Orange Layer Cake

Orange Layer Cake by Wood and Spoon Blog. This is a 3 layer vanilla and orange scented cake with a cream cheese and orange buttercream. This citrus cake is aromatic, made with orange zest and juice. The layers are fluffy and the balanced. This cake is the perfect cake to transition from winter to spring and is beautiful for Easter as well. Learn how to make it on

This orange layer cake, scented with vanilla and orange zest, is frosted with a orange cream cheese buttercream- divine!


For the cake:

  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ½ cup orange juice, at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 5 cups powdered sugar


To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 8” round baking pans by lining the bottoms with parchment rounds and spraying the sides with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and oil on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sugar. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed and beat to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the extract. In a smaller separate bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the cake batter and then stir in the orange juice. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir just until almost combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in the milk.
  3. Fill the three prepared pans with equal amounts of batter, smooth the tops, and bake in the preheated oven for about 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature.

To prepare the frosting:

  1. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Next, add the cream cheese and beat to combine, about 45 seconds. Add the extract, salt, and orange zest, stirring to combine. Add the powdered sugar and stir on low speed until incorporated, and then increase speed to beat for about 20 seconds. If you taste your frosting and would prefer it a bit sweeter, add an additional ½ cup powdered sugar. If you frosting it too thick to spread, add a tablespoon of water or orange juice until it comes to the right consistency.
  2. When ready to assemble the cakes, trim any dome off the top of each cake. Spread 1-1/4 cups of frosting on top of the first cake layer and then top it with a second layer of cake. Repeat this process once more and then continue frosting the cake to your liking. If desired, toast some almonds or shredded coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes, stirring regularly, to use as a garnish. This step isn’t necessary. Cake can be stored at room temperature but is best on day of assembly.


  • I prefer to frost partially frozen cakes. You can bake the cake layers, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze up to a week in advance, and then assemble as normal. This help to keep your cakes from slouching, but be sure to freeze them on flat surfaces.