Quick and Easy Frosted Orange Cake

After making my delicious frosted sugar cookies this week I had lots of leftover frosting. Usually I freeze the extra frosting, but my mom and I decided to make this quick and easy orange cake instead. This is pretty much our “go to” cake since it is so simple and always tastes amazing. The cake can be mixed entirely by hand or with a hand mixer which is great when you need to make a cake quickly and don’t want to haul out the big stand mixer. Another take on the frosting of this cake would be to substitute the milk with orange juice. I liked having a plain frosting, but if you want an extra hint of orange, I think it would be a nice addition.

The cake is really light and delicate. This consistency comes from mixing the ingredients until JUST combined. When you over-mix your ingredients it makes for a tougher cake (still good, just not as light and fluffy). Many times I like to mix the last bit of my batter by hand with a spatula to make sure it’s not over-mixed.

Quick and Easy Frosted Orange Cake

Makes 12 pieces

For the cake:


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch baking pan. (*We used orange oil to butter the pan. It gave the cake an orange flavor on the bottom and top of the cake).
    2. Beat the butter, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl until creamy. Use an electric mixer if you have one.
    3. Add eggs one at a time, then the sour cream and orange juice followed by the dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
    4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
    5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate.

For the frosting (from this recipe):


  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed) (*You can use orange juice instead of milk here for an extra orange taste.)
  • Food coloring (optional *I used 4 drops of red food coloring)


  1.  Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.  Tint with food coloring if desired.

Recipes Adapted from Food52 (cake) and Annie’s Eats (frosting).



Filed under Baking, Recipe

3 responses to “Quick and Easy Frosted Orange Cake

  1. This looks wonderful. An orange cake sounds so wonderful and summery. I bet it would be good with a chocolate glaze, too.

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