Orange Cake

5 from 4 votes

This orange cake is citrusy, sweet, and perfectly fluffy! Top with a glaze and orange slices for a truly beautiful dessert.

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With sweet orange flavors in a soft cake, this Orange Cake is so good. I started with a Mediterranean classic, olive oil cake, and added orange everywhere–from the zest in the cake, to the juicy glaze on top, to the sliced orange garnish. The result is a simple yet spectacular orange olive oil cake cake the whole family will love!

Beautiful glazed orange cake topped with orange slices and spiraled orange peels on a marble plate.
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If you’re an olive oil cake lover like I am, you know how amazing it is. Olive oil makes cake SO moist and tender, without being heavy. Plus, it adds a fruity note of flavor that is so good! Sweet citrus is a natural complement to those fruity flavors–this orange olive oil cake is the perfect example of that. 

I love how this citrus olive oil cake is so easy to make, which makes it perfect for a simple family dessert. But it’s also amazing (and sure to be requested) for special occasions like birthdays, brunches, Mother’s Day, or Easter.

Recipe at a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: Mediterranean
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Buttery, Citrus
Skill Level: Easy

Ingredients to Make Orange Cake

Ingredients to make recipe: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, sugar, eggs, olive oil, Greek yogurt, fresh orange juice, vanilla extract.

For the cake:

  • Orange zest & juice: Use one or two fresh oranges. Zest the orange first, then cut it in half and juice it.
  • Olive oil: Along with the orange, olive oil is the key ingredient in this recipe! It adds moistness to the cake and eliminates the need for butter. It contributes a mild yet wonderfully fruity note of flavor.
  • Greek yogurt: Helps keep the cake moist and adds a tangy note. I prefer to use full-fat, unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt but a lower-fat Greek yogurt will work as well.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour for this orange cake, but cake flour works beautifully, too. You can sub in a 1-to-1 substitute for a gluten-free cake.
  • Baking powder & baking soda: These leaveners help lift the cake and add air for that tender, perfect crumb.
  • Salt: To help offset the sweetness and enhance the flavors.
  • Sugar: Granulated (white) sugar.
  • Eggs: Make sure they’re room temperature, which helps them to blend completely with the other ingredients.

For the orange glaze:

  • Orange juice: Use more fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar.
  • Vanilla: A touch of pure vanilla extract adds a note of sweet flavor that is perfect in this glaze.
  • Use another citrus: Swap in lemons, Meyer lemons, or grapefruit for another type of citrus olive oil cake.
  • Make it dairy-free: Swap in an unsweetened plain dairy-free yogurt for the Greek yogurt to make this cake dairy-free.
  • Go without gluten: Swap the flour for a 1-to-1 substitute to make a gluten-free orange cake.

How to Make Orange Olive Oil Cake

To make orange olive oil cake, it’s just a matter of mixing together the batter and baking the cake. Then, after you’ve removed the warm cake from the oven, slather the glaze over the top. Once it’s cooled, decorate your citrus olive oil cake with orange slices and serve.

Make the Orange Cake Batter and Bake

  1. Add the sugar and orange zest to a stand mixer bowl. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, until the oils from the zest have been released into the sugar and the mixture is moist. 
  2. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture and beat together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the olive oil, yogurt, and orange juice and beat until smooth.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add the dry mixture to the wet and mix on low speed just until combined. 
  5. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6-image collage making the cake batter: 1 - Hands massaging orange zest and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; 2 - Eggs added before mixing; 3 - After mixing until light and fluffy with oil, yogurt, and orange juice added; 4 - After mixing with dry mixture added on top of wet; 5 - Cake batter in prepared cake pan before baking; 6 - After baking.

Make the Glaze

  1. Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract to a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Place the cake on a wire rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath to catch any drips.
  4. Slowly pour the glaze over the warm cake, using the back of a spoon to evenly spread the glaze if needed.
4-image collage making glaze: 1 - Orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl before whisking; 2 - After whisking; 3 - Baked cake on a wire rack; 4 - Spreading glaze onto cake.

