An Orange Blossom Bundt Cake made with my signature orange infused sugar for a classic pound cake texture and a sophisticated orange flavor. This is the orange cake to end all orange cakes!
I like to offer up easy desserts this time of year that can fill in for all sorts of spring and summer needs…brunches, luncheons, showers, etc. This orange blossom bundt cake is delicious, and you’ll be proud to serve it at any of these functions, decorated or not. It’s elegant but it can also be homey; that’s the great thing about a bundt, they’re always appropriate. This one makes a fine everyday family cake, just add a cup of coffee or tea!
I’ve got lots of bundts on the blog, so be sure to check out some of these others ~
- Chocolate Sour Cream Doughnut Bundt Cake
- The Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Hummingbird Bundt Cake
- Apple Cider Doughnut Cake
I used a new bundt pan for this cake, it’s one I’ve had for a while but never tested out. It’s the Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan, and it’s got a dramatic swirl design.
I’m always careful to butter and flour my bundt pans so the cakes release perfectly. In my earlier years of baking I had some heartbreaking bundt pan fails, so now I’m scrupulous.
Tips for making sure bundt cakes release properly ~
- Buy good quality bundt pans to begin with. Nordic Ware is my favorite brand, and they’re made in the USA. If you have an old, scratched bundt pan, replace it, they don’t last forever.
- Never ever ever put your pan in the dishwasher, or use any abrasive cleaner on it. That can damage the non-stick surface. Simple soap and water and a sponge is all that you need to clean a bundt pan. Soak in warm soapy water first to remove stuck on bits.
- Always prep your pan with butter (getting into all the nooks and crannies) and then a light coating of flour. Always.
- Let your cake cool for 10 minutes, set the timer, before attempting to turn the cake out.
- Loosen around all the edges with a thin offset spatula, paying special attention to any place where the cake has not naturally pulled away during baking. I always loosen the cake around the neck of the pan in particular.
- Put a plate on top of the bundt, then flip both over in one swift, confident move. You’ll need potholders or kitchen towels to protect your hands as the pan will still be hot.
- I like to rap sharply on the pan with a wooden spoon, all over, before I attempt to lift it up. It’s partly to help release the cake, partly as a prayer to the bundt cake gods.
- Lift the pan straight up, jiggling if necessary. Your cake should come out perfectly.
You have your choice of lots of different orange cake recipes out there, but I like to think this one is a little different. It gets a ton of natural citrus flavor because of my special technique of processing sugar with orange zest to really infuse flavor throughout the cake. In my mind this eliminates the need to soak a cake with a syrup, or to use extract to bump up the orange flavor. The way I do it you get a full-on all-natural citrus flavor that is hard to get in cakes. And it just takes a few seconds to do.
How to make orange sugar ~
- Put granulated sugar in a food processor. For this recipe it’s 1 and 2/3 cups.
- Use a sharp serrated peeler to peel the orange zest from one orange in thin strips. You don’t want any of the bitter white part, just the orange part, see the illustration above. You’ll smell an intense orange aroma the minute you start zesting as the orange oil bursts into the air. Note: you’re not peeling the orange, you’re just removing the thin outer layer, or the zest.
- Process until the orange and the sugar are completely combined, this will take under a minute. Pulse the machine to make sure you get all the zest evenly ground.
- The sugar will be pale orange, moist, and incredibly fragrant. It’s ready to use.
- Orange sugar doesn’t keep well, so plan to make it as needed for recipes.
- If your recipe calls for less sugar, use less zest.
See my Scottish Lemon Sugar Shortbread for a delicious example of lemon sugar in action!
The cake is adapted from Ina Garten, and over the years I’ve found her cakes to be flawless. They have a velvety texture and the batter is always easy to make. My orange sugar takes an Ina classic to a new level!
Food styling tips ~
- I added white jasmine and honeysuckle blossoms to my cake. They’re both edible, and they happen to be blooming right now on my front porch.
- You can use any edible flower for garnish, but I think something simple and white compliments this cake best. See a complete list of edible flowers in this post. You’ll be surprised how many common varieties there are!
- If you choose not to use flowers, you might give the cake a final shower of grated orange zest.
Orange Blossom Bundt Cake
- 1 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- zest of one orange peeled in strips, no white pith
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste you can use extract
- 2 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup cultured buttermilk
- 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- orange juice to thin
- Preheat the oven to 350F Butter and flour a bundt pan
- Process the sugar and orange zest strips in a food processor until completely combined. See detailed instructions in the post, above.
- Put the butter and sugar into a stand mixer and cream them until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. I start on medium speed and work up to high. (You can do this cake with a hand mixer, but be sure to take the time necessary to get everything well creamed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Again, scrape down the bowl often.
- Whisk the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl. Combine the orange juice and buttermilk in a separate bowl or glass measuring cup.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on medium between each addition, just to combine, don’t over mix. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing by hand, making sure to get everything from the bottom incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, smoothing out gently.
- Bake for 45-48 minutes, just until risen and no longer wet on top. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out without any wet batter on it. If the cake seems to be browning very quickly, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes on a rack before turning it out. Let cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the sugar, zest, and enough orange juice to make a thick glaze. Don’t add too much juice at once, add a little at a time, and stir well in between.
- Pour or spoon over the top edge of the cooled cake, letting it drip down. Note: don’t make the glaze too thin or it will slide right off your cake. Do a test first to see if yours is the right consistency. If it seems to thin, whisk in a little more sugar. And don’t be afraid to scoop it up and reapply!