Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

Bursting with bright and fresh flavor, orange bundt cake is mega moist with a tender crumb. A drizzle of easy orange glaze amplifies the refreshing citrus– each bite is simply delightful. Use cake flour and buttermilk for best results, and see my recipe note for how to bake this cake in a loaf pan. 

slice of glazed orange bundt cake on a blue plate with a fork

We’re making moist and flavorful orange bundt cake today. 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– that’s definitely it. While simple to make with a short ingredient list and minimal steps, this cake is anything but. The orange flavor totally shines!

cara cara oranges

This Orange Bundt Cake Is

  • Easy to make
  • Bursting with orange flavor
  • Incredibly moist and tender
  • Bright and refreshing
  • Made from perfectly pink Cara Cara oranges
  • Garnished with orange glaze
  • A delicious dessert for Easter, Mother’s Day or any spring/summer celebrations

glazed orange bundt cake

How to Make Orange Bundt Cake

You’ll appreciate the ease and simplicity of this recipe. There’s no soaking syrup, complicated layers, or decorating required! I used my lemon poppy seed cake as the base– trading lemon for orange, omitting the poppy seeds, and skipping the syrup. I also reduced the sugar in today’s cake batter because the fresh orange juice from the Cara Caras is plenty sweet. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together. My secret here is to use cake flour. Or, if you don’t regularly have cake flour in the pantry, use this homemade cake flour substitute where you carefully combine a particular mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and flavor.
  3. Alternately add the buttermilk and dry ingredients. For a moist crumb, rich texture, and extra tang, reach for buttermilk. It makes this cake taste extraordinary.
  4. Bake.
  5. Invert the slightly cooled bundt cake. Let the cake cool before glazing and serving.
  6. Make the glaze. While delicious on its own, glaze is always a good idea. Combine confectioners’ sugar, fresh orange juice, and vanilla extract. Drizzle onto the cake.
  7. Slice & enjoy!

orange cake batter in a glass bowl

overhead image of orange bundt cake in a bundt pan

Use Any Citrus

I used Cara Cara oranges to make this bundt cake. Have you ever had them before? I absolutely love them– besides their beautiful pink/coral hue, they have a wonderfully sweet, yet kind of tangy taste. They’re the best oranges for baking because of their sweetness and low acidity. Basically, they add sunshine to any dessert.

If you don’t have Cara Cara oranges, you can just use regular oranges. Or try grapefruit, lemon, or even lime! Any citrus works here, just be sure to use fresh juice. 🙂

overhead image of orange bundt cake without a glaze

overhead image of glazed orange bundt cake

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slice of glazed orange bundt cake on a blue plate with a fork

Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Bright, flavorful, incredibly moist, and tender orange bundt cake!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups (315g) sifted cake flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 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
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest from 2 oranges (about 2 packed Tablespoons)
  • juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup fresh juice)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*

Easy Orange Glaze

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Cake Flour: Sift cake flour before measuring. If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, use this cake flour substitute.
  3. Buttermilk: I strongly recommend using real buttermilk in this recipe. In a pinch, you can use DIY soured milk. To do so, simply add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup and enough whole or 2% milk to reach 3/4 cup. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then use in the recipe. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch, but the cake won’t taste as rich and moist.
  4. 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).
  5. Bundt Pan: Here’s my favorite bundt pan! (affiliate link)
  6. Adapted from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten.

Keywords: orange bundt cake

185 Comments

  1. Sally, I recently made this cake for the first time and everyone loved it! My four year old grandson even said I was the best cake baker in the whole world!

  2. Amanda Bennefield says:

    This is an amazing cake. I have a nine year old who has celiac, so I substituted Cup4Cup Gluten free flour. It came out perfectly and the whole family loved it. In fact, we agreed it is the best gluten free cake we have tasted! Thank you for the awesome recipe 🙂

  3. Could this recipe be adapted to 2 layer cake recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pam, The batter would fit in 2 9-inch round cake pans but we haven’t tested it so I’m unsure of the bake time needed.

  4. Hi Sally, I made this cake recently and would love your thoughts on what may have caused my cake to not rise and have a dense, tight texture. The flavor was great and it was moist. I followed the recipe exactly, no substitutions . Used a hand mixer, all ingredients were fresh (not expired or old). I appreciate any tips you can provide. Thank you,
    Kim

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim, This is close to a pound cake, so it’s very moist and a little dense. You can try adding a little more baking powder to lighten up the crumb, but we haven’t tested it. Make sure you’re using sifted cake flour!

  5. Hi Sally – thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. It is the best ever butter cake I’ve made. Full of orange flavour. I made it twice, 2nd time mixed lemon and orange zest and reduced the sugar by 50g – equally fantastic!

    Ps: really appreciate the home-made buttermilk tips!

  6. Delicious! Made this in a loaf pan, and it was moist and delicious!

  7. Justine Altman says:

    I’ve just seen your post about the quantity making 2 x 9inch cakes which is just what I’m after!
    If I wanted to cover the cake in a chocolate buttercream would you suggest pricking the cakes whilst warm and pouring the drizzle ingredients over it so it seeps into the cake?

