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 17 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
    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😋

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