Soft & Fluffy Orange Cake Recipe

Soft & Fluffy Orange Cake Recipe – Soft and fluffy orange cake with a tender crumb, melt-in-the-mouth texture, and bright orange flavor. Leave it plain for a simple, everyday snack, or drizzle with cream cheese glaze to turn it into dessert.

Servings: 20


1 1/3 cup (160 grams) all purpose flour (preferably weighed for accurate results)*
3 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch*
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (3 grams) orange zest (may be increased for a stronger orange flavor)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
2 large eggs (100 grams), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon if using imitation vanilla flavoring)
1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream*, at room temperature
1/2 cup (118ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (may be increased to 3/4 cup (177ml) for a stronger orange flavor. Omit the sour cream if doing so)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 (18 grams) tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (28g) cream cheese, softened (I used 4 squares of Kiri)
3/4 cup (85g) powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream



Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat the oven to 350F/180C (325F/160C if using a dark pan).

Generously grease and flour (or spray with a non-stick cooking spray) a 6-cup bundt pan* (*see note). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and an electric hand mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

With the mixer running on medium-low speed, gradually add in the sugar, followed by both orange and lemon zest. Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating together until lightened up in both color and texture; 4 to 5 minutes. The color should turn very pale (almost white) and texture should look fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and sour cream, mixing until well incorporated.

On lowest speed, add in one-third of the flour mixture and mix until mostly combined. Add in half of the orange juice and lightly stir until almost mixed in. Continue with adding another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining orange juice and ending with the last third of flour mixture. Mix until just combined and a smooth batter forms. Do not overmix. With a rubber spatula, give the batter one good, final stir to make sure that everything is well incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, and a wooden skewer inserted between the tube and sides comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs attached.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool slightly. Meanwhile, make the orange syrup, if using.


In a tiny saucepan over very low heat, bring together the orange juice and sugar to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat once it reaches a simmer. Using a thin skewer, poke tiny holes all over the cake. Brush the surface of the cake with about one-third of the syrup. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup. Allow the cake to cool slightly before serving, or wait until its barely warm before glazing (if using); at least 40 more minutes.


In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, and whisk together until no longer lumpy. Whisk in enough heavy whipping cream to get the mixture to a thick, yet pourable consistency.

Pour the glaze all over the cake then give it enough time to set. Garnish with strands of orange peel, if desired.

Cut into slices and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight cake dome at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.


This recipe makes a small bundt, enough to fill a 6-cup bundt pan, which is different from what is shown in the pictures. I doubled the batter for the pictures to fill up this 10-cup bundt pan, because let’s be honest…it’s a looker and I wanted to use it so bad. I later found out that the results of the doubled recipe turned out a lot denser than the original recipe I was testing with. For that reason, I don’t recommend doubling the recipe, unless you prefer dense cakes. If you don’t have a 6-cup bundt pan, you may use the more traditional 10-cup bundt pan (like that shown in the pictures), but note that it will be shorter in height, yet equally delicious. Alternatively, a 9″ round cake pan or 8″ square pan may be also be used, yet baking time may vary. With that said, the bundt pan in the pictures is by Nordicware.

Weighing ingredients, especially flour, is ideal in baking due to its consistency. If you don’t have a kitchen scale to weigh the flour, use the Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to lightly fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained, then sweep access with the back of a knife.

Cornstarch is used in combination with all-purpose flour in this recipe to imitate the results of cake flour, which produces a finer and more tender crumb. Cake flour could be hard to find in some countries, so this trick works like a charm. If you have cake flour on hand, feel free to use that instead of the all purpose flour/cornstarch combo. You will then need to use a total of 1½ cups (180g) cake flour.

If you don’t have sour cream and/or would like to increase the orange punch of your cake, you could omit it and sub in more orange juice. I tested it both ways and personally prefer the orange juice/sour cream combo for the tangier notes it lends and for that ever-so-slightly extra moisture it adds, but it’s still amazing with the ALL orange juice option.

The orange syrup adds another layer of orange flavor, and a little extra moisture, but the cake won’t suffer without it. It took me a while to decide whether I want it in the recipe or not, as the difference with and without is minimal, which is way I kept it optional. Personally, I think it’s better with it by just a hair. So feel free to skip this step if you’re all about simplicity.


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