This Italian Orange Cake is a delicious Bundt Cake that is light and soft, delicious served simple with a light dusting of powdered sugar as a breakfast or snack cake. Fancy it up with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert.
I have made quite a few Italian cakes on the blog, from Italian Fresh Cream Lemon Cake to a Chocolate Ricotta Cake to this delicious, Italian Orange Cake. As they say in Italian “Una più buona del’altra”, (one is better than the other.) This Italian Orange Cake is easy and simple and includes some healthy Greek Yogurt. I tend to use Greek Yogurt more now instead of buttermilk or sour milk, it seems to make baked goods moister.
Like most Italian cakes, a simple dusting of Powdered Sugar is all it needs. Italians are not big on frosting, especially sweet frostings, just ask the Italian.
How to make it
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, baking powder, zest and salt.
Beat together the eggs and sugar until light.
Beat together the vegetable oil, yogurt and milk add the dry ingredients and combine.
Then add the egg mixture and beat until smooth and completely combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake.
Let cool in the pan, remove to a wire rack or plate then dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
How to make a soft cake
I have been reading a bit on this since I find that Italian cakes are more dense and heavier than most homemade cakes. To tell the truth both of us prefer a cake with a lighter and softer crumb. So depending how you add your ingredients and of course the ingredients you choose can make all the difference.
For this cake I mixed the flour with the fat, what happens is the fat coats the flour so that no gluten is produced which mean a softer lighter cake. Then the wet ingredients are added. I also used vegetable oil which produces a moister cake.
If you have trouble with your cake falling then try using a bundt pan, apparently the batter has more space to grow and falling is less likely.
What is the best flour for a cake
The best flour for a homemade cake is cake or pastry flour, it is easily made at home. For every cup of all purpose flour remove 2 tablespoons and substitute with corn starch, be sure to sift them together so they are well combined.
What is the difference between zest and juice
The zest, the yellow or orange part of the peel only and not the white part which is quite bitter, consists of lemon oil, which is filled with the pure citrus flavour. Whereas the citrus juice, has the acidic, tart taste of the fruit. So depending on what you prefer you can either use one or both when baking. For this recipe I used zest. If you prefer the flavour of lemons rather than oranges that will work also, or even mandarin orange would be a nice change.
What is Chantilly Cream?
Chantilly cream is a combination of whipped cream and icing sugar, sometimes flavoured with vanilla or in this case a little orange zest would work perfectly. It is delicate and the perfect way to fancy up a cake for dessert. It is also used to fill pastries. It was supposedly invented by Francois Vatel, the master of ceremonies to the prince of Conde at the castle of Chantilly. He thought of adding sugar to whipped cream, and he also gave the name to the preparation.
How to store it
As long as the cake is unfrosted it should be kept at room temperature. Keep it in a cake container or well wrapped. It will keep for up to 3 days.
How to freeze it
Be sure to cool the cake completely then wrap it tightly in either plastic wrap or foil, place it in a freeze safe bag. The cake will keep for up to 2 months. When ready to thaw place the wrapped cake in the refrigerator to thaw before serving. Or you could freeze individual slices.
More Delicious Orange Recipes
So if you are looking for the perfect way to end the year. Why not with this Italian Orange Cake!? Enjoy.
Italian Orange Cake
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons cake flour (154 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- zest from an orange
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (63 grams)
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt (plain whole fat / room temperature)
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk (room temperature) I used 2%
*Room temperature remove from the fridge 45-60 minutes before using.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° (180° celsius), lightly grease and flour a 9 ½-10 inch (24 cm) bundt pan.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, zest and salt.
- Beat together the eggs and sugar until light about 3-5 minutes.
- Beat together the vegetable oil, yogurt and milk, 2 minutes, then add the dry ingredients and combine. Add the egg mixture and beat for 2 minutes until smooth and completely combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 20-30* minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan, then remove to a wire rack or plate, dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired or serve with a dollop of chantilly cream.
*This of course all depends on your stove might take more or less time.
Updated from February 24, 2016.