This simple Orange Loaf Cake is moist, fluffy, and loaded with orange flavor! Drizzled with citrusy orange glaze, this makes a perfect tea-time treat.
There are lots of lemon dessert recipes on the blog, but not as much with oranges. If you like oranges and citrus-infused desserts, then you're going to love this Orange Loaf Cake!
This loaf cake is loaded with orange flavors starting from the sponge which is infused with orange juice and zest all the way to the surface, drizzled with a homemade citrusy orange glaze.
This moist orange loaf makes a great snack at any time of day and pairs perfectly with tea or coffee. It's an easy recipe that requires a few basic pantry ingredients, less than 15 minutes of hands-on time, and no special techniques. The orange bread is infused with fresh oranges, is a great way to use extra oranges during citrus season, and keeps well for days!
Ingredients and Variations
Oranges - (Obviously!) You'll need fresh orange juice as well as orange zest for the sponge and a few tablespoons of orange juice for the glaze. Depending on the size, you will need 4-5 oranges. It's easier if you zest the oranges before juicing them. Navel oranges are my preferred type of oranges to use for this cake (refer to FAQ section).
Flour - Ideally, use cake flour for this recipe. You can also use all-purpose flour. For accuracy and the right consistency, always measure flour using digital kitchen scales.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda - Leavening agents.
Sugar - Granulated or caster sugar work well here. I used less than a cup of sugar for this recipe, making this cake not overly sweet. Feel free to add more sugar (up to 1 cup sugar/200g in total) as desired.
Eggs - Provide structure to the cake. Use room-temperature eggs. You will need 2 large eggs.
Vegetable Oil - Use neutral flavored vegetable oil such as canola oil.
Salt - To balance the sweetness of the cake.
For the orange glaze, you will need powdered/icing sugar and orange juice.
How to Make Orange Loaf Cake
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F) and line an 8x4" loaf tin with baking/parchment paper (or a standard loaf pan).
- Sift and mix dry ingredients in medium-sized bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda).
- Place oil and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand-held electric mixer) and mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one by one, and mix well after each addition (about 1 minute).
- Add orange zest and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Add flour mixture, alternating with orange juice to the wet ingredients in two additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix the batter once you add dry ingredients.
- Pour batter into lined loaf tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown at the top and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in loaf tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Drizzle orange glaze on top of the cake.
- To make the glaze, mix powdered sugar with orange juice until your desired consistency is reached. Use more lemon juice to thin the glaze or more powdered sugar to make the glaze thicker.
- Allow glaze to set, slice, and serve!
Tips for the Best Loaf Cake
- When cutting out parchment/baking paper, make sure to cut out some extra length for the sides. This will make it easier to pull out the cake from the loaf tin once baked.
- Preheat your oven before baking a cake.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Use the freshest oranges, with lots of juice and bright, healthy-looking, thin skin.
- Weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales, rather than cups.
- Do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients, as this will make your cake dense and tough.
- Do not open the oven unnecessarily when your cake is baking. Only open the oven briefly to check for doneness.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.
Common Cake Problems and Solutions
Cake Too Dense - Use the right amount of flour (I suggest weighing the flour using digital kitchen scales) and do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients.
Sunken Cake - Cake is undercooked. This orange cake requires 45-55 minutes of baking time at 175°C (350F). Make sure to check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. If the cake batter sticks to the skewer, it needs more baking time.
Cake Not Rising - Use the right amounts of baking powder. Make sure you are not using old, stale, or improperly stored baking powder. Try to bake the cake as soon you mix the dry ingredients into the batter, and do not leave it to stand for too long before baking.
The best oranges for this cake are navel-type oranges which are sweet, fragrant, have a thin healthy skin, and lots of juice.
Oranges with thicker skins typically have less juice and these should be avoided.
Apart from regular oranges, this cake can also be made using mandarines or blood oranges.
Store leftover cooled and glazed cake in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Although this cake tastes best when freshly baked and glazed, you can make it ahead and store it (glazed or unglazed) in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I suggest you prepare the batter right before baking the cake for the best fluffy texture.
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Orange Loaf Cake
Orange Loaf Cake
- 225 g cake flour (1¾ cup)
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 150 g granulated sugar (¾ cup)
- 120 mL vegetable oil (½ cup) e.g., canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 120 mL fresh orange juice (½ cup)
- zest of 3-4 oranges
- 130 g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- 3-4 tbsp. orange juice
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line an 8x4" loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Sift and mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) and set aside.
- Place oil and sugar in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one by one, and mix for 1 minute after each addition. Add orange zest and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with orange juice in two additions and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into lined loaf tin and bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until deep golden brown at the top and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in loaf tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, mix powdered sugar with 3-4 tbsp. of orange juice until the desired consistency is reached. For a runny glaze, add more juice. For a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle cake with glaze once it has cooled down completely.