This orange cake recipe is really easy to make and brings the taste of fresh oranges to a light and lovely cake.
The walnuts are optional, but they add great flavor and a nice bit of crunch to the cake. Walnuts are really healthy for us too, so any time you get to add them to your diet, go for it.
This recipe calls for the cake batter to be baked in a bundt pan, but you have several options here. If you have a bundt pan go ahead and use it. You can also use a simple ring shaped baking pan for an orange ring cake or you can use a wider round cake pan. A 10″ cake pan should be perfect. That’s what the cake in the image has been baked in.
One of the things I love about this easy orange cake is it’s simplicity. I don’t tend to be one who wants a multi-layered cake with icing and all the trimmings. I certainly do love sweets, but I tend to prefer a simpler cake topped with a bit of powdered sugar or the delicious glaze you’ll find below the recipe.
I love the hot orange juice poured over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. The cake easily absorbs all of that lovely orange juice flavor. It’s just SO good. You don’t even need the glaze or icing, but I’ve provided the glaze recipe below if you want it. The glaze is certainly a nice addition if you are baking it to serve to guests.
You can also ice the cake if you are an icing lover. I love the cake with the glaze or just plain with that lovely orange juice flavor infused into it. That said, either white or chocolate icing would be fabulous on this cake.
Read over these great tips before you make the cake. They will help ensure that you end up with a tender delicious cake each time you bake one:
To Sour Milk:
You don’t have to buy an entire carton of buttermilk to bring that wonderful flavor and tenderness to your baking. Just put 1 cup of milk into a small bowl and remove 1 tablespoon. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk and let it stand for about 10 minutes. The soured milk will be ready to use in your baking.
I always make the soured milk before I do anything else. By the time I get all my other ingredients and tools ready, the soured milk is ready to use and you don’t have to stop your baking prep right in the middle to wait for it.
Creaming Butter and Sugar Together
When a recipe calls for “creaming” the butter and sugar together, you might ask yourself what that means and why it’s even important.
Let’s answer the why part first: Creaming the butter and sugar together helps to make the cake nice and light. The more you mix them together the better your cake will be. What you are looking for is the butter (or margarine if you use that. I always prefer butter) and sugar mixture to turn a lighter shade of yellow.
Just take notice of what color the mixture is when you start. You want to cream the butter and sugar together until the color turns to a light lemon yellow. It doesn’t take long.
Creaming butter and sugar together just means mixing it together. If you are using an electric mixer or a stand mixer to mix your cake ingredients, it really is a piece of cake. Just mix the butter and sugar together on low speed until the sugar is totally incorporated into the butter and the color lightens up a bit.
You can also simply use a spoon to cream the butter and sugar together. Just stir the ingredients together until the sugar is well mixed into the butter, and again, watch to make sure the color lightens up a bit. I tend to sort of smash the sugar and butter together at first to make sure it really incorporates well. It’s a bit of a long explanation for a simple thing, but it is an important part of making sure your orange cake, or any cake you want to make, turns out beautifully light.
Simple Tip for Using Orange Zest
When you have a recipe that calls for orange zest (or grated orange rind as in this recipe), always, always zest the orange while it is still whole. It is almost impossible to properly zest an orange using the orange peelings. So even if the recipe calls for the juice to be added to the mix before the zest, always zest the orange first and set the zest aside, then juice the orange.
Grate or zest only the outer orange colored part of the rind. The white below will be too bitter and won’t give you the great tasting orange bundt cake we are looking for.
I hope you enjoy this easy bundt cake recipe. I absolutely love it.
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 orange rind, grated
- 1 cup buttermilk, or sour milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 egg whites, beaten stiffly
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the salt and egg yolks. If you have a blender, put the rind into it with the buttermilk and whirl it until the rind is very fine. Stir the rind mixture into the sugar mixture.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together and blend into the batter. Fold in the nuts, then the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into a buttered bundt pan or tube pan.
- Bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes.
- Heat the orange juice in a saucepan. When the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle the hot juice over it with a spoon.
- Cool before slicing.