Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

First things first: happy Friday! Not sure about you, but this week was… messy. I spent most of it working on a few new recipes, including a total cookie pizza catastrophe. The finished “pizza” was an absolute disaster and a half. Thick chocolate cookie dough spilled over the sides of the pan, making sure to hit every single rack on the way down before landing in one massive burnt blob. Still cleaning the crusted cookie dough off the bottom of the oven/realizing it has been WAY TOO LONG since I actually did clean the oven. And there’s a few burnt blueberries down there too. Um, how long have they been there…?

Needless to say, Friday, I’m reeeeeally happy you’re here.

I figured with the weekend and all, my cookie pizza massacre, Mother’s Day, and the straight up GRAYNESS that was this week… we all need a zippy pep in our step. And today, my friends, that pep comes in the form of a glazed orange bundt cake. Made from perfectly pink oranges. 

Baking a cake with pinkish oranges this weekend: highly recommended.

Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges

These are Sunkist Cara Cara oranges. Have you ever had them before? Shockingly enough, I’m a bit obsessed. Half because of their pink/coral color and half because of their wonderfully sweet, yet sorta tangy taste. Don’t they look like little spheres of spring? They’re the BEST oranges for baking because of their sweetness and low acidity. And if we all really want to geek out together right now, their pink hue is from the natural presence of lycopene. Insert glasses wearing emoji here, please.

Basically, these pink delights will immediately bring sunshine to any dessert coming out of your (hopefully burnt cookie dough blobless) oven. I added orange zest and fresh juice to a simple cake batter and poured it all into a bundt pan. Side note: don’t you love baking bundt cakes? I don’t know, I always feel extra excited when a bundt cake comes out of the oven. Maybe it’s the charming shape? Or the amount of glaze I’ll pour on top?

Yes, the glaze thing. That’s definitely it.

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s the thing about this cake: the orange flavor totally shines. I feel like orange is underrated in the dessert world, so we’re letting it have its glory day. That’s why I didn’t really add any mix-ins, though a handful of chopped dark chocolate almost made its way in the bowl. Try that for me, will you sweet friends?

I used a very familiar batter– this one. Changed its tune a bit and traded lemon for orange, left out the poppy seeds, and skipped the soaking syrup. (Yay less steps.) This cake was plenty moist and sweet the first time I made it, so I didn’t find the soaking syrup quite necessary. I also reduced the sugar in the batter because the fresh orange juice from the Cara Caras is plenty sweet.

So the secret here is to use cake flour. Or, if you don’t regularly have cake flour in the pantry, a sifted mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. The two combined make a cake flour substitute, those little tricksters! Ina uses cake flour in her lemon bundt cake (found in this must-have cookbook!), so we have to as well. DUH. So either grab your bag of cake flour or use the sifted blend of all-purpose and cornstarch. Cake flour produces a sensationally soft cake, which is essentially what we want when we’re working with springy citrus flavors.

Other than that: basic cake batter here. Creaming butter + sugar, adding eggs + flavor, and then buttermilk. For a moist crumb, rich texture, and extra tang, reach for buttermilk. It makes this cake taste extraordinary. Like cake flour, I know you might not have buttermilk on hand. Here’s what I do: whisk a little fresh lemon into whole milk. This sour milk provides the acid required for leavening and tenderizing the cake. Works like a charm.

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The entire time I was making this cake, I couldn’t stop thinking how we should file it away as a brunch option. That’s no lie. I mean, it’s full of orange juice isn’t it? Freshly squeezed too. The vision of health:

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

But seriously wouldn’t this cake be out of control for Mother’s Day brunch?

The cake is actually pretty awesome on its own, but in my world bundt cake only knows one language: glazed. The glaze is a cinch. 3 ingredients: confectioners’ sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice (you health nut!), and vanilla extract. Only thing easier is decorating the cake. Drizzle the glaze on top in the most hectic and haphazard way possible. Messy: that’s real life this week!

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Much love for it!

