I figure we all need a zippy pep in our step this week. And today, my friends, that pep comes in the form of a glazed orange bundt cake. Made from perfectly pink 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 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.
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.
I used my lemon poppy seed cake as the base. 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! 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, this is basic cake batter. 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.
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.
But seriously wouldn’t this be a delicious cake for Mother’s Day brunch?
The cake is actually pretty awesome on its own, but my world 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!
Much love for it!Print
Bright, flavorful, CRAZY moist, and tender orange bundt cake!
- 3 cups (300g) sifted cake flour*
- 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 pure vanilla extract
- zest of 3 oranges (about 5–6 packed Tablespoons)
- juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup fresh juice)
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, room temperature*
Easy Orange Glaze
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 2–3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 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.
- Make the cake: Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & Freezing Instructions: 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.
- Cake Flour: 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.
- Buttermilk: 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.
- Loaf Cake: Instead of baking in a bundt pan, you can bake in two 9×5 inch loaf pans. The bake time for each will be about 45-50 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
- Bundt Pan: Here’s my favorite one!
- Adapted from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten.
Keywords: orange bundt cake