Orange Party Cake with Whipped Orange Frosting

Orange Party Cake via Sweetapolita

Hello from the land of orange cake! I’m finally getting a chance to share this happy-happy orange cake with you guys. Let’s just say since my last post, where lavender & strawberry made a summery debut, it’s been all about orange (and a whole lot of book recipe testing!). I made orange layer cake exactly 5 times in one week, and this was the one I was truly pleased with. Why did it take me 5 tries, you ask? Well, it was one-part cake fail, one-part inferior butter (we’ll talk more about that), one-part aesthetic let-down, one-part perfectionism, and two-parts me being completely Willy Wonky at (most) times. 

But alas, I really love this cake! It’s a moist yellow cake infused with fresh orange juice and zest, filled with an orange vanilla whipped cream, and frosted with an orange frosting tinted in a few sherbet shades using one of my favourite decorating techniques, the super-simple but strangely rewarding Pastel Swirl style. It’s a really neat (and quick) way to tell a story of the flavours inside the cake (much like the Vanilla Blackberry-Mascarpone Cake  I shared recently), or simply to add an artistic flair to any layer cake. Just remember that, although the colour combinations are virtually endless, I find this works best when the colours really blend together (but not over-blended or they’ll become one colour), so I’ve discovered that sticking to three (or so) colours that actually look nice when combined is ideal, not just colours that look nice beside each other. So in this case, since orange and pink make coral, I was able to blend them together to achieve a pretty new colour. I added some un-tinted frosting in there too, so that it would create pastel versions of the same colour scheme.

I made a little batch of sugar flowers (which would be super cute on the cupcake version of this cake, which I will likely do with the extra flowers from this post!), and ended up using a single little blossom and some pink and white sanding sugar to give the cake a little bit of a tropical feel. Real flowers would be so lovely on this style as well, and I can see a tropical shower cake, birthday cake, or even wedding cake a few tiers high becoming a total showstopper.

So I’m lucky enough to have you as a regular reader, you’ll likely notice that the filling and frosting recipes are variations on those found in many of my cake recipes. See, I don’t think you always have to start from “scratch,” but rather can make a few modifications on your favourite existing recipes to make a whole new cake. In this case, I simply added orange zest/juice to my favourite vanilla recipes, and it completely changes the experience. I absolutely love working with oranges in dessert, as I think they offer so much flavour and instantly make most desserts so much more interesting. And they literally fragrance the entire house one you start zesting away. It’s truly a lovely baking experience.

I typically use Valencia oranges when baking/juicing, because they’re so, well, juicy! I also find them even more fragrant than Navel oranges, offering even more orangey-ness to recipes. I did experiment with Pure Orange Extract while making this, but in the end I took it out of the recipe–it just gave it a medicinal quality that wasn’t so happy-happy. One option would be to experiment with Orange Blossom Water to the frosting, as that would give it a unique orange flavour as well (as with these cookies I made last Easter), but I find the juice and zest of the Valencia oranges worked well.

So, remember way up there when I mentioned that I had an inferior butter experience? Well, I’m actually glad I did, even though it meant 3 layers of cake in the garbage. And this feels important enough to make a separate post about butter in itself, but for now let me touch on what happened. So, as you know, I’m working on my first book (hooray!), which means I’m currently living in a sea of bags of sugar and flour that weigh more than my children, and have had to forgo buying groceries so I can make room in our fridge for the endless pounds of butter (kidding .  . . sort of), I decided that maybe I need to experiment with the less pricey butter variety, to see if it really makes a difference, or if it’s at least good enough for everyday baking. I decided that I’d buy my favourite butter, Lactancia My Country Unsalted Butter, for frostings and buttercreams, and try the Great Value butter for the actual cakes, etc. I made the cake back-to-back using each butter, while keeping every single step and ingredient the same, but the Great Value version was so dense and greasy. I tried it, and it tasted like cornbread–it was honestly, inedible, in my opinion. When I made it right then again with the Lactancia, it was just as it should be: light, tender and orange-y. I can assume that the Lactancia has a higher fat content, but it’s hard to know . . .

I can see this is a topic that likely requires extensive research, because aside from experimenting with every brand of butter out there in the same cake recipe, it would be impossible to know from simply looking at the butter packages at the store. The nutritional info on the packages are typically all the same, but that doesn’t mean that butter is made up of the same fat/water ratios. I would love to spend more time really figuring this out, because this is the first time in my life I’ve tasted a cake that tasted like cornbread, yet in this previous post from the Fluffy Vanilla Cake, some people have mentioned that they thought it tasted that way. I was perplexed! Especially since out of over 450 reader comments on that post, hundreds of people seem to share my love for how fluffy and light that cake is. Very mysterious . . .

Now I’m also wondering about those who have had separation issues with their Swiss Meringue Buttercream–again, something that’s never happened to me, and not because I don’t have epic baking fails, but maybe because I’ve only used higher-priced butter. It does kind of all make sense . . .

