Orange Cake with fluffy orange cream cheese frosting is a sweet and tangy dream come true! Homemade cake is moist, soft, and flavored with cinnamon, fresh orange juice, zest and more. And trust me, everyone will be fighting over who gets to lick the spoon that whipped up the frosting!
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – this orange cake with cream cheese frosting always makes me smile! Whether you serve it at a summertime birthday party or as part of your Thanksgiving dessert spread, you’ll also love this homemade cake recipe. The cake itself is so deliciously fluffy, moist, and subtly sweet. Spread all over the top is smooth cream cheese frosting that compliments the orange flavor of the cake in the best way! My favorite touch in this recipe is the cinnamon that’s in both the cake and icing. It adds a wonderful touch of warmth that really balances all of the fresh and fruity flavors!
What Creates the Orange Flavor?
There aren’t any artificial orange flavors in this cake! It’s made deliciously fresh with orange juice (best squeezed right from the fruit) and orange zest.
How to Make Orange Cake
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Whisk the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Beat the wet ingredients. Beat together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla.
Make the batter. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in all of the milk and orange juice. Then, pour the rest of the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix!
Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Make the frosting. Mix together all of the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy. Wait until the cake has totally cooled to room temperature before frosting it.
Storing Orange Cake
Store your frosted orange cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can keep it fresh for even longer in the fridge if you’d like! Properly stored in the fridge, it’ll stay tasty for about 4-5 days.
You can freeze orange cake WITHOUT the frosting for up to 2 months. Wait for it to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and foil. Date and label. Let it slowly defrost in the fridge or on the countertop prior to frosting and serving.
Ingredient Notes for Orange Cake
- Flour: Always spoon flour into the measuring cup. When you dunk the cup right into a bag of flour, you really pack it in there. Packed flour is too much flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Make sure neither of these ingredients are expired! You should use both of these within 6 months of opening the containers.
- Butter: Make sure it’s adjusted to room temperature prior to using.
- Cream Cheese: This should also be at room temperature. Also, I recommend using regular cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese won’t yield the same thick and creamy consistency.
- Vanilla Extract: For the very best flavor, try to use 100% pure vanilla extract. Imitation works well in a pinch but pure extract is always best.
- Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice will create the most incredible flavor! Plus, you’ll need the zest from the orange anyways, so you may as well squeeze the juice out.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Cups Salted Butter Softened to room temperature
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice Freshly Squeezed
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese Softened to room temp
- 3 Tablespoons Butter Softened to room temp
- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
- 2 teaspoons Orange Zest
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon until combined.
- In a second large bowl if using hand mixer, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and both sugars for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix just to combine.
- Add HALF of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Add all of the milk and orange juice and mix just to combine. Then, pour in the remaining dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold gently together. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- Add all ingredients together in a large bowl if using hand mixer, or the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat together on low speed for 1 minute, then turn the speed up to medium and mix for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.