Get creative with your cake flavors and make this orange cake recipe from scratch!
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.
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!
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.
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!
- 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)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, butter and line 2 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together the sugar, orange zest, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- In a smaller, separate bowl, sift together your cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large measuring cup or another bowl, combine your milk, oil, and orange juice. Add your orange extract here if using.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow the cake to rest in the pan 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely. Cool completely before frosting.
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