So that being said, it seems that in some cases, you might “get what you pay for” when it comes to butter for baking cakes and making meringue buttercream. I can’t say that every fancy brand is perfect for baking, and every inexpensive brand is terrible, but between these two brands for my cakes it was night and day. Something to think about! And if you have any experience with this, feel free to share your story in in the comments. Let’s get to the bottom of this.

In the meantime, here’s the recipe for this happy-happy orange party cake:

Orange Party Cake with Whipped Orange Frosting


    For the Orange Cake:
  • 4 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, strained (I like Valencia oranges)
  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (19 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small even pieces
  • Zest from 2 medium oranges
  • For the Orange-Vanilla Whipped Cream Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream (35-37% fat), cold
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) icing/confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Zest from 1 medium orange
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Whipped Orange Frosting:
  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 4-1/2 cups (565 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
  • Pinch of salt


    For the Orange Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment round and dust sides with flour.
  2. In a medium measuring cup with a spout, lightly break up the eggs and yolks. In a separate measuring cup, combine the orange juice and milk.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With the mixer set to low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time, about 10 seconds apart. (You can keep half in the fridge while you add the first half of butter.) Continue mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been blended and there are no clumps. Mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  4. Gradually add the milk/orange juice mixture to these dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the egg mixture; once the mixture has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, but no more. Gently fold in the zest.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans (use a kitchen scale to ensure 3 even layers--cakes should weight ~460 g each). Place two of the cake pans on a baking sheet and bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs but no batter, about 23 minutes. Repeat with the final layer. Let the layers cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then loosen sides with thin metal spatula or knife, and carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel of the paper liners, and let cool completely.
  6. For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Filling:
  7. In a small stainless steel bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of the cream just to a simmer, then stir into the gelatin mixture until the gelatin has dissolved. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, about 8 minutes. (Be careful to keep your eye on it, or you'll end up with Panna Cotta!)
  8. In a chilled stainless steel mixer bowl with a chilled whisk attachment, beat the remaining whipping cream, icing/confectioners' sugar, vanillla and salt until it thickens just slightly and soft peaks begin to form, about 1 minute. Very gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form (should be thick enough to spread). Fold in zest. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
  9. For the Whipped Orange Frosting:
  10. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  11. Add sifted icing sugar, orange juice and salt, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
  12. Assembly of the Orange Party Cake:
  13. Trim any dark edges or crust from cake layers with a very sharp serrated knife. Place your first cake layer, face-up, onto a cake stand, plate or 8-inch round foil cake board. Fill your pastry bag with about 1-1/2 cups of the Whipped Orange Frosting and pipe a dam around the perimeter of the cake layer (this will keep our Orange-Vanilla Whipped Cream Filling in place). Place about 1 cup of the cream filling on top of the cake layer, inside of the dam. Gently spread the filling using a small offset spatula.
  14. Repeat until you come to your final cake layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume. Use your clean offset spatula to carefully smooth the frosting so it's flat against the cake.
  15. Cover the entire cake gently with plastic wrap (I like Press n' Seal), and then, once covered, use your hands to carefully ensure the cake is lined up straight and flattening any lumps or bumps of frosting. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  16. Once cake is stable and chilled, apply an even layer of frosting to the entire cake, to seal in crumbs. Chill again until frosting is firm, about 30 minutes.
  17. Place cake plate/board with cake onto a turntable, if possible. Be sure your remaining frosting is smooth and fluffy, working it with a rubber spatula for a few moments. You can even warm in microwave for a few seconds to soften it up.
  18. Divide frosting into 4 separate small bowls. Tint 3 of them: 1 orange, 1 bright pink, 1 bright coral (pink + orange). Leave the remaining frosting un-tinted. Place cake on a turntable, if possible.
  19. Using a small offset spatula, spread the orange frosting on the top of the cake, letting it extend about 1/2" over the edge. Using a straight medium spatula, spread a thick layer of bright pink frosting along the bottom third of the entire cake, followed by the un-tinted frosting on the middle of the cake, and the coral on the upper third of the cake. Clean your medium straight spatula and then smooth the sides of cake, slowly turning the cake turntable while holding the spatula steady. Use your small offset spatula to smooth top of cake. Top with sanding sugar and sugar blossom, if desired.
  20. Keep cake refrigerated for up to 2 days, but serve at room temperature.

