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Simple, moist and delicious, this orange cake combines yogurt with fresh orange juice and zest. It’s a breeze to make in one bowl and keeps well and yummy for days.
This is the perfect dessert all year long!
I love the simplicity of this recipe! While easy to make with a short ingredient list and minimal steps, this orange cake is simple yet delightful!
Adapted from my popular yogurt cake, the recipe contains protein-rich yogurt that brings moisture without weighing down, while the orange syrup makes the sponge soft, flavorful, and gives you a beautiful shiny finish.
The fresh orange flavor totally shines!
Added bonus? The recipe uses everyday ingredients, it doesn’t require fancy equipment, and the cake batter is super easy to make in one bowl.
I’m sure this delicious orange cake will become one of those easy cake recipes that you’ll be making again and again. It will be perfect for any occasion!
List of the ingredients
- Oranges & lemon
- Plain yogurt
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
How to make orange cake
(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page).
- Mix eggs and sugar in one bowl until well combined.
- Add vegetable oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, and stir again.
- Stir in lemon zest, orange zest, orange juice. I use this handy microplane, perfect for this task!
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix gently until “just combined” and the flour is incorporated (but do not over mix).
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. I use this 9-inch round pan, but a loose bottom pan works even better when it comes to release the cake.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Make the orange syrup: cook gently orange juice and sugar.
- Glaze the cake while it’s still warm, making sure that the orange syrup penetrates the sponge.
- Serve at room temperature, ideally with some sweet cream cheese on the side. YUM!
Orange cake ingredients
Oranges & lemons: for a more tangy citrus flavor, I used both orange juice (fresh juice is best!), orange zest and lemon zest.
Yogurt: plain yogurt (no added sugar/no flavorings) is ideal, but I’ve tested low-fat yogurt and it works fine too. I’ve never tried Greek yogurt in this recipe, I think it would make the batter thicker unless you thin it out with a touch of milk.
Vegetable oil: either olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (rapeseed oil for my UK readers) are fine. But feel free to use your favorite vegetable oil.
Flour: all-purpose flour, cake flour, and self-raising flour work fine (skip the baking powder if you use self-raising flour). I also tested the recipe with light whole-meal flour and it worked just fine.
Baking powder: make sure it’s well combined with the flour.
Eggs: they provide structure, richness, and flavor.
Sugar: I based this orange cake recipe off of my yogurt cake but I’ve increased the amount of sugar to sweeten the cake and to make the orange syrup. I use unrefined caster sugar, it dissolves easily into the batter, but you can use granulated sugar if you wish.
Vanilla extract and salt: for flavor!
Fancy some variations?
Not only is this orange cake scrumptious, but it’s also versatile and easy to customize.
Feel free to swap oranges for lemons if you prefer a zesty lemon cake, or add 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips to the batter for a delicious chocolate and orange combination. I promise, it turns amazing every time!
Pro baking tips!
- Measure the ingredients properly! A kitchen scale is the best. If you use cups, use a spoon to transfer the flour into the measuring cup instead, and use the back of a knife to level off the top. But don’t scoop the flour out of the bag with your cup, you’ll end up with too much flour.
- Use the ingredients at room temperature.
- Do not over mix the batter, that creates a rubbery texture.
- Preheat the oven and do not open the oven door for the first 25 minutes.
- Do not over bake: over-baking dry the cakes out.
More easy cake recipes?
If you look for easy cake recipes, you’ve got to the right place! Here are some of my favorites, simple yet delicious treats for the whole family:
If you make this easy orange cake, or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!
Easy Orange Cake
- 3 medium-sized eggs
- ¾ cup (5oz/150 grams) caster sugar (granulated is fine too)
- 1 cup (9oz/250 grams) plain yogurt
- ½ scant cup (3oz/90 grams) vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (2oz/60 grams) orange, the juice
- 2 oranges, the zest
- 1 lemon, the zest
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (9oz/270 grams) all-purpose flour (see notes about the ingredients)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 1 (60 grams) orange, the juice
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
Easy caramelized orange peel (optional)
- 1 orange, the peel
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 345°F/175°C and grease or line with parchment paper a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan. A loose bottom pan would be perfect for this recipe.
- Whisk eggs and sugar in large bowl until well combined.
- Stir in yogurt, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest and lemon zest. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- In a separate bowl sift to whisk flour, salt and baking powder until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and you don't see any flour (don't over mix).
- Pour into the prepared pan, level with a spatula and tap the sides of the cake pan to pop the bubbles just before you slip the cake into the oven.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until you insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean. In my oven it takes 30 minutes flat, so make sure to take the cake out of the oven as soon as it's done.
- Let the cake rest for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack, then remove it from the cake pan. This is easy if you used a lose bottom pan, otherwise turn the pan upside down and gently ease the cake out and onto the cooling rack or plate.
Orange glaze (syrup)
- Place sugar and orange juice in a small sauce pan or a small pot, bring to the boil, and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Let it rest for a couple of minutes, but make sure it's still runny when you brush the cake.
- While the cake is still warm, using a brush or a spoon pour the glaze all over the top of the cake a little at a time, not all in one go. You want the syrup to penetrate the sponge and at the same you want to glaze the cake.
- Serve the cake at room temperature. The top of the cake is sticky and delicate, make sure you slice it by using a sharp knife (not serrated). Enjoy!
Easy caramelized orange peel (optional):
- Using a citrus peeler, peel the zest of an orange, place it in a small pot, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until soft. Then drain the water, return the peel to pot, stir in 2 Tablespoon of sugar. Cook gently over medium heat until the sugar turns into a syrup and glazes the peel (it takes about 5 minutes). Transfer the orange peel to a plate (it's sticky and hot, be careful). After a couple of minutes, while it's still sticky and soft, you can use it to decorate the cake.