Orange Creamsicle Cake

A big slice of Creamsicle Cake, with fork

My Creamsicle Cake is an easy orange layer cake made from scratch for birthdays, family meals, and summer potlucks ~ it’s the perfect orange dessert! If you haven’t had a Creamsicle cake, you’ve been missing out.

A slice of Creamsicle Cake with fork

my orange Creamsicle cake is for citrus lovers!

It’s a riff on the all-American Creamsicle, a flavor experience that all of us remember but most of us haven’t enjoyed in many years. This cake is perfect in winter when you can take advantage of citrus season, right through to spring and summer when you need a refreshing dessert. (It’s the best birthday cake for citrus fans.) So get your forks ready and let’s make cake!!

my layer cake obsession…

Taking a slice from a Creamsicle Cake

You might have had orange cake before, and I’m sure you’ve had vanilla, but until you’ve tried this orange/vanilla combo cake you haven’t had the Creamsicle Cake experience, and it’s a good one 🙂

what’s a Creamsicle?

  • The Creamsicle is a classic popsicle invented in the 1930s that combined a creamy vanilla ice cream center surrounded by orange popsicle ice.
  • The flavor/texture combination was and still is pretty unique, making it an unforgettable taste experience.
  • The Creamsicle has inspired lots of drinks and desserts in its name.

what’s the difference between  a Dreamsicle and a Creamsicle?

  • Dreamsicles are a regional variation of Creamsicles.
  • Dreamsicles have a filling of ice milk, whereas Creamsicles are filled with ice cream.
  • Dreamsicles are no longer made, while you can still find Creamsicles in the freezer aisle.
slicing a Creamsicle Layer Cake

no jello or cake mix in my Creamsicle cake!

If you’ve seen other Creamsicle themed cakes around the Internet you might have noticed that most of them are made with a cake mix and a box of orange jello. That’s one way to go, but not quite my style…I set out to create a creamsicle cake with a more natural ingredient list and a homemade cake base. The flavor is spot on, and the texture is heavenly.

Making orange sugar for an orange blossom bundt cake

I naturally infuse the orange flavor of a Creamsicle into my cake

First I make my special orange sugar. For this I process the zest of an orange with granulated sugar to make a moist orange flavored sugar that jumpstarts the Creamsicle vibe. Fresh orange juice goes into the cake batter as well. For more details check out my post on How to Make Citrus Sugar. I’ve used this same orange sugar in my Orange Blossom Bundt Cake and it really brings the orange flavor alive.

The buttercream frosting made with real vanilla and more fresh orange juice.

It’s that combination of creamy vanilla and fresh orange that conjures up the Creamsicle ice cream bar.

Cooling cake layers for a Creamsicle Cake

this recipe makes a generous amount of frosting, so don’t skimp on that important middle layer!

Be sure to use every drop of the irresistible vanilla frosting. You’ll have enough to do a crumb coat along the sides to seal in any stray crumbs, and then a second layer over top. This way every bite will have that magical combination of orange and vanilla cream.

Vanilla frosting for a Creamsicle Cake

how to crumb coat a layer cake

The moist, delicate texture of this cake mean that it is a little bit trickier to frost without getting crumbs in your frosting, so I recommend doing a quick “crumb coat,” which, if you’ve never bothered with one in the past, really isn’t as complicated or annoying as it might sound!

  • To make a “crumb coat,” simply frost the top and sids of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, getting everything as smooth as you can. Don’t worry if there are crumbs showing.
  • Then, refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes. This sets the frosting and effectively locks all those crumbs in place before you move on to your next coat of frosting, so they won’t be floating around and getting in your way! That’s it!
Frosting a Creamsicle Cake

how to store your homemade Creamsicle cake

When it comes to layer cakes I’m a firm believer in the cake dome. It’s the perfect way to store (and showcase!) your masterpiece. Look for one that’s high enough to clear a good sized layer cake. I prefer glass to plastic. The dome provides the ideal atmosphere to keep your cake fresh without marring the surface the way foil or plastic wrap can. And unless your cake is made with cream cheese, room temperature is the best way to store it.

Frosting an orange Creamsicle Cake

cake baking resources

The next time you’re tempted to reach for a boxed cake mix, reach for one of my layer cake recipes. They’re not difficult to make and the rewards are huge. Here are some resources to help:

Orange Creamsicle Layer Cake, with a slice taken out

Make this cake once and I’m pretty confident it will become a family favorite.