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • Here’s my video tutorial on this frosting technique. 
  • For this sherbet colour scheme, I used the following gel colours: Electric Pink for the bright pink, Electric Yellow Red Red for the orange, and combined the two colours for the coral. Just a note that you’ll want to get your pink super bright, as it will fade a bit after applying to the cake. The reason I use “electric” colours when tinting frosting with an ivory tone (so pretty much anything with butter), is because I feel that the electric colours cut through the yellow better than regular colours. You just have to be careful that you don’t end up with neon frosting (however, that might not be a bad thing in some cases!).
  • For all of my cake decorating, I use a cake turntable–it’s definitely a must-have. I have a homemade version, but have recently started using the Ateco Revolving Cake Stand, and I love it.
  • I always use a Small Offset Spatula and Medium Straight Spatula when frosting a cake.
  • For the blossoms, I used 5-Petal Flower Cutter set, and simply cut them from thinly-rolled Gum Paste , shaping them by letting them dry in a egg carton (or you can always buy flower formers, but I have a designated egg carton for this kind of thing). Once dry I brushed on a little pink petal dust into the centre, and attached sugar pearls in the centre using a tiny dab of Clear Piping Gel.

Good luck & enjoy!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    Beautiful cake! I’m curious to try it. I usually stick to vanilla or chocolate cakes, but after trying your lemon blueberry cake with the lemon curd last year, I can’t wait to try this orangey goodness.

    I’ve baked several of your recipes (probably a good dozen or more) and I’ve been using store brand butter for the cakes and European style for the buttercreams. I also use the higher quality when baking cookies. I’ve yet to bake two versions of the recipe to compare the difference, but I’ve loved every single cake or cupcake with the store brand butter.

    I recently started purchasing the high quality butter from a restaurant supplier for the same price of the store brand. Next time I bake, I’ll try and make two versions and see if I can taste the difference. I’m curious!

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes, gorgeous pics and posts!

  2. Kala-Dawn says

    Hi! I’m just looking at this orange cake recipe, and it looks very similar to your buttermilk vanilla cake recipe from your last post. Would it work to use buttermilk in this recipe in place of the whole milk? I LOVED the buttermilk cake! Super tender.

    Thanks Rosie!

  3. Nicola says

    Beautiful cake! I also love working with orange but have run into a similar problem when using orange extract (it simply tastes like children’s Motrin!). However, I have taken to using orange OIL in my frostings (especially in cream cheese frostings – it’s great with carrot cake) instead. It tastes exactly as it does when you add orange zest, but it keeps the frosting smooth and lump free. I find it’s really handy to keep about the house, especially when you don’t always have fresh oranges on hand! I’m a big fan of you work! Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes you have shared!
    In case you are interested:

  4. says

    Well, I’ll take this happy-happy cake as my birthday cake since today is my 18th birthday! It is so wonderful and beautiful, Rosie! :)
    Talking about the butter, it happens that not all butters seem to be good for baking. I can’t help you about brands, because I’m from Spain and it won’t work for you, but I’m really curious about why different butter’s brands make such a difference, too.
    Anyway, have a very happy-happy weekend! ♥

  5. Shannon says

    Hi Rosie! That cake looks absolutely gorgeous, and complete with those pretty little flower! :P Glad you mentioned the butter, and I have tried using cheap butter, and it tasted exactly like expired cake batter (cake mix). Long story.
    So now I use Organics sweet cream butter. (Yes Organic!) I never new butter would amount so much in moisture and taste……. but it does. Congratulations on your first cookbook! Totally looking forward to it!

  6. says

    Beautiful {as always!} and it sounds absolutely delicious {as, um, always!}.

    I think I’m lucky (or spoilt) in New Zealand we have the most fantastic butter and I’ve never found any difference between cheaper and more expensive butter (to be honest in a small country it all probably comes from the same cows and goes through the same factories, lol) I’ve had problems with meringue buttercream splitting but I think it’s the baker rather than the butter and it always comes together in the end anyway.

    I love what you said about not always needing to come up with completely new recipes, I love playing with my favourite recipes and doing different things with them, but since starting my own baking blog I feel like people will think I’m a three-trick pony or something, so I’ve been trying to do different things all the the time. It’s good to push myself, but there is just something so nice about having recipes you trust and being able to do different and wonderful things with them. So I think I’m gonna stick with that theory and I’m glad you do too!


  7. says

    I’ve made your fluffy vanilla cake three times, including for my wedding, and I used butter from Costco. It turned out lovely every time. As a struggling office slave, that’s really the best I can afford. I don’t let it stop me. The expensive stuff doesn’t taste better, but the cheap stuff doesn’t taste bad. I use the “second cheapest” rule, and things always seem to work out. I’m not about to let my dismal paycheck stop me from making and eating cake. I just have to find shortcuts sometimes. I can’t wait to try this cake, and I can’t wait to see your book. I’ll let you know how the Costco butter works out.