    1. Hi Justine! This recipe is best as a bundt cake, but you could certainly try dividing the cake batter between two 9-inch cake pans. The cake will be extremely moist (and flavorful) if you drizzle the glaze on, but also pretty sweet if you’re also using chocolate buttercream.

  8. I made this last weekend and it did not turn out at all! I followed exactly as it is written. My batter was a so thin. The cake did not rise much at all and was raw inside.

  9. Hi Sally,

    I absolutely love your recipes! I was wondering if using pineapple juice instead of orange juice for this recipe would work? I really appreciate your help!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kat, We haven’t tested this recipe with pineapple juice. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work but it may be pretty sweet! Another great option for pineapple is this Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

  10. I am a complete rookie in the kitchen, I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great!!! Thanks!

  11. Sarah Padgett says:

    I loved this cake! We didn’t have oranges so I used tangerines instead, turned out with a mild sweet citrus flavor. So sweet and moist! We halved the recipe and put in a loaf pan, and it was gone in no time!! Always love Sally’s recipes.

  12. I used exact ingredients and measurements, baked it exact, covered it towards the end but the outside came out much darker than yours and slightly crispy on the edges. It was moist, delicious, but somewhat oily looking/dense/spongy and I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to turn out.

  13. Hello Sally, I made this cake about a year ago my husband thought it was the best cake I’ve ever eaten I have ever thought it was a little dense. question: I’m going to make this cake again and I wanted to ask you if I weigh the flour and get 340 g do I have to sift it thanks.
    Mary

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary! This is close to a pound cake, so it’s very moist and a little dense. You should sift the cake flour even if weighing it. Make sure you’re not using all-purpose (see note though!) or any other flour

      1. Thanks
        I’ll let you how that worked
        Mary

  14. Since my family loves the flavor combination of orange and chocolate, I made a chocolate glaze and drizzled it over the cake. 2 oz. chocolate and 2T. Butter melted at 50% power in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. So delicious!

  15. I tried this recipe today and the cake turn out very hard. I closely followed the instructions not sure what happened.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maria! It could be a few things. First, make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh. We find they lose strength after just 3-4 months. Use proper room temperature butter and other room temperature ingredients. Make sure you spoon and level the cake flour, too! Here’s a helpful post about preventing dense cake.

  16. Hi Sally is it possible to halve this and bake it in a single loaf pan? Or are there other changes I should make?

    Best,

    Melissa

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa! Halving this recipe works wonderfully in a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Enjoy!

  17. Hi Sally! Do you think that using oil in place of the butter would work in this recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Veronica! We do not recommend replacing the creamed butter with oil– two very different textures and results.

  18. Great recipe! made it for my moms birthday and she loved it! I used a silicone bundt pan (bought from amazon) and it worked great! put it on a baking sheet because it was a little bit un stable. Will make again!

  19. Shalini Puvanendran says:

    Hi Sally..
    Can i use baking pan round 7 inch?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shalini! This would be much too much batter for one 7 inch round pan. The batter would fit in 2 9-inch round cake pans or you can reference this cake pan sizes guide to see how much batter you would need.

  20. Vishakha Mehandru says:

    Hi Sally, Your recipes have never disappointed me and my family. Your recipes are recipes for successful baking. They makes a novice like me come out feeling like a pro! So thanks so much. I have a couple of questions though. I want to adapt this recipe to make a chocolate orange cake. Would you be able to help me? Also I have half the batter left from this recipe, can I make the batter for a chocolate cake and combine the two to make a chocolate orange marble cake? If so, which recipe of a chocolate cake is equally dense and moist in texture, that can be combined with this batter successfully? Many thanks in advance. I look forward to your input. Best wishes, Vishakha
    <

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vishakha, We have never tried turning this recipe into a chocolate cake and it would take some additional recipe testing to give you a confident answer. You can definitely add 1 cup of chocolate chips to this batter, or top it with chocolate ganache or the chocolate glaze from this banana donuts recipe.
      You can certainly try to swirl the cake with half of the batter from this chocolate bundt cake (without the cream cheese swirl) but we’ve never tested it so I’m unsure of the results. Let us know if you try anything!

  21. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. Everyone love it, it’s soft moist and just melts in the mouth

  22. I tried the loaf cake version and it was absolutely wonderful ! Vanished in minutes 🙂 Can I make cupcakes out of this recipe ? And if yes, how much would be the bake time ?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anita, we can’t see why not! We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but it would be significantly less than when baking in a bundt pan. Keep a close eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  23. Carol O'Neill says:

    OMG this cake was absolutely delicious! Another new favorite from my favorite baking site.

  24. Absolutely delicious bundlet – thanks always for the consistently yummy recipes! I love the citrus flavor and totally love how moist (but not dense!) this cake was.

    Which of your “non-citrus” cake recipes would be most similar in that regard? (My husband is not a fan of citrus and his b’day is coming up.)

    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gabby! Our reader favorite triple chocolate cake is incredibly moist and delicious. It would make a great birthday cake!

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