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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, Father’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

More Favorite Cake Recipes

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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 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Thank you, Sally for this amazing recipe! I made it for a neighborhood potluck in the park (with COVID restrictions easing up) and it was a super hit! Perfectly moist, tight yet light crumb, bursting with flavor, and so hard to resist. I used 1 cup of confectioners sugar in the glaze which was perfect for me. One of my neighbors who usually doesn’t eat cakes had two slices! This was the perfect dessert for a summer potluck! Thank you so much. 🙂

  2. When adding the eggs, should they be added one by one or all at once? I added mine all at once, as the recipe doesn’t specify, and it seems that the cake is not going to turn out well…we’re about 40 minutes into the bake and it still has not risen. I’m wondering if that step was the problem?

    1. Hi SK, you can add the eggs all at once here, so that shouldn’t be the culprit. Are your baking soda and baking powder fresh? We find they start to lose their strength after about 3 months or so. Also, be sure not to over mix the batter, as that can cause the cake to become overly dense and not rise as much. Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try!

      1. Yes, the baking soda and powder were indeed fresh (I replace them often for this reason). I ended up with the same result as a few other commenters on this site – a thinner batter that resulted in a flat, very dense cake. I noticed that the mixture curdled when I added the eggs, which is why I was wondering if that was where I went wrong.

  3. I just tried this recipe and am wondering why the cake sank. It looked fine until the 30 minute mark in the oven, then the center of it sank all the way around the circumference of the bundt pan. I can’t figure it out. I bought cake flour and new baking soda and baking powder. I sifted the cake flour. I recently tested the oven temp. consistency and it’s fine too. I checked the cake flour ingredients to be sure it doesn’t have any leavener in it. It does not. I’ve never had this happen before. I see in the comments that this happened to a few others too and I’m wondering what happened?

    1. Hi Linda, I do think this is a wet to dry ingredient ratio issue, especially since other readers are experiencing it too. I’ve never had this happen before but it’s worth further testing. Just to clarify, you’re not just experiencing the usual caved in/crater in the center of the cake like you usually see with loaves and bundts (and as pictured above). The entire center is collapsing?

  4. Hi Sally, please can you explain what do you mean when you say granulated sugar? Is it the same as castor sugar?

    1. Hi Ritu! Castor sugar is more fine than granulated. It really depends on the recipe, but in most cases you should be fine to substitute caster sugar for granulated.

    2. This is a great recipe. I also realized that you can reduce the amount of sugar to 250gms and it will still turn out well. I did double portion with 500gms of sugar. Cooked perfectly in 50 minutes.

  5. I tried the recipe and it came out perfectly fine but I think the sugar was too much for me, So I might reduce it next time

  6. Sally’s Baking Addiction is my usual go to for sweet items and always delicious. This cake, though, came out very dry and crumbly. It wasn’t the moist cake I was expecting, though the orange flavor was delicious. I made my cake flour, AP flour/cornstarch combo, as recommended since I didn’t have cake flour…could that have been the issue? I am thinking of perhaps soaking it in a orange simple syrup while it’s warm, before the glaze, next time I make it. (Won’t give up on it yet!) This would be similar to a yogurt lemon bread that I make from the Barefoot Contessa that is very delicious and moist. Or perhaps i should try it with plain old AP flour? Comments about why it turned out so dry would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your beautiful recipes Sally!

    1. Hi Annette, If a baked cake is dry you can definitely try a simple syrup to rescue it – that almost always works. But if you try this recipe again, make sure you spoon and level the cake flour so that you don’t end up with too much and you can also try checking it a few minutes earlier in the oven to be sure it’s not over-baked. Here’s a helpful post about preventing dry cakes.

  7. Thanks Stephanie. Will do. Question do I measure the flour before or after I sift? I measured before I sifted…maybe should be measured after sifting? Thanks fir your reply!

    1. Hi Annette, If a recipe calls for “1 cup of flour, sifted” — measure the flour, then sift it. If a recipe calls for “1 cup of sifted flour” — sift the flour then measure. It all depends where the word “sifted” is in the ingredient wording. If “sifted” is before the ingredient name, sift before measuring. If “sifted” is after the ingredient name, sift after measuring. So in this cake, you’ll want to sift before measuring. Hope this helps!