Tips for Making the Best Orange Olive Oil Cake

  1. Use a microplane zester to zest your orange: The fine grater is perfect for removing the zest while leaving the bitter pith behind.
  2. Use a citrus juicer: If you have it, use a citrus reamer or juicer to extract every last drop of juice out of your orange.
  3. Room-temp eggs and yogurt are best: Start with room temperature eggs and Greek yogurt, which will help the batter blend smooth.
  4. Don’t overmix: When you combine the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until the ingredients are incorporated together. Don’t overmix, or you risk developing the gluten which can result in a dense, tough cake.
Orange cake on a marble plate with 3 slices cut out; napkin, forks, small plate, and orange slices nearby.

How to Store Orange Cake

To store orange cake, allow the cake to cool completely. Transfer it to an airtight container and store it at room temperature. You can also store it in the refrigerator if you’d like it to last a little longer.

How Long Will Orange Cake Last in the Fridge?

Orange olive oil cake will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze This Olive Oil Orange Cake Recipe?

Yes! To freeze orange cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature, then garnish with fresh orange slices if you like before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best olive oil for orange olive oil cake?

Any type of olive oil will work in olive oil cake, but for the very best flavor, you can use a high quality extra virgin olive oil.

How can I tell if I have a high-quality olive oil?

High quality extra virgin olive oil is found in darker bottles or tins and often comes from a single point of origin and/or uses a single variety of olive. Double check the harvest date for a more recent date; fresher is better.

Can I double this orange cake recipe?

Yes! I recommend using two 9-inch round cake pans if you would like to double the recipe.

Closeup of a slice of orange cake on a white small plate with a fork and the whole cake in the background.

Light yet moist with vibrant flavors, this orange cake is so easy to make! The subtle flavors of the olive oil, the tangy Greek yogurt, and the juicy citrus make a fruity, buttery cake that is so good. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just craving a dessert with some Mediterranean flair, you’re going to love this orange olive oil cake!

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Orange Cake

This orange cake is citrusy, sweet, and perfectly fluffy! Top with a glaze and orange slices for a truly beautiful dessert.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Calories 379
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
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Ingredients
  

Cake Batter

Orange Glaze

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper and lightly greasing the sides.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and orange zest and use your fingers to massage together until it becomes moist. Add eggs to the sugar mixture and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Lower the speed to medium-low, then add oil, yogurt, and orange juice to the foamy egg mixture. Mix until well combined.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
  • Transfer to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
  • While the cake is cooling, whisk together orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla for the glaze until smooth.
  • Transfer the cake to a wire rack, peeling off the parchment paper. Place the rack on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Slowly pour orange glaze over the warm cake. If needed, use the back of a spoon to spread the glaze.

Notes

Storage: Allow the cake to cool completely. Transfer it to an airtight container and store it at room temperature. You can also store it in the refrigerator if you’d like it to last a little longer. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezing: To freeze orange cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature, then garnish with fresh orange slices if you like before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 379kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 191mg, Potassium: 104mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 116IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dessert
5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. mahshid says:

    pulps are ok or we should sieve it

  2. Nichol says:

    I made this and it is delicious!!! Followed your direction exactly and we LOVED it!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, so glad it turned out great for you!! Thank you!

  3. Carlos says:

    I do not have a stand mixer. Can I use a hand held mixer?
    Thank you .

    1. Yumna says:

      Sure! That will work.

  4. Pauline says:

    Do I have to use olive oil in the cake? Can I substitute it ?

    1. Yumna says:

      I think it provides the best flavor for this recipe. You could try something like avocado oil, but it won’t have exactly the same flavor.

  5. tasneem basta says:

    will definitely try it out it looks a great, your recipes are just amazing.

  6. Cindysoo says:

    Hi, looking forward to making this!!
    Sorry, did you use a 9” or an 8” pan?
    Thanks for sharing your recipe 😊

    1. Yumna says:

      Hi! I used a 9 inch cake pan.