This orange spice cake is just bursting with orange flavor! I used orange juice, zest and extract in this cake. Plus the glaze made from sweetened orange juice. All that orange paired with sweet, floral spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.
Forget about how good this orange cake tastes for a second, this cake smells so amazing too! From the moment I start zesting the orange, the kitchen just transforms into a little bake shop.
This cake is especially great right now. Oranges are in season, plus all of those sweet spices give off such a warming affect. Perfect for the cold winter months!
I just love how easy this orange spice cake recipe is to prepare too! I've always been daunted by baking sponge cakes. But this one is definitely super simple.
First Whisk Together All the Dry Ingredients:
- All Purpose Flour
- Corn Starch
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Spices - I used cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. But you can definitely change it up and use other spices like cloves, allspice, ginger, even chai masala would be great in this cake.
Next Combine the Wet Ingredients:
- Sugars - I used both granulated and brown sugars for this cake. The addition of the brown sugar gives a molasses flavor and color to the batter.
- Butter - Softened, if you're like me and always forget to take out your butter ahead of time, here's a quick tip: Microwave the chilled butter for about 20-30 seconds, covered. Then test the softness, microwave for 10 second increments until you reach your desired consistency
- Eggs - 4 large eggs needed
- Extracts - I use vanilla for sweetness and orange for that citrus-y flavor. If you can't find orange extract, I suggest adding an additional ½ teaspoon of orange zest to the cake batter
- Orange Juice - The great thing about this recipe is that you can really get the most out of 1 entire orange. Its definitely a whole orange type of recipe! The zest and the juice of the orange. Of course, you can definitely substitute bottle orange juice though
- Buttermilk - Gives the cake a really nice texture. Yogurt or sour cream can also be substituted but try to water it down a little bit if you are subbing.
Make the Cake Batter & Bake!
Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Whisk to combine. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and combine. You do not want to over mix, just until combined.
Pour the batter into a greased baking pan. You can use a bundt pan or a 9" x 5" loaf pan and bake for 40 - 50 minutes.
I mean this cake is already spiced and citrus flavored, so it really doesn't need a sauce. But this orange glaze adds a really nice additional burst of orange and spice, its so delicious!
Just combine more orange juice and a little powdered sugar to make the best glaze for this spiced cake! Most glazes use 1 cup of powdered sugar, but I find that to be too sweet. So I prefer to reduce the sugar and adjust the liquid as needed for the consistency of glaze I'm looking for. Feel free to add more sugar if needed. Also I found a touch of spice really elevated this glaze! I like to grate in a bit of star anise in this glaze, but cinnamon, cardamon or nutmeg will also work so well.
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Orange Spice Cake
Orange Spice Cake
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup butter softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- zest star anise optional
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a bundt pan or a 9×5 loaf pan. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornflour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together butter and sugars. Whisk until fluffy for about 2 minutes. Whisk in eggs, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest. Whisk in orange juice. Then whisk in buttermilk.
- Gently add in half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Slowly whisk until just combined. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and again whisk slowly until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the oven at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Test that the loaf is finished cooking by sticking a toothpick into the middle. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is cooked all the way through. Remove the spice cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
- While the loaf cools, prepare the icing by mixing together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest until a smooth icing remains. Add more orange juice if too thick or more powdered sugar to get the consistency you are looking for. Once the cake is cooled, pour the icing over top. Cut into slices and serve.
Adapted from recipe