  8. says

    I was JUST (like 10 minutes ago) talking to my husband about making an orange cake like this for our twins’ birthday party next month. I will give this a test run….we all need those right? ;)

  9. Flor Rodriguez says

    Thank you for the recipe Rosie. My mom’s birthday is on Tuesday and she loves orang cake but I’ve only seen recipes that call for a cake mix as a base. Lame! I know she will love this. Thank you again! I cant wait for your cookbook to come out. :)

  10. says

    Rosie, you read my mind! I have been wanting to make an orange flavored cake. And not only that… you used my favorite color combination in the frosting- pink and orange! I can’t wait to make this!

  11. says

    I’ve tried the different cheaper brands for baking in Australia and found they are generally fine with texture for baking. The nutrition labels show what % fat they have and I remember checking once a while back and there was no huge difference with the ones I used. The much higher quality ones do however taste better for frosting :)

  12. says

    I, as well, have found that certain butters can ruin a cake, specially the frosting. When making a convencional buttercream, with cheap butter and confectioners sugar, the taste is really different. Not that I particularly like sugary frostings like that, because I feel like I’m literally eating chunks of butter, but the quality does make a diference. Haven’t noticed it so much on the cakes though, probably cause I tend to use corn oil in my cakes or even sometimes I try to use just have of the fat content in butter and the other half in oil. Butter… it’s just not part of the mediterranean diet I wanna be eating, so I tend not to use it that much.

  13. Denise C says

    The cake looks amazing. I can’t wait to make this one. I’ve made a cake that was bread like. It taste like cornbread. I did not know why. Sometimes I use Great Value butter, sometimes Trader Joe’s and sometimes I use my favorite Land ‘O Lakes butter. Now I know what to look out for. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Linda says

    Such a wonderful and beautiful cake, just perfect for summer…. I can’t wait for your cookbook !! Wish I lived next door….so I could help taste all these fabulous cakes…. ; )

  15. Roshini says

    It is a happy happy orangey cake Rosie. Thanks for the details. You really spend so much time to do all that. Hats off to you

  16. Cheryl says

    You have solved the mystery for me of why my last cake tasted dense, dry and like cornbread! It was the first time I ever used store brand butter and now it will be the last time. Thank you!

  17. says

    That cake looks beautiful- like all of your other desserts! By the way, I have made several of your recipes before (including the lemon lavender cupcakes and the fluffy vanilla cake) using supermarket butter, and they have always come out perfectly fluffy and delicious. They have never been cornbread-y. It’s weird that it’s happened to some people like that- maybe it has something to do with the age of the butter?
    Can’t wait for your cookbook!

  18. cheryl r says

    Rosie, Love this cake & always feel excited to open up a new post from you! Please do a full post on butter, because I’ve had problems, too. Here in AZ some butters are very melty at room temp…even some expensive brands, resulting in thin Italian meringue bc. ! I would love to learn more. Thank you for all you share:)

  19. Betsy Brown says

    Rosie, I’m insanely jealous of the baking you will do and are doing as research for your book. Your recipes are fabulous, bomb proof. Happy baking!!

    You make a great point about product quality. If there is lower fat quantity in your butter, it’s likely replaced with water. That will throw off your buttercream in a hurry if you don’t have your technique just right. And evaporate out of your sponge in the oven, causing dry cakes. The higher fat content in better butter is what enriches the sponge! We recently made a big batch of buttercream with Great Value and (along with the flavor being off) it did turn out more greasy than normal. Heavier. Great post!

  20. nikki says

    This cake is making my mouth water just like sherbet fizz.What a gorgeous cake and I can’t wait to see your book! Rosie I just wanted to ask what you do with the third lot of cake batter while waiting for the other two to bake? Do you put it in the fridge or leave it out on the bench? I’ve read somewhere you should put it in the fridge.

  21. says

    Lovely cake as always, Rosie! I love this color combination and I think the mixing of it is just wonderful. I love the ombre cakes but I like that this isn’t a perfect ombre, it makes it much more interesting and unique. LOVE!

  22. Rebekah says

    You may be onto something with the butter! I was one who tried your fluffy white cake and didn’t have the “fluffy” results that others raved about. I can’t remember exactly what brand of butter I used but it was either Land O Lakes or a store brand.
    Here’s an article I found about the different butters. I’m going to try the recipe again and use a better butter! Thank you!

    • says

      It’s intriguing, right? I had also bookmarked that article on butter for a later read. It looks like some detailed research has been done, which might really shed some light on the butter-for-baking issue! Thanks, Rebekah!

  23. says

    What a fabulous looking cake! My boyfriend saw this as I was looking at it and he definitely wants me to make it.

    Seeing as my birthday is coming up it will be my birthday cake.

    I can’t wait for your book!

  24. Brian says

    RE: Swiss Buttercream Separation.

    I highly doubt this is due to using a cheeper grade butter. I only use “cheep” butter that I purchase from Aldi, and I have never had Buttercream separate on me.

    • says

      Brian, as I touched on in the post, I’m not implying all “cheap” butter is the culprit for baking issues, but because the water/fat ratios vary quite a bit among different brands of butter, it’s possible that a certain brand or brands of butter could cause separation in buttercream. That being said, it was simply an initial thought — I haven’t done any experimenting with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe and butter brands.

  25. Lara says

    Wow, first of all what a cake!!

    I wonder if that is what happened to my last cake I made of yours, which I had made before and it was fabulous. I made the classic vanilla cake for easter and it was not very good, so dense and not moist at all. hmmmm maybe that is what happened! I definitely buy cheap butter as it is so expensive!!
    I love to bake and do all the time, hmmm that is getting me thinking now!

  26. says

    Your cakes are always so gorgeous! I wish I was as talented as you. Interesting point about the butter. I feel strongly about two brands when baking: King Arthur Flour and Cabot unsalted butter, but I live in New England, so I’m biased. I think you are correct about the fat content. Different cows produce different fat contents in their milk. I think it also has to do with what they eat.

  27. says

    Hi Rosie. I definitely think you are correct with the post about different brands of butter and quality of the final product. In a pinch I have used store brand butters and have ended up with butter cream with a greasy and a times a slight separation. At times hard to explain but it is something to really take notes on. Love to see a similar post like your ‘Flour’ post. I have referred to it many, many times. Happy Baking and love, love citrus in cakes. It just elevates a cake and icing to summer love.

  28. Dali says

    Hi Rosie!
    Your baking blog is one of my favorites in this vast land of the web! Your work is from the heart and beautiful, and your recipes are outstanding. I will be one of the first to pre-order your book!!
    I have used different brands of butter for baking and for frostings. I can only speak from my own experience and say that the Costco brand butter has always worked well for me. I absolutely LOVE the Kerrygold Irish butter (unsalted) for the SMB. I have not used Plugra for baking or for frostings, but that’s on my list to try. I have noticed that some store brand butters have a rancid smell and taste. I think it’s because the outer layers have oxidized.
    Thanks Rosie!!

  29. pam says

    I agree with you regarding butter. I used to use Costco butter (Meadowvale brand here) but ran out and used Foremost brand from Superstore (a little pricier). Wow I noticed a difference immediately in my smbc (your recipe). The texture was much smoother, fluffier & creamier. More importantly, the taste was 100x better! Very much like vanilla ice cream. I will never use lower quality butter for my frosting ever again.
    I also noticed a difference in my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Because the pricier butter must have a higher fat content, I had to adjust the flour & butter because I ended up with a softer dough.

    While I can’t always afford to spend $6 on a block of butter,I won’t waste my money on the cheapest butter on the shelf.

  30. Kelly says

    I have to agree with you on the whole butter situation. My mother-in-law and I had an in depth conversation about her cake problems and we came to the understanding that it was the quality of her flour causing her problems! She was using the Great Value brand as well! It was making her cake dense and yellower than it should be. I have noticed that the feel of the flour is different too. I love King Arthur Flour! Definitely the best flour I have ever touched (literally)! I love to feel it and how it’s so silky smooth! Love your cakes!

  31. says

    OMG that cake looks absolutely heavenly. Just love the colors! It reminds me of a big bowl of rainbow sorbet. You had me at the whipped orange frosting!

  32. says

    awww! orange you glad you made this cake?

    this is so cute and pretty! love the frosting job – orange and pink is so summery, and the cake itself sounds delicious! five cakes!? who got to eat all of them??

    also, interesting experiment with the butter! i am very curious to try a few different ones now to see what happens!


  33. Christie's Fine Cakes says

    Made the orange party cake recipe last night. It tasted and acted like corn bread. Tonight, I tweaked your lemon meringue cake recipe; substituted orange juice, orange blossom water, and orange zest . I think that we have a delicious cake cooling at the moment!!

  34. Natasha says

    If the butter contains too much butterfat it can render a recipe greasy and dense. So you do want a good amount of butterfat, but not too much!

    Depending on the season the cow’s diets will vary and this yields differences in the cream and hence butter. Most well known brands make the effort to keep their product consistent in butterfat content and color throughout the year, its possible that cheaper store brands don’t make this effort. I always buy land o’lakes because their product is not significantly more expensive than store brand but is always flavorful and consistent. The wrappers that LOL uses also block out unwanted flavors.

  35. Sophie says

    Another beautiful cake! I love how you get super straight edges on all your cakes. How do you do that? Do you have tutorial in your site? Thanks!

  36. says

    This sounds delicious and the colors you used in the frosting looks like my favorite kind of rainbow sherbet. In fact, now I’m considering adding some raspberry jam between the cake layers for a more rainbow sherbet-like cake flavor!

    Also, you are so right on the color combinations for the frosting. I tried doing the swirl with colors that look great next to each other but not so great swirled together (bright pink and bright green, with some pale pink in between the two), and while the result didn’t look bad, it also wasn’t ideal. Colors that blend together well would have looked much nicer.

