I have an affection for delicious desserts. While I’m a certified chocoholic, every now and then I venture out of my comfort zone to make a tasty alternative. Layered cakes are a classic dessert that are gaining popularity again and I love the way they look. This Layered Orange Cake recipe is a beautiful spring dessert option. Make it for an al fresco dinner or serve at your Easter celebration. It tastes like a creamsicle and the orange flavor comes through with juice and zest from fresh orange fruit.
Baking layered cakes doesn’t have to be intimidating. Sure, there are a few extra steps, but the end result is always a showstopper dessert. Taking your time to prep the cake pans can make all the difference. These baking tips for layer cakes are a great resource if you’re new to making them.
Layered cakes have been around since the mid 1800’s, which is crazy to think about. It wasn’t until the 1950’s though that women really started to experiment with flavors and different varieties.
The orange flavoring in this Layered Orange Cake comes from a variety of different things: orange extract and the juice (plus zest) of a fresh orange. You can get Orange Extract from your local baking specialty store or from the baking section of your grocery store.
For this particular recipe, you can use Navel Oranges. Most people don’t realize that Navel Oranges are in peak season from November – January, and that’s when they’re the sweetest. So if you’re making this cake in the springtime, and using Navel Oranges, most likely you’ll use produce that is shipped into the U.S. It’s still going to be a wonderful springtime cake!
Looking for even more great springtime desserts? Here are some of my favorites for spring & Easter:
How To Make A Layered Orange Cake For Dessert
If you’ve been a long time reader, you know I feel about baking technique. It’s the foundation to the pulling the perfect dessert out of your oven. Two people can make the same dessert, but have different results thanks to the technique they used. To start, you’ll want to invest in some nice 9-inch cake pans (for this recipe) and a cake decorating kit which has the piping materials you’ll need + a rotating cake stand for decorating. They’re really not too expensive either.
What To Serve With Layered Orange Cake & When To Make It
As soon as I switch to citrus desserts, the weather has warmed up. Making citrus-flavored desserts is a fun way to welcome spring. I make this cake for Easter as part of our dessert table. It’s great for an Easter brunch or dinner. My mom looks forward to me making this cake every year and even says it’s one of the first signs of spring in our home!
Serve the cake with a fresh pot of coffee, ice cream or sorbet. You can easily make your own Orange Sorbet from scratch and it’s a great pairing for the ultimate citrus dessert.
How To Keep Your Layered Orange Cake Fresh
After you’ve baked your cake and it’s cooled, you’ll add the frosting. Then, you can serve the cake and store any leftovers. I swear by using a Cake Carrier that doubles as an airtight food storage container. This will help to keep your Layered Orange Cake fresh for as long as possible. Enjoy your Orange Cake for 4-6 days for the ultimate freshness, before tossing.
Can You Freeze A Layered Orange Cake?
I love to freeze leftover desserts. Wasting food isn’t my thing and I prefer to freeze it over tossing. You can freeze this Orange Cake for up to 3 months before discarding. Let it thaw on the countertop for several hours, after pulling from the freezer, before enjoying again.
Recipe Substitutions You Can Make
If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can certainly use these handy buttermilk substitutions. You want to use these substitutions over an alternative milk product. Additionally, you can make the topping of the cake however you want. You don’t have to decorate it in a fancy manner – just frost the cake as you normally would! I like the dollops of frosting on top, but you can ignore that all together. The Orange Cake is going to taste great and you’ll have less work to do.
What You’ll Need From The Grocery Store:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Orange Extract
- Oranges (For Zest)
- Orange Gel Food Coloring
- Powdered Sugar
- Baking Tools: 1 large piping bag fitted with a star tip, 1 small angled spatula & 2 medium mixing bowls
- 4 C flour
- 3 tsp Baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 C unsalted sweet cream butter, melted
- 4 C sugar
- 2 C Buttermilk
- 2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Orange extract
- 4 tbsp Orange zest
- 3-5 drops of orange gel food coloring
For The Buttercream Frosting:
- 6 sticks (3 C) unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 6-8 C powdered sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large piping bag fitted with a star tip
- 1 small angled spatula
- Orange gel food coloring
- 2 medium mixing bowls
- For The Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 3 9inch baking rounds with pam baking spray.
- Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Using a standing mixer, beat together the eggs, butter, and sugar until combined.
- Beat in the buttermilk, vanilla, orange extract and orange zest until combined.
- Gradually beat in the flour mixture until combined.
- Mix until combined the orange food coloring. Divide the batter between the three pans and baking for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center.
- Allow the cakes to cool down completely. Then, cut the dome on top of the cake and the stiff sides.
- For the frosting & Assembly: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla on low speed until smooth, then mix for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup of frosting over top, then top with the second cake layer, pressing lightly down.
- Spread 1 cup of frosting evenly over the top. Repeat the steps with the remaining two cake layers.
- Frost a crumb coat onto the cake and then place cake into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Decorating Directions: Scoop 1 C of white frosting into one bowl
In the first bowl, mix in a few drops of orange gel food coloring.
Remove cake from fridge and place onto a rotating cake stand
Scoop 1 C of white frosting into the piping bag.
- Using remaining white frosting, frost entire cake and smooth with a cake smoother.
- Using the angled spatula, scoop out some orange frosting and randomly dap it onto the white frosting.
- Using the cake smoother, smooth the orange frosting into the white to create a unique blend.
- Pipe dollops of white frosting onto the top. Zest an orange over the top & place in the fridge overnight to allow frosting to harden before enjoying!
Store leftover cake in an airtight food storage container. Enjoy it for 4-6 days. You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months and let it thaw on the countertop before enjoying again.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 512mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g
**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.