  8. Hello! I made these into cupcakes and followed everything as instructed, but my cupcakes sank in the middle and had an eggy texture with holes. Batter was smooth and looked wonderful. I did rotate my pan halfway and wonder if the loss of heat caused this issue. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Jasmine! Sinking cakes and cupcakes are often due to an under-baked center. An extra minute or two in the oven should help, and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  9. I tried this recipe and it seemed to have be dense/wet (not raw) in the middle but felt moist and spongy over the rest of the cake. I added a tiny bit of sugar syrup hoping if the cake is a bit dense inside it would taste that way. Even though the recipe said the batter will be slightly stiff I feel like mine was very stiff and added more buttermilk to try loosen it a bit.Could that have been the problem? Would love to know. I was brave and made the cake for someone so no idea how it taste.. (I know..not ideal)

    1. Hi Chanel, If you added extra buttermilk the batter may have been too wet and that could have caused it. Or it simply could have been undercooked. If you try it again you can tent the top of your pan with aluminum foil if the top is browning before the center is cooked through. Also, if you felt your batter was really too thick, be sure that you use the spoon and level method for measuring your flour and you aren’t just scooping it (this will cause you to use too much flour).

      1. Speaking of buttermilk… why does the recipe notes say to use real buttermilk instead of DIY? Once I learned about making DIY buttermilk (from Sally’s recipes, of course!) I stopped trying to find whole buttermilk. It’s hard to find (what is the point of 2% buttermilk for baking??), expensive, and I always wind up throwing a lot out.

  10. Hi Sally. Is it just me or were some of the ingredients in this recipe tweaked?

    I made this a year ago and I loved how the cake turned out but I’m now a little nervous if that will still be the case with the changes you’ve made. Kindly shed more light on this. Thanks.

    1. Hi Toomi, We haven’t changed this recipe, it’s still the same great cake you made a year ago. Enjoy!

  11. Made this as two loaf cakes and omg they are delicious and perfect! The outside gets almost crunchy and caramelized from all the sugar and orange juice but it’s so tasty and pretty too. I haven’t glazed it and I might even leave it off. It’s super moist and really packs the orange flavor! Yum. Loaf cakes are my favorite and I’ll have to add this to my collection.

  12. This cake was sooo delicious! But I experienced the same issue as other commenters here. My cake sunk or would not rise around the center of the cake. It was completely baked however. When I flipped it onto the serving plate, you couldn’t see the sunken area, so it served beautifully. But i have to think it needs tweaking somewhere.

  13. Hi! I wanted to make an orange layer cake. I’m thinking of adapting this or your lemon layer cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. What do you think? Should I adapt this one or the lemon one (replacing all lemon references with orange, maybe modifying sugar since orange is not as tart)?

    1. Hi Samantha! We would use the lemon layer cake – this bundt cake has a more dense texture well suited for a bundt cake, but not best for a layer cake. Let us know how it goes!

      1. Thanks so much! The lemon layer cake worked as a great recipe base. I changed all lemon to orange. I used extra zest and blitzed it with the sugar before creaming. I hear this can infuse the flavor better (though I couldn’t explain why it really matters LOL). I also added cinnamon and ground ginger to the batter. I used a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream with the same spices and a bit of orange oil to pair. Topped with a white chocolate ganache and it was a hit!!!

        Thank you for the guidance.

  14. Hello Sally.
    I try your recipes and my family loves it. Thank you for detailed explanation. This time, my cake turned out green. I wonder why. Do you know how to fix it?

    1. Hi Amna, Any chance you used blood oranges? Their bright red color can react with the baking soda and turn green – the cake is still perfectly fine to eat, it just looks different!

  15. Absolutely loved this cake!!

    I am planning on making it in 2 round 9″ pans instead of two loaf pans. Would that be ok?

    Also, I would love for this to be a layered cake so if you have a recommended complementary frosting, that would be great!

    1. Hi Jyoti, We are so happy you love this cake! This bundt cake has a more dense texture well suited for a bundt cake, but not best for a layer cake. That said, the batter will fit into two 9-inch cake pans and you can certainly try it. You can use our lemon buttercream frosting and swap out orange juice and zest for lemon or pick from any of our frosting recipes depending on the flavors you are after!

