A six inch orange cake recipe that's moist and full of bold orange flavor. It’s the perfect size cake for a small group!
This orange cake is one of the first cakes I ever made that became a regular favorite. It’s always a refreshing change from plain vanilla! Over the years, I have changed my recipe quite a few times but this one is hands down the best!
Why I Like This Orange Cake Recipe
Because the recipe uses smaller cake pans, there is more of a chance of over baking quickly or getting one of those annoying dome tops on your cake layer.
To avoid this, I lowered the oven temperature to 325℉. (Typically cakes bake at 350℉). Baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time decreases the chance of your cake doming in the middle.
This recipe also uses cake flour instead of all purpose flour. Cake flour produces a lighter and more tender cake. That’s right, this cake just got more sophisticated!
Next, I used pure orange extract for an extra punch of flavor. I have also used frozen orange juice concentrate in the past but it’s not something I would normally have on hand. The orange extract combined with the zest of a whole orange is perfect!
Finally, to keep the cake moist, I added a small amount of olive oil. You can use vegetable oil too but olive oil actually works well in orange cakes. Many orange cake recipes are made entirely with olive oil and no butter!
Frostings For an Orange Cake
I have two favorite choices for frosting this cake. I can’t decide which one is better. I love them both! I have frosted this cake so many times with cream cheese frosting and thought it was perfect for the cake.
Then, I also frosted it with my chocolate fudge frosting. So good! I can never say no to the combination of orange and chocolate. Both of these frostings taste marvelous with this cake so I guess the choice is yours!
Decorating Your Cake
Since this is an orange flavored cake, you can’t go wrong cutting orange slices as a garnish. If you want to get more creative, you can also make some candied orange peel twists. These would look pretty sitting on top of the cake. Alternatively, you can candied orange slices like I did on my flourless chocolate orange cake.
- 1 ¼ cups cake flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 teaspoons zest
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Prepare two six inch pans by buttering and then lining the bottom with parchment. Dust with flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the orange zest, vanilla extract, orange extract and oil. Mix to combine.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating each until incorporated.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with adding the milk. Begin and end with flour.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake!
- Remove the cakes from the pan by inverting the pan over a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Place the first layer of cake on a cake plate. Using an offset spatula spread desired frosting over the top. Add the second layer and spread the frosting over the top and around the sides.
- Add additional frosting decorations with a piping bag if desired and/or decorate with fresh or candied orange slices.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
This nutrition information is only an approximate provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. Information comes from Nutritionix, an automated nutrition calculator.