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Orange Cream Layer Cake

A moist sponge cake scented with real orange is held together with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting for a bright and refreshing dessert!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Decorating Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baking, Cake, Dessert
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 971kcal


  • Cake Turntable
  • Mixer
  • 8-inch Cake Pans
  • Offset Spatula


For the cake:

  • 2 Oranges zested
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk at room temperature

For the orange simple syrup:

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice from those 2 zested oranges above
  • ½ cup granulated sugar


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds and spray again, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the orange zest into 1 ½ cups of the sugar until fragrant and blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream together the orange sugar, butter, and oil until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mixture should be pale white. Scrape down sides of bowl and necessary.
  • Add eggs to sugar mixture one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Stir in vanillaand the orange extract scraping down sides of bowl again.
  • Working in three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with milk, ending with flour. Scrape down the sides of bowl after each addition of flour, being sure batter is thoroughly mixed.
  • Evenly distribute batter among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until cakes have risen and begun to pull away from sides, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in pans, on wire racks, for ten minutes. Turn cakes out of pans and cool to room temperature.

For the orange simple syrup:

  • While the cakes bake, combine the other ½ cup sugar with the ½ cup orange juice in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To frost the cake:

  • Once cake is cooled, slice off any uneven tops to leave you with three level layers. Using a pastry brush, soak cakes with orange simple syrup and allow it to soak in for a few minutes.
  • Place one layer on a cake board and cover with a generous layer of frosting, so that the extra overflows onto the sides. Top with the second cake layer and repeat the process of frosting the top and letting the excess overflow. Finish with the third cake layer.
  • To crumb coat the cake: frost the sides of the cake with the residual frosting that is along the sides of the cake layers and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the fridge and cover in whatever frosting remains. Place back in fridge, removing at least 30 minutes before serving.


  • Cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
  • Alternately, you can bake and freeze the layers – simply wrap tightly in plastic wrap before cool and defrost and frost (ha!) when ready.


Serving: 1/12 | Calories: 971kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg