Cakes / Cupcakes / Brownies Desserts

whole orange cake recipe

for birthdays or breakfast ::::

I’ve always been intrigued by cakes using whole citrus fruit in the batter, wondering if the bitter pith will turn the cake into an inedible mess, my guests too polite to say anything. This cake did not go that route, thankfully, and presents beautifully for breakfast, for dessert, a special holiday. This is a cake for the non-dessert lover, or for the dessert lover of all things tangy. The cake has a hint of a marmalade tartness to it, not being overly sweet. It isn’t as luscious as a buttery pound cake, but has a similar dense crumb. The powdered sugar glaze is a perfect match for this cake, giving the cake just a bit of sweetness without the cloying sweetness I find off putting in many cakes piled with greasy, gritty frosting.

one last kiss before we are chopped to bits

This cake was a winner all around. My mom liked it for her birthday cake (which I did end up making after battling a raging head cold and posting about the loveliness of some nectarine murabba back in August). The kids liked it, Peach insisting on the pink pearl sprinkles as a topping (who could argue with that?). Eat and I had more than two pieces. I covertly had a slice or two for breakfast. It stayed moist on the counter top for a couple of days.

not quite done yet….

But a word of warning: don’t use thick skinned oranges, like navels. I recommend a thinly-pithed orange variety, such as Valencia. Don’t pith off your guests. Or, you may end up with pithy guests if they sear their tongues on a hot cup of tea before eating cake. Also, when your puree the oranges, don’t liquify them, but try to make them somewhat smooth-chunky, like in my photo below.

ah, yes! this is it!

Happy holidays, everyone! Have a great season!

One year ago: peppermint macarons and oatmeal crackers

Two years ago: status interruptus

5.0 from 1 reviews
whole orange cake recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Although the post describes and shows photos of the use of the whole oranges, as does the TITLE, I'm going to clarify exactly what "whole orange" means in the recipe. Because apparently not clear for some.
  • Cooking-oil spray or butter, for pan
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 UNPEELED oranges (about 1 pound total), ends trimmed, then cut into chunks and seeded -- I recommend a thinly-pithed variety, like Valencia. Because you are using the whole orange. As in, the whole thing. As in, the peels and everything.*
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. orange juice (Don't use the juice from the oranges you just chopped up. The juice is SEPARATE. Get different juice. Concentrated juice is good.)
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 10-cup Bundt pan (I used a swirl Bundt)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan with cooking-oil spray or butter. In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
  2. Whirl orange chunks in a food processor until mostly smooth but not puréed. Add 1½ cups orange mixture to batter and beat until blended. Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to bowl and beat until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it, about 55 minutes. Cool pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert cake onto rack and let cool completely.
  4. Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake. Let glaze set, then slice cake. This cake keeps well on the countertop, wrapped in plastic, for 2-3 days. It remains moist and flavors meld and deepen in time.
* If you are cautious about the pith making the cake too bitter, then use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange first, SAVE THE PEELS, then de-pith the orange somewhat. Chopped up the juicy bits, add to the food processor with the peels and pulse.



  • Karen February 14, 2020 Reply

    I made this the other day and it was just lovely!
    I chanced upon your blog and like it!
    Sadly, I noticed that another food blogger appears to have lifted verbatim parts of your desrciption at the start of this recipe. Have a look at / recipe/orange-cake/
    I left a comment on that site about a week ago, but as nothing seems to have been done to change or remove the part I thought I should alert you.

    • story kitchen February 14, 2020 Reply

      Karen, Thank you for the feedback (it is a fabulous cake!) and the unfortunate news of plagiarism! I really appreciate you letting me know and trying to have her change/remove the writing. I’ve sent her a message.

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