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Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (300g) sifted cake flour1
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (333g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 3 Sunkist Cara Cara oranges (about 5-6 packed Tablespoons)
  • juice from 2 Sunkist Cara Cara oranges (about 1/2 cup fresh juice)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, room temperature2

Easy Orange Glaze

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special Equipment

  • 10-inch bundt pan (I love this one-- grip handles are great!)3

Directions:

  1. Lower the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray the inside of a 10 inch bundt pan with nonstick spray or grease thoroughly with butter. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the orange zest and juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil if you begin to see the top browning quickly. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan.
  5. Invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack set over a large plate or serving dish. Allow cake to cool before glazing and serving.
  6. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, 2 Tablespoons of orange juice, and vanilla together. It will be very thick. Whisk in 1 or more Tablespoons of juice, depending how thick you'd like the glaze. Drizzle over cake. Slice and serve.

Make ahead tip: Prepare cake through step 5. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature, make the glaze, and serve.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Instead of cake flour, you can sift 2 and 3/4 cups (343g) all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup (30g) of cornstarch together. Use this sifted blend in the recipe. If using cake flour, make sure you sift it before measuring 3 cups.
  2. If you don't have buttermilk, you can add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole, skim, 1%, 2%) to make 3/4 cup total. (I prefer to use whole milk.) Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This can be used in the recipe instead of buttermilk.
  3. Instead of baking in a bundt pan, you can bake in two 9x5 inch loaf pans. The bake time for each will be about 45-50 minutes at 350°F (177°C).

Adapted from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten

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Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday so we are having a big birthday/Mother’s Day lunch. I’m in charge of dessert and a side dish– thinking of this creamy pasta salad maybe without the chicken since it’s a side and not really the main event.

How about you? What are you doing/making/eating on Sunday?

Today I’m working with Sunkist! Thanks for helping me promote brands and products I enjoy.

Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake! Find the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

86 comments

  1. I made this today! It was moist and delicious. I will definitely be making it again.
     Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Oh Sally! What a glorious cake this is. I baked this orange delight last night to take into work today, let’s just say it disappeared within an hour! Thankfully I managed to steal myself a piece……so dreamy…….it’s definitely getting added to my list of go to cakes. I’m thinking chocolate glaze next time, though that might just tip me over the edge! xx

  3. Sally!! First, I LOVE your recipes! I have not made one that disappoints! Second, I’m in love with this bundt cake! We live abroad so sometimes ingredients are hard to find. I really wanted to try this so I improvised with what I had. I used our locally grown oranges (I live in Ghana) and evaporated milk and it still turned out incredible! I did add a handful of craisins, sliced almonds and chocolate chips!! Yes, I did add all of that! Because, those are not things I normally have on hand, but thanks to some amazing people back in California (my home state) I just got an awesome care package, and so naturally I HAD to do it!! Thank you, once again, for an amazing recipe!!

  4. Hey Sally! Could I switch the oranges with strawberries? You think juice amount should change? Thanks!

    • Strawberry juice would be a wonderful addition, but I’m unsure if the amount should change. My guess is maybe a little less strawberry juice. Hard to say for sure since I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you do!

  5. I made this cake for Mother’s Day, and it was awesome! 
    Any tips for converting the recipe to gluten free?? My friend is celiac and has requested this for her birthday, but I have no gf baking experience. 

  6. I just made this for my mom’s birthday and she loved it! The only problem I had was that the center was still moist. I baked it for 50 minutes n the toothpick was clean so not sure what I did wrong? But I will do it again because regardless it was soon good! 

  7. Hi Sally! I was wondering if this would work out in a muffin pan.

  8. Can I use yoghurt in place of the buttermilk? 

    • You can use a mix of yogurt and regular milk, but I wouldn’t use ALL yogurt. Too thick for the cake and would yield a much too heavy crumb.

  9. Hi Sally , baked this orange bundt cake yesterday night . I cannot tell you how happy I was !!  

  10. Hi Sally, I prepared this cake yesterday (with normal oranges) and it is good but not perfect. Some questions: 1) when I added the orange juice the mix became different with small lumps and even at the end there was some liquid that won’t be integrated to the mix at all -is this normal?; 2) after the cake was baked I notice the consistency is not like “spongy” like yours in the picture but more compact (althought it is definetely totally cooked) and very oily -could I use less butter? And do you think it was because I didnt use the bundt pan but an angel cake ine and it was too tall? I hope you have some time, because the taste is so good but I would love to have a perfect one like yours 🙂 THANKS!

