This Orange Butter Cake Recipe is one of my most favorite springtime bakes. It’s light, refreshing and not overly sweet. Which means we can be generous with that vanilla glaze! This cake is flavored with only natural juices and zests for maximum fresh orange flavor.
There is something so refreshing and clean about citrus. And as we move into the warmer months, refreshing is what we crave.
This Vanilla-Glazed Orange Butter Cake is what springtime baking is all about. It’s the perfect cake for a shower, Easter, Mother’s Day brunch or a Derby party.
What’s in this Vanilla-Glazed Orange Butter Cake
Here is what you’ll need to make this delicious orange pound cake:
- All purpose flour (I have not tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but I would assume the results would be great using a measure-for-measure flour blend)
- Sour Cream. My favorite secret ingredient for baking! A little bit of sour cream goes a long way to get that smooth texture that’s never crumbly or dry.
- Orange juice. Since we are zesting so many oranges, go ahead and squeeze the juice out of them too. Fresh orange juice is the best! Even the best bottled juices taste much different when side-by-side with freshly-squeezed.
- Orange zest. You’ll need to zest about 6 oranges to make this cake. I know it sounds like a lot. Worth it!
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
How to Make this Orange Butter Cake Recipe
You’ll need three mixing bowls to make this super moist orange cake. The first is the bowl of a stand mixer, where you’ll mix the wet ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs.
The second bowl is for your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
The third bowl is for your orange juice mixture. Combine the OJ with the milk, vanilla and sour cream.
Then beat the dry ingredients and the juice mixture into the wet ingredients, alternately.
Then pour the batter into the bundt pan and it’s ready to bake!
How to make the simple vanilla glaze
The glaze is a simple mixture of confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk it together in a small bowl and drizzle it over the cake.
Or, wait until the cake it sliced and drizzle it over individual slices. The vanilla glaze drenches the cake and makes for an irresistibly moist cake.
What is a Butter Cake?
Butter cake is a simple cake with one of its primary ingredients being – you guessed it – butter. The rest of the ingredients in a butter cake are pretty basic: flour, sugar, eggs and some sort of leavening like baking powder.
Butter cake is similar to pound cake in its heavy use of butter, but butter cake is lighter and less dense than pound cake.
Does this Orange Cake have to be a bundt?
Can a bundt cake recipe be made in a loaf pan? Can it be made as a layer cake? What about cupcakes? The answer is “usually”.
The shape of a bundt pan allows heat to disburse throughout the cake, cooking the insides and bottom as evenly as the top. So making a bundt cake recipe in a loaf pan would mean adjusting cooking times, and probably dividing the batter into two loaf pans or cake pans to allow for more even baking.
Most cake recipes can be make into cupcakes by simply adjusting baking times. If you wanted to make little orange cupcakes with vanilla glaze, you totally could. Cake is cake, even when it’s in miniature form. Just cut your baking time at least in half and monitor the process closely.
How to Store Orange Butter Cake
This cake will keep for several days at room temperature when covered tightly with plastic wrap. I recommend cutting it into individual slices for storage.
If you want to store this cake beyond a few days, wrap the individual slices in plastic wrap and place them into a freezer bag or airtight container. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
For more spring baking ideas, try these:
- Lemon Shortbread Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Easy Blueberry Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese & Brioche
- Citrus Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
For more cake recipes, try these:
- Double Lemon Cream Cake
- Chocolate Chip Strawberry Shortcake
- Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake (New York Style)
Orange Butter Cake Recipe with Simple Vanilla Glaze
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 Tbsp. sour cream
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 4 Tbsp. orange zest about 6 large oranges
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. milk more if needed
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a bundt pan thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Reduce to medium speed and beat in the orange zest. Add the eggs, one at at time.
- In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, vanilla extract, milk and sour cream.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients alternately with the juice mixture until combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes clean. Allow the warm cake cool completely on a wire rack before turning onto a cake plate.
- Make the glaze: Combine sugar, vanilla and milk in liquid measuring cup. Whisk until smooth. Pour glaze in a back and forth motion over the top of the cake, from outside to inside. Repeat all the way around the cake.