A big slice of Creamsicle Cake, with fork

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A big slice of Creamsicle Cake, with fork
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3.97 from 227 votes

Creamsicle Cake

My Creamsicle Cake is an easy orange layer cake made from scratch for birthdays, family meals, and summer potlucks ~ it's the perfect orange dessert! If you haven't had a Creamsicle cake, you've been missing out.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 781kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 2 9 inch cake pans

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 4 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, putting a round of parchment paper at the bottom of each one.
  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Put the granulated sugar and orange zest into a food processor and process until moist, pale orange, and no large pieces of zest remain. This will take under a minute.
  • Cream the butter and your newly created orange sugar together in a stand mixer for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the machine as necessary.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, and just before it's completely mixed in, add the buttermilk and orange juice. Blend until combined, but don't over-mix. I like to finish by hand to get everything incorporated. Pay special attention to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and spread out evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched lightly, and is just beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pans. Let the layers cool completely (completely!) before frosting.
  • To make the frosting beat the butter gradually with the confectioner's sugar, adding the orange juice, vanilla, and enough cream to thin it to a nice spreadable consistency. If the frosting seems too thin, add a bit more sugar, and if it seems too thick, add a touch of cream. If your frosting is very lumpy, you can process it briefly in a food processor, it creates a perfectly silky texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 781kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 90g | Vitamin A: 1102IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Orange Creamsicle Cake pin
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78 Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Rebecca
    May 12, 2020 at 11:11 am

    5 stars
    What if I don’t have buttermilk ? What can I use ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      You can use any type of milk, even non dairy.

      • Reply
        Carol J Southard
        February 22, 2022 at 11:04 am

        5 stars
        When I’m out of buttermilk, I substitute plain yogurt, thinned with milk. It always works for me 🙂

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          February 22, 2022 at 11:39 am

          Thanks Carol, that’s an option I hadn’t thought of!

  • Reply
    shakira
    May 3, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe today as an activity to try with my son and it took some time as it was his first time baking but the result was wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 3, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Wow Shakira ~ your son’s future wife is going to thank you!!

  • Reply
    Marcy
    September 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    5 stars
    I made this today for a friends 50th birthday party. I made 2-14 inches cakes, put them together and decorated them. Looks so pretty, and my house smells all citrusy and yummy! I wish this allowed me to post the picture.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      That sounds awesome Marcy!

      • Reply
        Rachel
        January 28, 2020 at 7:34 pm

        5 stars
        This cake was wonderful. Nice light orange flavor. The crumb was perfect. Not to light, not dense. How should it be stored? Outside of fridge or in thr fridge?

  • Reply
    Tanis Gunderson
    July 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    5 stars
    I made this today but made it into cupcakes, they are so light and fluffy and the hint of orange is perfect. I will keep making this recipe for sure.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Oh that’s great to know, I would love this in cupcake form!

    • Reply
      Sandy
      August 30, 2019 at 6:59 am

      How long did you bake your cupcakes?

      • Reply
        Sue
        August 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

        I would start with 18 minutes.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Hello, I made the orange sugar and have it in an airtight container, how long does it stay fresh?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 13, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      I don’t recommend keeping it for very long, Lisa, the citrus oils won’t last. Keep it in the fridge and use is as soon as possible.

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 11, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    If I make this a day ahead do I store it in the refrigerator?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 11, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      No, you can leave it out up to a day without any problems.

  • Reply
    Pam O’Brien
    July 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    I’m a HUGE orange fan….not much for chocolate and I will definitely be making. LOVE you use THE REAL STUFF! *Retro Info: Dreamscicles were just like Creamscicles but pink/cherry flavored.

  • Reply
    Karla
    July 11, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Ooh, this looks so good! We recently had some mango creamsicle popsicles, so I’ve been feeling nostalgic for all things of this flavor. I also love the chocolate/orange combo and wonder how this would taste adding chocolate to the frosting… adding it to my list!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 11, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      That’s such an interesting idea, maybe for a winter version!

  • Reply
    Rusty H Briggs
    July 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    5 stars
    This was the hit of Independence Day. Thank you for sharing the perfect cake for summer — also for winter when our backyard trees are heavy with oranges and grapefruit. I’m **so very** grateful for your generosity and amazing expertise.

  • Reply
    Dottie Pal
    July 5, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Sounds so good. Any idea what adjustments I would need to make if I wanted to do in a 9 x 13 sheet pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Not sure you need to change anything, check the cake at 35 minutes and go from there.

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