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Orange Cake Recipe From Scratch

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Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch!

Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch! * Recipe on

I’ve been a full time blogger, as opposed to a full-time baker who happened to have a blog, for a little over a year now, and I’ve discovered a few things. One, I really love blogging. I have free reign to create in the kitchen, and short of being an executive chef, few culinary jobs allow that sort of freedom. And two, I love being able to share recipes. 

The bakery vault recipes had to be kept secret. Some will stay that way, mostly because I always measure them with an “ish” and it’s going to take some serious motivation to get me to reverse engineer those. I make sure to measure as exact as I can for the blog though, promise.

Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch! * Recipe on

I miss certain things too, one being the challenges presented to me by clients. Like those who want a certain flavor, sometimes completely new and custom, for their order. I loved those collaborations and coming up with something amazing in my style. One of the most unique is still the Candied Jalapeno Bacon Viogner Cupcake created in collaboration with Clarissa for a Nagy Wines event.

I have a few others, but I haven’t posted recipes yet. Anyway, there are far fewer of these requests now that I’m a blogger, naturally, but I miss them. So when a friend of mine asked if I would make some cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday and if I’d make them orange flavored, I was on it!

Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch! * Recipe on

I knew I wasn’t going to use a box mix bake, I was making this cake from scratch, and I wanted it to have a good amount of orange flavor, naturally. It was being served to 2-year-olds after all. It worked! So now when someone asks, “do you have an orange cake from scratch recipe?” I can say yes! It’s documented and on the internet, so it’s official.

If it’s not online, it didn’t happen. But if it is online, it may not have happened either… hmmm. Best not to dwell on that too long, we have cake to bake.

Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch! * Recipe on

I used my orange curd recipe to fill the layers of this cake, and frosted it with my Swiss meringue buttercream recipe. I like the combination of the vanilla and the orange. It feels like childhood for me, being a Florida girl who grew up on citrus basically year-round.

As with any cake recipe, be sure not to over-mix your batter. Stir just until combined for the best results. You can use fresh orange juice if you have it, but I’ve used the bottled orange juice in a pinch.

I don’t add orange extract to the cake because I don’t often have it and can’t always find it. If you want to add some, you may add a teaspoon to the recipe. As written, you will still get a definitive orange flavor. The extract just kicks things up a notch. I’d recommend it if you don’t plan to use an orange filling like my orange curd or an orange jam and you want a prominent orange flavor.

You may bake this cake as cupcakes, you’ll get about 24. I hope you enjoy this orange cake recipe from scratch!

Orange Cake Recipe from Scratch

Orange Cake Recipe from Scratch

Yield: 1 8 inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes

Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch!


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange peel (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, butter and line 2 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the sugar, orange zest, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  4. In a smaller, separate bowl, sift together your cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. In a large measuring cup or another bowl, combine your milk, oil, and orange juice. Add your orange extract here if using.
  6. In 3 batches, add 1/3 of your flour, stir, 1/3 of your liquid ingredients, stir, scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix only until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter between your cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes if baking a 2 layer cake. 20-25 minutes if making cupcake or a 3 layer cake. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
  8. Allow the cake to rest in the pan 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely. Cool completely before frosting.
Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch! * Recipe on


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  • Reply
    July 16, 2016 at 2:22 am

    I made these. They are beautiful with great flavor, but sadly a little dense and doughy. I suspect I under baked them… Though I cooked for longer than 20 minutes. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      July 25, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Oh no! I’m so sorry they turned out dense, and I hope you’ll give them another try sometime. 🙂

  • Reply
    Chelsey Miles
    September 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    These are beautiful, and I would imagine absolutely delicious as well. I would love to make this in full cake version for my friend’s baby shower (it is fall themed). Could you suggest any modifications for me to make to the recipe in order to make one cake that would serve up to 15 people versus the cupcakes? Such as baking time, temp, and recipe? Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      September 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Chelsey! Thanks so much for stopping by! Going by a standard party serving chart, an 8″ round cake with two layers feeds 16, which would be perfect for your party! To make enough batter for two 8″ round 2″ deep pans, here are the ingredients:

      2 tbsp orange zest (zest from 1 orange)
      2 cups orange juice (from 3-4 large oranges)
      2 stick unsalted butter, softened
      4 eggs
      2 cup granulated sugar
      4 cups all-purpose flour
      2½ tsp baking powder
      1 tsp salt
      1 1/2 tsp vanilla

      The cake layers would bake in 35-40 minutes instead of 20. You’d still bake at 350. Double the frosting recipe depending on your final design to make sure you have enough. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara @ Life's Little Sweets
    September 4, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    these look gorgeous! Pinning!

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