Glazed Orange Bundt Cake – Oh Sweet Basil

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by Sweet Basil

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03.30.2023


Fresh orange flavor is packed into every bite of this tender glazed orange bundt cake! We use fresh orange juice and zest in the cake, syrup and glaze for bold, bright bursts of refreshing orange flavor.

a photo of a slice of bright orange bundt cake topped with a white glaze sitting on a white plate with a fork in front of if and small orange slices scattered around it.

I have been testing and testing an orange bundt cake recipe in every way you could imagine; I’ve made it with butter, with oil, with sour cream, without sour cream, ricotta, whole oranges, orange zest, orange juice, different glazes and then list goes on. And this is finally the recipe of all recipes.

Listen, in extensive research I found so many people insisting that bakers make the cake with whole oranges and you know what? IT’S NOT THE BETTER WAY. I wanted it to be so bad, but it led to a more dense, heavy bundt cake.

And while yes, it technically wasn’t dry, it also wasn’t light and melt-in-your-mouth moist, so I’d rather have a cake dry out two days later than start out so heavy and not as orangey all due to that white pith holding me back.

a photo of a whole orange bundt cake sitting on a white serving tray topped with a white glaze and surrounded by orange slices.

What Ingredients Do I Need for Orange Bundt Cake?

This cake recipe is broken into 3 different parts — the cake, the syrup and the glaze. Plan on using about 10-12 oranges depending on how big and juicy they are for all the fresh juice, zest and peel you will need. Here are the ingredients for each part:

Cake:

  • Sugar: just regular granulated sugar
  • Orange Zest: You’ll need about 2 oranges to get the zest you need. Zest adds so much bold orange flavor and rubbing it with the sugar releases the natural oil in the zest to produce even more flavor.
  • Fresh Orange Juice:  You’ll need 6-8 oranges to get all this fresh orange juice. You could also buy a really high quality orange juice if you want to instead of juicing oranges. Make sure it doesn’t have added sugar or the cake will end up overly sweet.
  • Eggs: gives the cake structure
  • Vanilla: adds flavor
  • Almond Extract: adds flavor, if you aren’t an almond extract fan, just omit it
  • Vegetable Oil: all cakes must have fat, and oil keeps the cake nice and moist
  • Flour: just regular all purpose flour, and you’ll want to sift it into the batter
  • Baking Powder: leavening agent that helps the cake rise
  • Baking Soda: another leavening agent to help the cake rise and be fluffy
  • Salt: enhances all the flavors
a photo of the cross-section of an orange bundt cake topped with a white glaze topped sitting a white serving platter.

Orange Simple Syrup

  • Oranges Peels: you’ll need the peel of 2 oranges and they add so much natural orange flavor to the syrup
  • Fresh Orange Juice: you’ll need 3-4 oranges for this step to get the juice you need
  • Water: the base of the simple syrup
  • Sugar: adds sweetness and thickens the syrup

Orange Glaze

  • Butter: unsalted and softened
  • Powdered Sugar: adds sweetness and thickens the glaze
  • Heavy Cream: helps thin out the glaze a little and adds richness
  • Orange Zest: adds real orange flavor to the glaze
  • Orange Juice: adds an extra boost of fresh orange flavor
  • Vanilla: adds flavor

Can you believe how much fresh orange flavor is packed into every step?! The measurements for each of these ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also save or print the recipe there. If you save the recipe, it can be found by clicking on “My Recipe Box” in the top right corner of any page on our blog! It’s so convenient!

a photo of a a fork removing a bit from a piece of glazed orange bundt cake.

What Type of Oranges Should I Use?

I’m a navel oranges girl, but you can use whatever orange is your favorite. I have found the best oranges at Trader Joe’s lately.

How to Make This Recipe

For the Cake

  • You’ll start by rubbing the sugar and orange together in your finger to release the natural oils in the zest. Don’t skip this step!
  • Combine all the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well combined and pale in color.
  • Sift in all the dry ingredients. Then mix until just combined. Make sure to not overmix it!
  • Prepare a bundt pan (see section below). Then pour the batter into the pan.
  • Bake. While the cake is baking, prepare the simple syrup.
a photo of a baked orange bundt cake still in the bundt pan.

For the Syrup

  • Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium low heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is totally dissolved. Set aside until cake is done baking.
  • You will know the cake is done with a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the peels from the syrup. While the cake is still warm in the pan, prick the cake all over with a skewer and pour the syrup all over the top.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Then let it cool completely before adding the glaze.

For the Glaze

  • Add all the ingredients to the bowl of stand mixer and whisk until combined and smooth.
  • Place the cooling rack with the cooled cake over a piece of parchment paper and pour the glaze over the top of the cake.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes and then move the cooling rack over a new piece of parchment and pour the remaining glaze from the parchment paper over the top of the cake.
  • Repeat until all the glaze is used up.

These instructions in full detail can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of a slice of glazed orange bundt cake sitting on a white dessert plate with a silver spoon sitting next to it and small orange slices scattered around it.

How to Keep a Bundt Cake from Sticking

The key to having a bundt cake come out of the pan nice and clean is prepping the pan ahead of time. I’ve had the most luck with using baking spray. I spray every nook and cranny of the pan from everything direction and I’ve never had a problem.

If you don’t have baking spray, you can use regular cooking spray and then add about 1/4 cup of flour to the pan and then move the flour around until it has coated the whole pan. Discard any excess flour.

Another option is to rub butter all over the pan and then coat with flour just as described above with the cooking spray option. No matter what option you choose, make sure to not forget the center/middle of the pan!

What Size Bundt Pan Should I Use?

