The best glazed Orange Bundt cake is pure sunshine, loaded with intense orange flavor from both the juice and peel of sweet navel oranges. It tastes equally delicious with the hot or cold glaze.
My mother and her sisters each had their own way of making an easy orange cake recipe and it was one my mother’s favorites. She had fond memories of my grandfather baking his orange cake tray bake on a Sunday afternoon while my grandmother rested.
My favorite scent in the world is the fragrant and aromatic oil contained in the zest of sweet ripe navel oranges… that aroma you smell when you peel an orange and the little droplets of citrus essential oils are released into the air. Sadly, I am highly allergic to that delicious orange oil and have not peeled an orange since my teens. Many years ago one of my colleagues asked why I always bought oranges in the morning, but never ate any myself. When I mentioned how allergic I was to that burst of orange oil he made a point of peeling one for me whenever we had oranges. I always remember his kindness whenever I smell the scent oranges now.
When I first came to Dubai I made this moist Cape Malay orange cake recipe to share with my colleagues as they wanted to taste something that reminded me of home. One colleague who doesn’t like cake or sweets in general, fell in love with the Best Glazed Orange Bundt cake with the hot glaze, and I have to bake it at least once every year.
Another colleague mentioned recently that he absolutely loved this orange butter cake and that it was the first time he’d even eaten orange cake. Since then he tried ordering or buying it whenever he saw it in a bakery or on a cafe menu, but always found those versions to be dry and tasteless. He has given up trying to find anything close to it and will wait until the next time I make this Cape Malay Orange cake, to eat a slice or two.
This recipe is adapted from the Butter cake recipe from the Snowflake Tested Recipes file (year unknown, but probably around 1990) and was updated here on 16/04/2016. For a gluten free orange cake please check out my Gluten free Orange and Almond cake. If citrus is not your thing why not try this Chocolate cake with ganache or this Carrot and Beetroot cake.
Best Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
- 250 grams butter, lightly salted at room temperature
- 345 grams sugar fine granulated, approximately 435 ml or 1 ¾ cups
- 4 large eggs
- 5 ml vanilla extract approximately 1 teaspoon
- 420 grams cake flour approximately 750 ml or 3 cups, packed
- 25 ml baking powder approximately 5 level teaspoons
- 2 oranges rind finely grated
- 190 ml orange juice from the above oranges, approximately 3/4 cup
- 60 ml milk approximately 1/4 cup
- 100 grams fine granulated sugar approximately 125 ml or 1/2 cup
- 125 ml orange juice approximately 1/2 cup
- 125 grams confectioner's sugar, sifted approximately 250 ml or 1 cup
- 20 ml orange juice use less if it's too loose
- Edible flowers
- 125 ml berries approximately 1/2 cup
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 160 fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand beater, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. This may take between 5-10 minutes depending on the type of cake mixer you are using.
Sift the flour and baking powder together at least three times. Alternately, whisk in a bowl until all the dry ingredients are combined and aerated.
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, and beat thoroughly between each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and ensure that you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to mix in all the butter and sugar at the bottom and sides.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour in three parts alternately with the orange juice and lastly the milk.
Fold in the grated rind of two oranges.
Spoon into a greased bundt baking tin and bake for 40 minutes. It may require a shorter baking time if you are using a fan assisted oven. You can use the same batter for cupcakes and they will take about 12 minutes.
Boil together the fine granulated sugar, orange rind and orange juice until thick and syrupy at least 5-7 minutes.
Pour over the warm cake when it has finished baking and return to the oven for 5 minutes to set the syrup.
Removed the cake from the oven and use a thin blade knife or smalll offset spatula to loosen the edges of the cake.
Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 10 minutes before trying to remove it, or it may break apart.
Ensure that you have loosened the cake sufficiently and place the serving plate over the pan.
Invert the cake tin over the plate and give it one or two gentle shakes to ensure the cake comes loose from the bottom and sides.
Mix together the confectioner's sugar and orange juice until it is smooth with no lumps.
When the cake is cool but not cold, spoon over the cold glaze. The residual heat will melt the cold glaze and make it less sugary and more silky.
Use the back of a spoon to rub the glaze on the inner walls of the center of the cake before adding the berries.
Decorate with edible flowers.
You may use either the hot syrup or the cold glaze, but I prefer using both.
This recipe was first published on 17/04/2016 but has since been updated.
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