    • Hi Silvana– did you whisk the mixture together so it was evenly combined? You don’t want any liquid not mixed into the batter. I suspect the final texture of your cake to be compact, dense, and oily because the batter wasn’t fully mixed. You could reduce the butter if you’d like. And I would stick with a bundt pan here.

  11. Hi Sally! Quick question: I recently made the glazed lemon poppy seed bundt cake (which was phenomenal by the way! My coworkers devoured it in a matter of minutes!) and I was wanting to make a glazed orange lemon poppy seed bundt cake. Would you recommend just adding poppy seeds to this recipe and keeping everything the same, or should I use the lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe and just change it to orange? I’m worried that adding poppy seeds to this recipe might make it too dry (i.e. poppy seeds absorbing the moisture) and I’m worried that replacing the lemons with oranges in the lemon poppy seed bundt cake recipe might make it too sweet. What would you recommend?

  12. Hi, novice baker here, made this cake today and it seems dry to me. I used buttermilk/OJ. Suggestions?

    • How about that cake flour? Did you sift it? Make sure you’re not using all-purpose (see note though!) or any other flour 🙂

  13. Hi Sally, this is a great cake, mine just came out of the oven and it tastes delicious. Also the texture is perfect. I wanted my bundt pan to fill up so I added one more egg to the batter. Since I only had 4 small regular oranges I ended up adding zest of one lemon and 1 Tbls Orange Blossom Water too. I used 3/4 cup orange juice but only 1/2 buttermilk. Also added a splash of almond extract to bring up the citrus flavor. I will love this recipe forever, can’t wait to try it with all the right ingredients ♥♥♥

  14. Hi Sally
    I tried this cake today…the taste turned out great however while I was cutting it the cake kept crumbling n falling apart….there were small crumbs all over

    • Did you skimp on the salt? I find this happens if I don’t use enough salt.

      • I used salted butter!
        But I made my buttermilk with the curd at home
        Could this be the reason?
        I just whisked the curd n added little water to it…it still seemed thick compared to regular buttermilk.Could this be the reason?

  15. Hi Sally I made your Orange Cake but it stuck to the pan..sadly I want to make it again, Can I make it into a sheet pan cake instead..?

  16. Hi Sally, this looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it out in the lovely new Nordic Ware Heritage bundt pan I got for Christmas. I have a question. I love my bundt cakes dense and moist. Any suggestions for modifying this recipe, or is it dense and moist as is? Thanks!

  17. Hi! I made this cake thrice in a week, because these were so good! For the first time, I didnt add any add ons. On the second trial, I separated some batter and added cocoa powder and marbled it into the rest of the batter. Did not significantly change the flavour but it was pretty. The third time, it may be because i was greedy but i added a cup of chocolate chips and they all stuck to the bottom of the pan! Thankfully it could be covered with a thick chocolate ganache glaze. All in all, wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing 

  18. Honestly, my mother makes a fabulous orange Bundt Cake. I asked for the recipe and she was busy and not at home to share it with me, so I came to Sally, my go-to for cake recipes. I swear by your very vanilla cupcakes. That vanilla bean frosting is my default for almost any cake. I was making this cake, and almost cried after adding the orange juice and zest. Not because the arthritis in my hands was screaming from the zesting and squeezing, but because it looked like the batter had seized for some reason and the juice just wasn’t getting in. I committed and went ahead with the recipe and served the cake to my husband after work. He was awe-struck staring at me like I grew another head.

    This cake is a hit, definitely.

  19. Can i replace butter with oil?

    • Hi Rabeea! I do not recommend replacing the creamed butter with oil– two very different textures and results.

  20. This cake has become a favorite for my family, friends, and all hangers-on. I’ve used the cara caras, blood oranges, Mandarins, and today some beautiful, sweet ruby grapefruit my neighbor brought me from her tree. You really must try the grapefruit version, Sally: it’s bright sunshine in your mouth.

    Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing all of your recipes with us. Every one that I’ve tried is a keeper.

    Love to you and yours,
    Rusty

  21. Holy Moly – this is delicious. That glaze tastes like the most delicious orange creamsicle…

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