Bright, with an almost pound cake consistency, and topped off with a sweet orange glaze, this Whole Orange Cake is the perfect spring and summer dessert. You know I love bundt cakes for their simple beauty, and this one is going up to the top of my favorites list.
A friend of mine brought me a little mini loaf of a Whole Orange Cake a couple of months ago, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The consistency was amazing, and even though I don’t love orange rind, I loved what it did for the flavor of this cake. If you don’t like orange rind either, the good news is that you can grind up the rind to the size you prefer–so tiny you can’t even see its size, or up to pea-sized pieces, if you like getting bites of the rind.
As you will see in the step-by-step pictures below, I didn’t want annnny bites of the rind. One of the cool things about this cake, besides the fact that is delicious, is that using the whole orange adds an extra dimension of freshness and moisture. If it lasts long enough, you’ll find that it is even better on day two and day three.
For the glaze, you can choose to add some zest or just leave it as powdered sugar and orange juice. If you want to add zest, just make sure to zest the orange before you cut it up and squeeze the juice out. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to zest an already juiced piece of citrus, it’s not fun.
I used a high-powered blender to grind up my oranges. This works really well, especially if you don’t want any pieces of rind to be discernable. Another option is to use a food processer. It is easier to control the size with a food processor, great for if you are going for the pea-sized option, but also great if you want to barely know there was an orange involved. You can just pulse it or let it go all the way to a pulp…whatever floats your boat.
I can’t wait for you to try this cake. It is so yummy, and a great make-ahead or even freeze ahead of time dessert. If you do choose to freeze it, I suggest waiting to add the glaze until after you take it out of the freezer and are planning to serve it.
Don’t forget to tell me how you liked it after you make it! I love getting your comments.
More Bundt Cakes you will LOVE
- Best Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Dreamy Toasted Coconut Bundt Cake
- Best Ever Banana Bundt Cake
- Andes Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake
- The Best Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Step-by-step pictures of how to make whole orange cake
Frequently asked questions about making Whole Orange Cake
do I need to chop up the oranges if I am using a HIGH-POWERED BLENDER?
This depends on your blender. If you have used it to grind up whole oranges before, then you shouldn’t need to chop them. I do recommend cutting them in half or quarters and squeezing the juice into the blender first, so it has some juice to help get up its momentum.
how many oranges will I need?
You will need 2 oranges for the cake and about another half or so to get the juice and zest for the glaze.
Can i make this cake in a 9×13 pan?
Yes, you can make this cake in a 9×13 pan or even two loaf pans. You will need to adjust the cooking time down. It will most likely only need 30-40 minutes. It really depends on the size of the pan. The best thing to do is start with a little less time than you think it will need, and then check it with a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done. If not, keep cooking for 2-4 minutes, check again, and repeat until a toothpick comes out clean.
Can I make this cake just using the juice from the orange and orange zest instead of the whole orange?
Unfortunately, the cake will not work unless the whole orange is used.
Can I make this cake ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes, this is a great cake to make ahead and freeze. I suggest waiting to put the glaze on until you are serving it. The glaze doesn’t freeze as well as the cake. You will need to let it completely cool, and then wrap it generously with plastic wrap, being careful to cover the entire cake at least twice. If you plan to freeze it longer than a week, I suggest also adding a layer of tinfoil over the plastic wrap.
How can I tell when the cake is done?
The best way to tell when a cake is done is to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean without any gooey cake stuck on it, it is done. If it comes out with batter on it, the cake needs at least 5 or more minutes. If it comes out with gooey cake-like stuff on it, the cake is closer to being done and may only need 2-3 more minutes to cook.
Can this cake be made gluten-free?
A good gluten-free flour blend should work well in this cake.
What is the best way to store leftover bundt cake?
The best way to store leftover bundt cake is to cover it tightly with plastic wrap. If you want to save the leftovers for longer than a few days, put them in the freezer.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 oranges (2 for the cake, 1 for the glaze)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2½ tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Next, mix in one egg at a time.
- Roughly chop 2 oranges and use a high-powered blender or a food processor to pulse or blend the oranges to the consistency that you prefer for your cake.
- Add the pulpy mixture and stir until combined.
- Next, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined and smooth.
- Batter will be thick. Spoon batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth top before placing in the oven.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cake cool for about 15-20 minutes. Run a butter knife around all the edges of the cake. I also shake it gently back and forth until I feel the cake kind of come loose from the edges and bottom....think panning for gold motion. 🙂
- Once you have the cake loosened, invert it onto a large plate or cake stand.
- Make the glaze right before you take the cake out of the pan so that you can put it on while the cake is still slightly warm.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING GLAZE:
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest. Use a whisk and mix it until completely smooth.
- Spoon glaze around the top ring of the cake and it will naturally melt down the sides. You can also drizzle it in places that need to be filled in.
- You can serve it warm or wait until it has cooled and the glaze has set up.
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