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

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Lisa
    February 28, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    I feel horrible! I failed miserably at this recipe. I’m sure I had to have done something wrong. I bake every weekend. I did refrigerate the cake overnight and I assume that was a mistake. Tasted good but ended up almost bread like. I would love to know what may have caused that.

  • Reply
    Lazarus Long
    January 26, 2021 at 8:13 am

    I have an overabundance of cake flour at the moment, would it work with cake flour instead of AP.

  • Reply
    Liz
    October 12, 2020 at 8:59 am

    3 stars
    I just made this cake for my nephews birthday yesterday and I was very excited about it. I baked it for 30 minutes instead of 35 I noticed that it’s more of a poundcake not very moist. I really didn’t taste the citrusy of the orange too much. Overall it was good.

    • Reply
      Rachel
      November 23, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      5 stars
      Just putting my birthday cake in the oven…….

      Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    Gina
    September 29, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    5 stars
    I made this orange creamsicle cake for my Niece! It was a great hit! Texture is like a pound cake absolutely delish. I will definitely be trying this recipe again.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks Gina 🙂

  • Reply
    Lacresha
    July 12, 2020 at 5:30 am

    5 stars
    This was a delicious cake. I had been searching for the perfect cake recipe that didn’t use jello in the batter, and this was it. I wanted to make an orange crunch creamsicle cake, and I did. My family loved it. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    • Reply
      Angela
      September 6, 2020 at 9:18 pm

      5 stars
      Hello. I’m making a 70’s cake for my little sisters 50th. I’d like to do a three layer 6 inch cake. How full should I fill the pans and how long to bake please. Thanks so much!2

      • Reply
        Sue
        September 7, 2020 at 5:25 am

        Hi Angela ~ 9 inch pans have double the capacity of 6 inch pans, so this recipe would fill 4 of your 6 inch pans. You could make a few cupcakes with the extra batter. As with all cake pans, don’t fill them more than about 2/3 full to allow for rising. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Candice
    July 3, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    This cake looks so good and screams summer! I do not have a serrated peeler and my zester makes really fine zest. Is it bad to have real fine zest to process with the sugar? Thank you. I have to make this for my mom. She loves anything that is citrus. Oh one more question: If I use cake flour, can I measure it in the same amount of grams as listed for all-purpose flour?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 4, 2020 at 5:28 am

      Yes, you can do the citrus sugar that way, and yes, the cake flour would be the same amount.

  • Reply
    Stephie Scatie
    June 25, 2020 at 9:00 am

    5 stars
    Excellent. I did use cake flour. Recipe is perfect. Fluffy and moist cake !

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 10, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    My daughter is turning 8 on Sunday and requested I make “An orange cake with chocolate buttercream.” I told her I could make her any flavor and that’s what she picked lol My question is this—I was on the hunt for an orange cake, do you think this one would pair well with chocolate buttercream? I’ve been searching Pinterest, and I have loved your blog for a while and was happy when this was one of the top results! Thank you for any insight you could provide 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 11, 2020 at 4:56 am

      Yes, I think this would be amazing with chocolate frosting, what a great flavor combo. I would suggest the frosting from our rendition of Ina Garten’s chocolate cake, here. I think it would go beautifully.

  • Reply
    Fikisha
    May 29, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    5 stars
    I Love Cake! I can’t wait to try this one. It is a beautiful looking cake……..nothing that looks this good could be bad. So I’m giving it 5 stars from looks alone. I’m sure I will love it when I get around to baking one :o)

    Thank you for sharing

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      I love cake too Fikisha 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathy
    May 29, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Hello. I am going to test this out as my wedding cake and I see you’re mixing flour and cornstarch. That makes cake flour, correct? Could I just use cake flour if I have that? I would just use 3 cups total. Thanks so much! This sounds delightful and delicious so I think it would be really great as my cake!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 30, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      Yes, that would be fine 🙂

      • Reply
        Kathy
        June 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

        5 stars
        Thanks for getting back to me! I did use the cake flour and it was just fine. My icing was too thick so next time I’ll thin it out more. I might add some rosemary either into the sugar mix or in simple syrup to add a little herbal flavor to it as well. I think it’ll be a great cake for my backyard wedding ?

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