15 Orange Cake Recipes You Need to Try

Oranges are a popular fruit for a reason. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as biting into a piece of orange on a hot day. Sure, lemons are a little bit sharper, but do you really want to eat a lemon?

Orange juice is both a great drink in its own right and when it’s fresh, it’s incredible. It’s no surprise, then, that there are so many great orange cakes around.

The creativity of bakers around the world is now at your fingertips. Take a look at this list of great orange cake recipes and there’s no doubt that you’ll be inspired to make at least one of them.

And, to be honest, it’ll probably be more than just one. Your friends and family will wonder where you got it from, but you can decide whether or not you tell them!

15 Orange Cake Recipes You Need to Try

1. Orange Cake

This one is a classic, straightforward orange cake. The ingredient list is fairly short, so you won’t need to go out of your way to find anything obscure. Nevertheless, it’s bursting with bright, orangey flavor and is finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar for added sweetness and a nice snowy appearance.

2. Chocolate Orange Cake

What’s the natural next step if you want to do a variation on a classic when you’re baking? Just add chocolate of course!

If you haven’t tried the combination of chocolate and orange before, then you’re definitely in for a treat with this one. It’s finished with a lovely chocolate and orange buttercream and topped with pieces of orange-flavored chocolate. Serve this at a party and your guests won’t forget it in a hurry!

3. Orange Lightning Cake

Orange lightning cake
Source: Langbein

It’s called a lightning cake because it can be made in a flash. Of course, there’s plenty of orange flavor to be found here, but the addition of raisins and chopped walnuts gives this cake a nice bit of textural variation, along with a pleasingly nutty taste.

4. Orange Cheesecake

This is a straightforward recipe that gives big results. The crushed gingersnaps in the base add a delicious, lightly spiced undertone to the sweet, orangey flavor of the filling and topping.

Naturally, you have room to experiment with additions here. If you want to add lemon and/or lime to the mix, then feel free!

You can also vary what you use for the base. Graham Crackers will work well, as will various other types of cookies. Explore and see what you can make.

5. No Bake Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

We’ve seen chocolate orange cake, we’ve seen orange cheesecake. Now we’re combining the two into chocolate orange cheesecake. As you can see from the title, this is a no bake cheesecake too, so preparing it is super simple.

The finished article looks spectacular, with decoration from pieces of orange-flavored chocolate, double cream, and drizzled with a mixture of white chocolate colored orange.

Needless to say, it also tastes spectacular, so don’t hesitate to give this one a try!

6. Vegan Orange Cake

Luckily for those who prefer to avoid animal products, orange cake isn’t too difficult to veganize. This one uses oil, vinegar, and soy milk to create a cake that looks like a classic orange cake without sacrificing any of the taste and consistency.

7. Orange, Apple, And Peanut Butter Cake

Oranges are delicious by themselves, but who’s going to object if some other fruits want to join the party?

They say you can’t compare apples to oranges. Maybe not, but you can certainly put them together to make a great cake.

The peanut butter is part of the batter mix, adding a delicious, nutty flavor. The cooked apples and cinnamon used to finish it off make it divine!

8. Mimosa Cake

The mimosa is everyone’s favorite orange-based cocktail, isn’t it?

If you’re not thirsty, don’t worry because it’s now available as a cake! This is a classy, Italian dessert that gets its orange flavor from Grand Marnier liqueur.

If you don’t have any, however, other orange liqueurs will make good substitutes. In fact, the name comes from the flower rather than the drink, but it tastes so good that nobody will care about the difference!

This one is also heavy on the heavy cream, meaning that it’s a rich decadent treat that’s sure to make a splash at a party.

9. Whole Orange Spice Cake

Whole orange spice cake
Source: Mary Berry

As you might have guessed from the name, you’ll need a whole orange for this one. Unlike some cakes that get their flavor from orange extract, this one uses orange pulp for the filling. This gives it a stronger, fresher taste that is sure to please anyone who eats it.

The cinnamon and mixed spice is also a great combination and they make the cake wonderfully addictive. Don’t just make one, it’ll be gone before you know it!

10. Pistachio Blood Orange Baklava Cake

You might have read that name and now be wondering: “what’s baklava”? Well, baklava is an incredible dessert pastry that’s popular in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East. It’s made of layers of ultra-thin phyllo pastry with honey and chopped nuts between them.

They’re usually kept as individual pastries rather than being combined into a cake but let us assure you that the results of this one are spectacular. Instead of just honey, it’s flavored with a delicious blood orange syrup, infused with rose water for that quintessential Middle Eastern taste.

The cinnamon and nutmeg in the body of the cake complete this unique and irresistible flavor profile. The recipe calls for lots of pistachios, but various other nuts are common in baklava – try walnuts or even hazelnuts if you like.

11. Orange Ginger Honey Cakes

These cakes promise to be a flavor explosion in your mouth. You have the subtle spiciness of the ginger and the rich natural sweetness of the honey of course. However, this recipe’s secret is brown butter.

What’s brown butter? It’s butter that’s carefully heated until it turns a brown color. This removes the water content and gives the milk solids a great toasty, nutty taste. In this cake, the brown butter’s toasty, nutty magic adds a wonderful depth of flavor.

For best results, make sure you use freshly squeezed orange juice! Store bought will do in a pinch, but it’s really not the same.

12. Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes

Maybe we spoke too soon before – it could be this, not the mimosa, that’s our favorite orange cocktail. Either way, these cute little cupcakes are a real treat.

That classic mixture of orange juice, grenadine, and tequila transfers really well to the format of a cake. Lay the frosting on thick, top it with a slice of orange and a cocktail cherry, and you’ve got a cake that looks irresistible and has the taste to back up its colorful appearance.

13. Negroni Stripe Cake

Yet more competition for the mimosa! The negroni is Meghan Markle’s favorite cocktail, so you can be assured that this recipe is approved by and fit for royalty. It brings the popular negroni flavors of gin, juniper, and campari to a layered sponge cake.

A cake this grand needs to look the part, so don’t forget the decoration! The cake is topped with candied orange slices and fresh sprigs of thyme. If you’re really looking to impress, look no further than this recipe.

14. Orange And Passionfruit Cake With Passionfruit Icing

Orange and passionfruit make a wonderful pairing and it’s not hard to see why. They’re both delightfully sharp fruits that add a lightness to any cake recipe.

This recipe uses a blend of orange and passionfruit pulp to give this a powerful fruity kick that you just don’t get if you just use fruit extract.

The passionfruit icing is a simple but delicious mixture of sugar, butter, and more passionfruit pulp. It’s an easy cake to make, and you’ll want to do it often!

15. Whole Orange Semolina Cake With Rosemary Syrup

This cake is wonderfully moist and makes a great treat with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon, or an after-dinner dessert. The unusual thing here is the rosemary syrup.

You might not be used to using rosemary on a sweet cake, but trust us when we say it really works. It combines with orange, lemon juice, and orange liqueur to add a satisfying taste to the cake without overpowering anything.

You can garnish the cake with a couple of sprigs of rosemary if you want the perfect presentation.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve reached the end of this list, you must be bursting with enthusiasm and inspiration to bake orange cakes.

Whether you want something straightforward and traditional or whether you’re interested in something a bit more experimental, the list should have something for you. If you’re feeling bold, you could even try to create your own unique orange cake recipe from scratch.

Not only would you be doing the world an awesome favor, but you’d earn the admiration of your friends and family too! Whichever way you decide, good luck and happy baking.

Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author