bright, summery tasting cake. I made mine in a 10” round spring form pan. Thanks for this recipe, this one is a keeper.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2020 at 10:40 am

    This recipe is awesome. Pretty simple and sweet. I have a hack to make it super easy for me, i blend 3 oranges, alongside their zest with very little store bought orange juice to make a chunky puree. When the cake is ready i make an orange juice syrup and drizzle it allover the cake for a soft and moist cake.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2020 at 3:22 am

    I made this cake. Wow! I live alone, but I shared it with the maintenance crew. They loved it!
    I made a few changes, though. I squeezed and zested 4 valencia oranges and 2 mandarin oranges. I also added all the pulp to the juice and adjusted the amount of juice by barely above the 1 1/4 cup line. I also used a gluten-free brand of flour I found at Walmart – “Cup 4 Cup’, and it worked perfectly. The cake was moist and very yummy!
    Now, here’s something that will knock your socks off: This is the first cake I have baked in over 50 years! Yep, Fifty Years! Most of my life was spent working many hours, and I became intimidated by baking. The title of your recipe gave me the courage to try it. So, THANK YOU for helping me to begin baking again! It’s never too late!

    • Reply
      August 10, 2020 at 5:40 am

      I’m so glad it gave you the courage to try it! and that you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 13, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    The perfect orange cake! I’ve never tried or even heard of orange cake before, so I definitely wanted to try it, and it came out beautifully! I didn’t have a grater to get the zest, so I used a fruit peeler, but that took a really long time so I only used zest from one one orange, but it still tasted great! Love this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Hi Shiran. Could I use this recipe for mini bunt cakes?

    • Reply
      August 20, 2020 at 5:25 am

      You can definitely use this recipe for mini cakes. Loaf cakes would be great. The cake is very moist so it might be harder to remove from mini bundt pans.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Tried this today. it’s really good! However, because I was in a rush, I made a mistake of whisking the eggs and sugar together with the powder and baking soda on the get go. I was afraid I had ruined the texture, but it turned out fine anyway. Really yum!

  • Reply
    angela havelock
    August 31, 2020 at 11:43 am

    lovely cake so easy to make will certainly use again and again many thanks

  • Reply
    September 5, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Incredible recipe and so simple! A moist fresh cake – perfect for any party

  • Reply
    September 7, 2020 at 2:53 am

    Hey Shiran, thanks for sharing you family treasure with us. Fresh oranges are not in season where I live, can I make this with packaged orange juice instead?

    • Reply
      September 16, 2020 at 10:41 am

      If it’s 100% orange juice then yes you can, just keep in mind that it won’t taste exactly the same as fresh orange juice, and the zest gives more flavor to the cake.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Foolproof recipe. I use a bundt tin that I butter and dust with flour and it comes out perfectly every time and looks beautiful. Thank you

  • Reply
    September 11, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. It was just lovely, and so easy!
    Could one use butter instead of oil? How would that affect the cake crumb?
    With this pandemic raging, I’ve started baking cakes, something I was scared to do before. This recipe makes me look like a professional baker!!

    • Reply
      September 16, 2020 at 10:18 am

      I’m so glad you like it 🙂 I haven’t tried it with butter instead but it should work well. I like using oil in this recipe for that fluffy, moist texture.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for the recipe.
    I used 1 cup of sugar instead of 1 1/2 c as I’m a bit worried that it will be too sweet and turned out just right!!!. It is so delish and easy to make.
    Next time I use this recipe, I’m going to add poppy seeds and hopefully it works.
    Thank you Shiran

  • Reply
    September 18, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Thank you so much, such an easy recipe, the cake eaters enjoyed the fresh orange taste! I made chocolate icing with a little of the orange zest and juice. DELICIOUS – already shared with fellow bakers

  • Reply
    Kathrine Inkley
    September 21, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Would this cake sponge be OK under a buttercream coating?
    Many thanks

    • Reply
      September 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Hi Kathrine. If it’s one layer then yes! The cake is airy and soft so I wouldn’t use it for a layer cake.

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