Bundt pans come in a variety of sizes measured by diameter and how much volume they hold. For this recipe a 9-10 inch diameter pan that holds a 10-12 cup volume will work great. An 8 cup pan will also work but it will be a little more dense. You can also use a 12 cup pan but it will be short.

Can I Make This as a Loaf Cake or a 9×13?

I totally get the fear of bundt cakes! There is so much pressure that that thing comes out of the pan perfectly (read our tips above for prepping the pan)! You can definitely use this recipe to make other types of cakes — 9×13 pan, two loaf pans, two 9 inch round cake pans, cupcakes, or even mini bundt cakes.

The baking time will change depending on what type of pan you use, but keep the baking temperature the same. Here baking time estimates:

  • 9×13: 27-30 minutes
  • Loaf Pans: 45-50 minutes
  • 9 inch Rounds: 30-35 minutes
  • Cupcakes: 15-20 minutes
  • Mini Bundts: 18-22 minutes
a photo take over the top of an orange bundt cake that has been baked and is still in the bundt pan.

Tips for the Best Orange Bundt Cake

  • Use fresh oranges for this recipe…the fresh juice and zest will make all the difference in flavor.
  • Zest all the oranges you need zest from before juicing them. It was way easier to get zest from an orange before they are juiced.
  • As long as we are talking zest, be sure to only get the orange part of the zest. Once you hit the white part of the peel, it will be quite bitter.
  • Using all oil in this recipe (rather than butter) makes the cake extra moist. Butter contains a lot of water which evaporates while baking resulting in a drier cake.
  • Letting the cake cool for a while in the pan with the syrup added allows the cake to full set up and keep its structure. It will also help to remove the cake cleanly.
  • To turn the cake out of the pan, place a wire cooling rack on top of the bundt pan and then flip both the wire rack and the bundt pan over at the same time.
  • Make sure the cake has cooled completely before adding the glaze. If the cake is warm, it will melt the glaze.
  • I secretly think this cake tastes even better the second day. So if you want to make it a day ahead of time, do it! The orange flavor just seems more bold and bright after it rests for day.
a photo of a piece of glazed orange bundt cake sitting on a small white plate with a silver fork sitting next to it.

Why You Will Love This Cake

  • Flavor: There is bold citrus flavor in every bite!
  • Texture: It is so moist and tender with the perfect amount of denseness and crumble.
  • Versatile: This works as a brunch recipe or as a dessert recipe. It is also perfect for any holiday or family gathering.
  • Make Ahead: You can make this cake ahead of time. It can be made a day ahead of time and saved at room temperature for maximum flavor. It also freezes really well, so you could go through the steps for making the cake and syrup and once it has cooled completely (with the syrup added), wrap it in plastic wrap and then foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Stores Well: This cake freezes so well. Follow the instructions above for storing it in the freezer. Then let it sit at room temperature for an hour or so before adding the glaze and serving. See section below for more info on storing the cake.

Can I Use Other Citrus for this Recipe?

You can absolutely swap all the orange juice, zest and peel with either lemons or limes.

a photo of a fork removing a bite from a piece of orange bundt cake.

How to Store and Freeze Cake

This cake will keep at room temperature for up to a day or two, and then you will want to keep it in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an airtight container.

The cake freezes extremely well either whole or in individual slices. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you freeze the cake whole before serving, I recommend serving it without the glaze and then adding the glaze right before serving. If you are freezing leftover cake, then I like to cut individual slices and wrap them separately. Then you can pull out however many slices you want!

a photo taken of the cross-section of a glazed orange bundt cake sitting on a white serving platter.

I’ve tested this recipe for so long and tried so many different things that I’m 1000% confident that this is the best orange bundt cake recipe ever! The simple orange syrup adds flavor and moisture to the cake and the glaze literally and figuratively is the icing on the cake! So dreamy!

More Orange Desserts You will Love:

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins

Cooling Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins

Description

Fresh orange flavor is packed into every bite of this tender glazed orange bundt cake! We use fresh orange juice and zest in the cake, syrup and glaze for bold, bright bursts of refreshing orange flavor.

For the Cake

  • In a bowl, rub the sugar and zest together in your fingers until fragrant.

    1 1/4 Cup Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Orange Zest

  • In a large bowl, or standing mixer, add orange juice, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, sugar with zest and oil. Mix for 3-4 minutes until pale in color.

    1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice, 3 Large Eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract, 1 Cup Vegetable Oil

  • Sift in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well until combined but do not over mix.

    2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour, 1 3/4 teaspoons Baking Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 teaspoon Salt

  • Spray a bundt pan with baker’s spray or use nonstick spray and flour, turning the pan to coat and dumping out excess. Pour batter in the bundt pan.

  • Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Remove once a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.

For the Syrup

  • Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium low heat.

    2 Oranges, 3 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice, 1/2 Cup Water, 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is totally dissolved. Set aside until cake is done baking.

  • When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and while it is still warm, prick the cake all over with a skewer and then pour over the syrup. Allow to cool 30 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack and wait for it to cool completely.

For the Glaze

  • Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, mix until well combined and smooth.

    1 Tablespoon Butter, 1 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream, 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest, 1-2 Tablespoons Orange Juice, 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

  • Place a piece of parchment paper next to the cooling rack. Transfer the cooling rack with the cake to the clean paper and pour the glaze onto the top of the cake.

  • Allow it to sit then place another piece of paper or silpat next to the cake and move it to the clean sheet.

  • Pour the remaining glaze from the parchment onto the cake. You may have to repeat this step a few times until you have as much of the glaze as possible on the cake.

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 266mgPotassium: 202mgFiber: 1gSugar: 50gVitamin A: 233IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes, Over 100 Favorite Fruit Dessert Recipes

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