Orange Cake Recipe: How to Make Orange Cake

Easy Homemade Orange Cake RecipeThe orange cake recipe is so easy to make at home; all you need is 1 large orange and your cake ingredients. This orange cake is a tea-time dessert you can enjoy especially when chocolate is added. It has a sweet and orange-flavored taste that makes you want to eat more. So if you have lots of oranges and wonder what to do with them, use some to make an orange cake.

Table of Contents


  • 1 large orange. You will zest the orange and then use the juice as well.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Orange food color – few drops. If you don’t have orange food color while making the orange cake, you can improvise an orange food color; simply combine an equal amount of red and yellow color and you will have an orange color to use in your cake recipe. The amount of orange color depends on the intensity of color you want to get. I used 1/4 tsp of orange color. You can always add a few drops more if you haven’t gotten the intensity you want after thoroughly mixing the color in the batter.
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower oil. You can use any cooking oil of choice. I just love the flavor the sunflower oil adds, hence the need to use it. You can use olive oil, almond oil, or any healthy oil of choice. Soft butter can be used also. We are using oil to give our cake extra moisture, making it extra soft.

How to Make Orange Cake at Home

Easy Homemade Orange Cake
Sliced orange cake with sliced orange

Making the orange juice and zest for the cake

Grating of an orange to extract the orange zest for making orange cake
Grating of orange to extract the orange zest for making an orange cake.
  • Start zesting the orange by first grating the back of the orange to extract the zest (colored and acidic part of the peel) using the medium holes on the grater. Do not use the large holes on the grater as that whole make the cake gritty and not enjoyable when eaten; using the smallest holes does not release the zest; the best is to use the medium holes on the grater. Grate only the back or peel of the orange and not the flesh; ensure you grate the whole orange back which when done should be roughly a tablespoon. Keep it aside.
  • Next, squeeze the orange juice and keep it aside. You can use a juicer or simply make a slit with the knife and then use your hand to squeeze the orange to release the juice. While using your hand, always squeeze the orange juice through a strainer or a sieve to sieve out the seeds and some parts of the flesh, leaving only the juice. I got about 50 ml of orange juice from my orange and it’s just enough for this orange cake recipe.

Grated orange after extracting the orange zest for making orange cake.

Make the cake batter

  • In a large mixing bowl, break two eggs and add to the bowl; also add half a cup of white granulated sugar to the bowl and stir to mix the sugar with the eggs.
  • Go in with the sunflower oil, whisk to combine, and then add the orange juice and stir again to mix completely. It is good to add each ingredient and stir first before adding the next ingredient; this allows for the even mixing of each ingredient.
  • Next, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl containing your flour. To the flour, add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of baking soda and then mix to combine nicely. Ensure you sieve your flour ahead of time to ensure that your batter is smooth and free of some grains, lumps, or dirt that may be in the flour.
  • Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do this by adding the flour a little at a time and then stir to combine completely. Sometimes adding the flour at once may be too much for your cake batter and you would end up with dough rather than a batter. Add and stir the batter until you have a batter consistency that is not too runny and not thick.
  • To the orange cake batter, add the orange zest that you grated and mix together.
  • Next, add the orange food color and stir to combine. Always add few drops and stir before adding more. This prevents adding much food color to the batter. If you are using powder food color, it is best to mix with a tsp of water to dissolve it first before adding to the batter – this ensures even mixing and distribution of the color in the batter. The same applies when you want to improvise the orange color using the powdered red and yellow colors; simply dilute each color separately before combining them together to form the orange color.
Orange Cake Batter in a bowl
Mixing of the orange food color in the cake batter.

Baking the cake

  • Grease your cake pan with some oil using a pastry brush. Grease the whole inner area of the baking pan. I am using a 22 by 11 by 6 cm rectangular loaf pan. You can also use a rounded pan for this also. Greasing the pan makes it easier to remove the orange cake when baked.
  • Next, place parchment paper at the bottom of the pan; let the parchment paper match the same area as the base of the loaf pan. The parchment paper makes it very easy for the orange cake to come off after baking because without the parchment paper the cake may stick to the bottom of the pan, making it difficult to remove from the pan.
  • Pour the orange cake batter into the greased pan and then give the batter a little tap by gently tapping the pan on a table to level the top of the batter. You can use a bundt pan to make this recipe too.
  • Pop into your oven to bake but first of all, make sure you have preheated the oven such that the temperature is now 340 degrees Fahrenheit or 171 degrees Celsius. Bake at the temperature of 340 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
  • After 40 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, your easy homemade orange cake is ready. You should have started perceiving the aromatic orange flavor all over the kitchen by now. To know that your cake is well baked, simply use a toothpick or a skewer and pierce through it; when the toothpick comes off without stain or the cake sticking to it, it means the orange cake is ready.
  • Allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes outside the oven before removing it from the loaf pan. While removing after 10 minutes, you can use a knife to scrape off the sides of the pan (between the pan and the cake) to help remove the cake easily.

When you cut your orange cake you will find out it is orange in color both in and out with a very sweet flavor of orange and tastes as orange due to the juice added to the batter. It is an amazing cake recipe you need to try out.

Can orange juice be used instead of milk in a cake?

Orange juice can be used for making an orange cake together with the zest. The juice substitutes the use of milk. You can the flavor, taste, and sweetness of orange in your cake recipe.

How do you make orange zest for cakes?

Orange zest can easily be made for your cake using a hand grater. Make sure to use the medium holes – these make the perfect orange zest for cakes. Hold the grater with one hand and the orange with the other. Now grate the back or the peel of the orange over the grater while applying little pressure over the orange. Be careful with your hand so that you don’t grate the hands in the process.

Let me know what you think about this orange cake recipe, and if you have a different way of making this recipe also, let me know through the comment box below.