  16. I made this cake for Lunar New Year and added a chocolate drizzle, making it a “Year of the Tiger Orange Cake” – it was a hit!

  17. I just made this cake and it turned out great! No issues with rising ar anything. Great flavor. I did add a few drops of orange oil also to give the flavor a pop.

  18. I had the same experience as many others….cake sank, my batter was far from “slightly thick”. I was wondering if it’s the buttermilk step? The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of buttermilk but the notes call for 3/4 cup when souring milk?

  19. Should this cake be refrigerated? Making a few days ahead. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sam, you can cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months. See recipe notes for more make ahead tips. Enjoy!

  20. Amazing cake! Thanks again Sally! I made sure I followed all the instructions carefully, as I don’t always do that (lol). I weighed the ingredients rather than use cups due to difference in US and AUS cup measurements. I couldn’t get buttermilk and so used Kefir which worked! The only thing I would do differently is to add more orange zest next time. It was for my friend’s birthday and she loved it!

  21. I made this as a bundt cake and it turned out beautifully! Can I make these as muffins/cupcakes instead? Do I need to change anything besides the bake time?

    1. Hi Lisa! We haven’t personally tried it but we can’t see why not. The muffins may be on the denser side, but they should bake up just fine in a muffin tin. We’re unsure of the exact bake time. Or you might enjoy these cranberry orange muffins instead (you can leave out the cranberries!)

  22. I love your recipes but this is the first one that didn’t come through for me as expected. I thought about cheating and not using room temperature butter, buttermilk and eggs and just using regular flour, but ultimately followed all instructions and used the tip for using corn starch to make cake flour. Using my trusty go-to bundt pan and liberally spraying but not flouring it per directions, I was surprised to have the cake absolutely WELDED to my pan. All of my regular tricks to get it to release failed, resulting in the top 1/4th of the cake coming off when I finally got cranky and wacked it on the counter. The upside – I cut it up and served it topped with whipping cream and strawberries and could have easily turned it into a trifle had I wanted to make pudding.

    1. Thank you for giving this recipe a try! Due to the grooves in the pan and the heaviness of the cake, Bundt cakes need A LOT of grease on the pan in order to come out in perfect condition. We always grease it VERY well, plus some, using cooking spray (we use Pam brand). Try even more cooking spray next time. Glad you were able to make a trifle with the cake – great idea!

  23. This is the second time i made this cake and it falls apart while removing it from the pan I waited 10 minutes the first time and 20 minutes now, the cake turned out delicious even tho it was in 3 different parts

  24. I am a huge fan. This is the first recipe that did not work for me. At all. The cake rose around the edges and the center but the rest was completely flat. The texture was very spongy and it was cemented into the pan. I followed the recipe with no changes. Up to date ingredients. Is there a video somewhere of this recipe?

  25. I’ve made this recipe several times and it always turns out perfect, I love it so much!

    This time I thought I’d mix it up a bit and added chocolate chips. They all sank to the bottom of the pan 🙁 any idea what I could have done differently to prevent that?

    1. Hi Mariana! You can try coating the chocolate chips in a couple Tbs flour before adding to the batter – or use mini chocolate chips instead, they’re lighter and less likely to sink.

  26. I’ve made this for years now, and it always comes out beautifully. My family loves it. Thanks for this recipe.

  27. Hello, Sally.
    Hello there. Just checking to see whether this recipe can be baked in two 9-inch round or square pans.Thanks

    1. Hi Shalini, This bundt cake has a more dense texture well suited for a bundt cake, but not best for a layer cake. That said, the batter will fit into two 9-inch cake pans and you can certainly try it.

  28. I’m wondering how to convert the recipe for 5″ bundt pans? Do I simply cut it in half? I’d like to make 4 5″ cakes at a time but would doubling the recipe make the batter too heavy?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Eva, what is the volume of batter your pans can hold? It may be easiest to just make the recipe as written, and fill your pans halfway. If you have leftover batter, make a few cupcakes in a cupcake pan.