Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

A decadent Orange Buttercream Frosting crowns a deliciously tender Orange Cake to create an impressive and oh-so satisfying dessert for a celebratory afternoon tea or birthday party. 

Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting
Serves: 1(8-inch) cake and 1 cupcake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Citrus Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Orange Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: small orange wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Place a cupcake liner in a 6-well muffin pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla extract at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add orange juice, beating until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Reserve ¼ cup batter for cupcake.
  4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Using an offset spatula, smooth tops if necessary. Spoon reserved ¼ cup batter into prepared cupcake well.
  5. Place cake pans and muffin pan in oven. Bake cupcake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 13 to 15 minutes. Bake cake layers until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes more (31 to 35 minutes total). Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  6. Using a serrated bread knife, trim each cake layer level. Brush top of each layer and top of cupcake with Citrus Simple Syrup.
  7. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on a cake stand. Reserve ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons Orange Buttercream Frosting for decorating top of cake and cupcake. Using an offset spatula, spread 1¼ cups frosting over cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
  8. Place reserved ½ cup Orange Buttercream Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a medium open-star tip (Wilton #4B). Pipe in desired pattern on top of cake. Pipe reserved 3 tablespoons frosting onto cupcake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  9. Garnish with small orange wedges, if desired.

Citrus Simple Syrup
Serves: approximately ⅓ cup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 (3×1-inch) strips fresh orange zest
  • 2 (3×1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Discard zest. Use immediately.

Orange Buttercream Frosting
Serves: approximately 4½ cups
  • Orange Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners′ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add cream cheese, beating until smooth. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined. Continue beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, adding milk if necessary.


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