  37. Katey says

    Hi Rosie! First off, I congratulate you on your cookbook! I have an enormous cookbook collection of desserts, and I hope a new one (yours) is going to be added soon! :-) Secondly, WOW! I absolutely love the cake, and the bright colors. Although some may disagree, there is always more room for sunshiney orange in California! :-P

  38. says

    I could not agree more in regards to the butter issue, I find that butter is intergral – in fact it all is. But butter, I’ve found that the best results for me come from lurpak, but living in Australia that’s too many food miles for my liking. I’m trialling a few different ones but i’d love to know whether the fat content made a difference. Also the process they use, would this make a difference? So many questions; maybe I should consult a dairy farmer.

  39. Megan K says

    This cake looks delicious. I love orange baked goods. and it happens to be my youngest son’s favorite fruit and color so this might be his birthday cake.

    With butter I usually buy store brand and it works fine. I really like the store brand dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter) from Safeway (Lucerne label) almost as much as the more expensive brands. And the store brand butter from Albertson’s seems to work just as well in baking as the more expensive challenge butter I have used occasionally when it is on sale. Their store brand milk is quite good as well. I don’t like their cheese as much as Lucerne though. I hate Walmart and almost never shop there for food but when I have bought milk or cheese there I do notice a difference in taste. So maybe they buy their dairy from inferior places? I don’t know. But the store brands I have used seem to work quite well even for frosting. I really do like Costco’s kirkland brand as well but I don’t have one near me any more.

  40. Maria says

    Thank you so much for this amazing orange cake recipe, I used the cheaper butter and the cake was so dence. I decided to bake another cake using the butter you recommended and no word of a lie it was totally amazing what a difference!!!

    Thank you Rosie

  41. says

    Hi Rosie

    I live in a small little town in Tsumeb, Namibia. I only use your recipes to bake for functions and friends! All i can say is wow! Every single recipe works like a dream and is an absolute slice of heaven. and you advise is invaluable to me living somewhere where we are not exposed to these beautiful things!
    Thanks so much. look forward to your next super dee duper recipe!


  42. Heather says

    I just made this cake for a birthday party taking place tomorrow, and I have to say it was a total flop! It literally did not rise at all, and it looks like cornbread. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I will not be serving it anyway. I’ve made several of Rosie’s recipes with great success, so I’m really puzzled with this one. I’ve gone over my steps to make sure I didn’t leave anything out. I used Lucerne sweet cream butter, which I haven’t used before, but I’ve used both generic brands and higher end brands in lots of recipes and never noticed any major differences. I also used all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons per cup, as I’m baking away from home, and my host didn’t have cake flour. Maybe it was the flour? Any suggestions?

  43. Randi says

    Good Afternoon Rosie,

    I want to thank you for sharing your talents and recipes with me. After discovering your blog, I have successfully recreated many of your recipes and have lovingly celebrated the past 2 birthdays with my own cakelet using your yummy creations. We most recently celebrated her 4th with this orange cake and your chocolate cupcakes. I will say both were a hit! We had a butterfly theme party and I will post a picture on your facebook of our version. We love to bake together and I pray she will continue to enjoy this with me.

    Have a Blessed Day

    Randi and Macie

  44. Tabitha Major says

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial and your recipes! I did this design on my daughter’s first birthday cake on top of your chocolate cake recipe with your vanilla whipped icing recipe and it was divine! Learning a lot and enjoying making cakes thanks to your site!!!

    Many Thanks,

  45. Maria says

    Hi Rosiie, I baked this to the t and the results were amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, it was a major hit! Will be baking lots more from your blog in the future!

  46. says

    Hi Rosie! I’m from Malaysia and I just LOVE your blog :)
    I just made your whipped vanilla frosting today and it tasted great!
    but I always have problem when making basic buttercream like this (I mean butter+icing sugar) because it will be still grainy and i can taste the icing sugar and they won’t completely dissolved. I did beat them a bit more longer but nothing change. Is that normal for the whipped frosting or do i need to keep beating? Please help! Thanks <3

  47. Karen says

    Delicious cake. I made it for my parents 45th anniversary. It didn’t hold together so well but was absolutely delicious. Worth the work. Thanks.

    By the way, I would love it if you put out a recipe for a coconut cake. Your recipes are always wonderful. Thanks again!

  48. says

    Hi lovely! You should be able to determine the fat content on the nutritional panel on the butter packaging. Compare the “per 100g” values in order to compare percentages. Butter should contain no less than 80% fat.

    • says

      Hi Christina! Thanks so much for the comment. You know, the weird thing is that the brands I’ve compared all show the same fat content, yet behave very differently in my cakes. That’s the part I can’t figure out. Do you find this as well?

      • says

        Hi Rosie. In that case, it has to do with the quality of the fat or cream that the butter is made from. High quality butter is made from cream with a certain proportion of fatty acids with a certain crystallization profile so that it has the ideal hardness and texture for cake-baking. So, when you use high quality butter you get better aeration because the fat is more stable and holds the tiny air pockets better than the other supermarket brands.

        I hope this shines some light on your dilemma!

  49. Stephanie says

    Hi Rosie – love the site – all of you cakes look amazing! I’d like to try out the Orange Party Cake, but as only hubby and I are home, I’d like to make it in a smaller, “for two” version. Any advice on scaling recipes?

    • Michelle says

      I run into the same problem with myself and my boyfriend – I usually make the same amount of cake but in 6″ pans, sometimes even 4″. I’ll freeze extra icing and extra baked cakes, and that way I always have something in the freezer I can put together quickly if needed for company as well.

  50. Maria says

    Hi Rosie,
    Must say that I almost always use GV butter with fantastic results…but will switch it up next time for comparison. On the “orange” topic….have you tried using orange juice concentrate instead of the juice? Nice, concentrated flavor without all the water content. Great in addition to the zest…in baking or “Frostings”. Let me know if you try:)
    Can’t wait for your book!!

  51. Michelle says

    Absolutely amazing recipe! I made it for my mom to take to work on her last day and it was instantly gone, everyone couldn’t stop raving about it!

  52. Janet B says

    I too have noticed that different butters yield different results. I love Darigold butter, it’s consistently great in my baking, and readily available at my local mega-mart. This cake is gorgeous and I really want to try it!

  53. curlyhair girl says

    Hi Rosie!
    First of all, I absolutely adore your blog! Keep up the great work. Now, what I am about to say might go against all the rules of baking, but I will share it anyway! I live in South Africa and with the amount of butter we go through each weak to satisfy my baking needs and sweet tooth…. I now only use margarine because it is much cheaper! I have made swiss meringue buttercream several times now using your recipe and I have never had a problem (not even the first time making it). Just another piece of information to perhaps boggle your mind further on the butter-issue. (Yes, I do think this is a real issue for all us bakers :P) xx

  54. Lauren says

    Has anyone made this with a swiss meringue butter cream frosting? I am not a huge fan of icing sugar based frostings – they always taste crunchy and artificial…

    • says

      Hi Lauren,
      I think Swiss meringue buttercream would work well! Just a note, though, that this frosting is whipped for several minutes, and it is fluffy — I too really dislike crunchy artificial frosting. That being said, SMB would be wonderful too! Hope that helps :)

  55. Missgoldie says

    I was trying to find a recipe for an orange cake for my mom’s birthday and stumbled upon this breathtakingly beautiful cake! I baked my cakes last night and made the orange buttercream frosting and whipped cream filling this morning. It was definitely a labor of love! The icing was time consuming but it turned out to be stunning!!!!!!!!

    Only additions, I topped my whipped cream filling with marmalade and decorated the bottom of the cake with candied orange zest.

    Thank you!!! Can’t wait to try your other cakes!!

  56. Susan Tilney says

    SO glad I saw this recipe! My husband LOVES orange-flavored anything! So for his 60th birthday celebration (today) I made this cake. OH. MY. STARS!!! The cake is SOOOO moist and delicious that you could eat it by itself but then … whipped cream?!?! and AMAZING frosting?!?! KNOCKOUT!! Thanks for such an incredible recipe (not to mention the video of how to do this frosting technique)!! The cake is complete, unadulterated PERFECTION!!

  57. Sofia says

    Hi Rosie, your work is amazing. Any tips on making the little flowers in advance, how long will they keep? How should I store them. thanks

  58. says


    Menuda maravilla de pastel, dentro de poco tengo que hacer uno para un cumpleaños de una niña y la verdad que no se por cual decidirme, me gustan todos tus pasteles.

    Besos desde la tierra de las naranjas (Valencia, Spain) ;-)

  59. Christine Tsetso says

    Making this for my baby’s 3rd birthday. Took a couple of tries to get the filling right. Havent iced it yet but I have a feeling its gonna be delish like everything else I make from your site. I love this icing technique as its such a timesaver!

  60. Sumi says

    Hi, Such a beautiful cake. I am planning to bake this cake for my daughter’s second birthday. Instead of the three layers, if i go with two, can i use two 22cm round pans as opposed to the 3 20 cm ones. Thankyou.

  61. sumijacob says

    Rosie, I made this cake for my daughter’s second birthday. It was delicious. The theme was pink and silver, so I made the cake with baby pink frosting and silver cachous. I made two batches of this cake to make a three layer 9 inch round cake. Everyone loved it. Thank you very much..

  62. Elizabeth says

    Rosie, I made this cake for my daughters 2nd birthday party today. Orange because she loves orange juice and she loves cake. When I was making it, I thought the frosting or the filling were a little bitter but when we ate the cake, I didn’t detect any bitterness anymore. It was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it. Your instructions are very very good and easy to follow, Thank you very much! I’ll be making it again!

  63. says

    I love your blog! It keeps me up too late at night ;)

    I wanted to point you in the direction of orange emulsion. I’m sure you have used emulsions, but I wanted to make sure! Enjoy!

  64. Tara says

    Another great cake recipe! I made this yesterday for a friend’s birthday, except with a cream cheese chocolate icing. I just love the orange-chocolate combo. It was a winner! Your site is my go-to for cake recipes now, I’ve never been let down by one yet! xx

  65. says

    This is a lifesaver. I needed and Orange Butter cake for a graduation cake in May. He is 72 yrs. old and owned his own bakery for years; now his daughter’s have it. Talk about intimidation!!! I love your site and come here often for help and advice. I bake from scratch also and have numerous books and sometimes nothing works…..until I found you

  66. Jill says

    I don’t have 3 8″ pans so I made the cake in 2 10″ pans and it was absolutely delicious! Once I stacked the cake, though, I realized that only having two layers I would lose some of the pastel effect, so I iced it in only one color. Cant’ wait to try it again with a third layer because I would really like to try a pastel cake sometime! Thanks, Rosie!

  67. Amanda says

    I don’t know what went wrong, but this recipe did not work for me at all. I followed the recipe carefully – used cake flour, good danish butter, beat the batter for the exact times stated (even timed it on my phone, and used the same KitchenAid mixer speeds mentioned). It basically didn’t rise at all… came out the consistency of a car tire. And although the skewer came out clean and it was definitely cooked, the dense batter tasted raw. It was totally inedible and I threw out the whole thing, which is disappointing considering it wasn’t cheap to buy all the ingredients and took me the best part of an afternoon to make. Seems like it worked well for other commenters, but I’m certain I didn’t leave anything out of the recipe so it’s got me stumped.

  68. Saneeah says

    OMG the cake is super lovely!!! So fresh and like you said, “happy-happy”
    And yes, I completely agree with you that the quality of butter truly does makes a difference in the baked cakes. I also tried going for a cheaper butter option when I was trying out a recipe for “lemon velvet cake”, and it was so dry! I literally ended up grinding it all and putting it outside for birds :/ I was so disheartened, but then I tried it with my usual choice and it turned out amazing!
    But my little trick of getting the perfect softness and lightness in cake is by using fresh cream! I know, sounds odd, but I get fresh milk everyday and when I boil it and cool it, cream layer forms on top, which I collect and freeze it for later use. I just need to whip it up good with sugar, just like you “cream” ( :P ) butter and sugar and in the end you get such a lovely light and fluffy cake!!!
    But again, you cant have cream all the time, and I have never used store-bought (packaged) cream for baking, so I use Ghee, it is a form of clarified butter. I use store-bought mostly, but make my own too. It gives excellent results each and every time! It is used quite a lot for cooking as well. But I don’t use it for frosting! Then good quality butter is used there!

  69. says

    Rosie, my husband and I decided to make a bucket list with one of the items being “make a cake from scratch.” Well, we made this as our first ever cake from scratch. :) It was definitely a fun experience and quite an undertaking. I have so much respect for you, it is not easy!

    I have a few questions, as I am not an experienced baker at all! First, I LOVED the flavor in the actual cake. FABULOUS! Second, we made the filling but thought that it seemed too thin? Any suggestions on that? Third, the frosting…is it supposed to taste like straight up butter? We decided to only put it on the top layer because we just couldn’t handle it? Suggestions?

    Thanks Rosie!

  70. pamela lambert says

    Hi I love your recipes. I especially love your strawberry cake recipe. Couldn’t you just use that recipe and substitute orange jello and orange juice? That recipe comes out so moist.

  71. Ashley Harrington says

    Hi Rosie! I am wanting to make this cake for Easter! Is this a dense cake or a fluffy cake? Would it work if I left the 2egg yolks out? Do you think a cream cheese frosting would be yummy or too soft to frost the cake with? I just don’t want an epic fail!

    Thanks ashley

    • Ashley Harrington says

      I made this cake last night for easter today. I love how beautiful it looks but I don’t like the taste of the cake. The texture is like cornbread and I left one of the eggs out. The flavor of the Orange was bitter tasting. I think oj concentrate would have made it better. I wouldn’t recommend this cake.

  72. Shiro says

    You know, that makes sense! I tried your Fluffy Vanilla Cake recipe with store brand butter, and I got the same odd result–I figured it was cornbread-like because I used the all-purpose flour and cornstarch workaround for lack of cake flour. I’ll have to give it another go!

    However, I’ve always used store brand butter for my swiss meringue buttercream (Kroger brand, typically) and had it come out perfect. The only time I’ve had separated swiss buttercream was when the butter was too warm–too cold over too warm, definitely!

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