This Italian Orange Cake also known as La Torta All’Arancia is a traditional Italian sweet cake. It is usually served in the morning for breakfast or as an afternoon snack cake. It makes the perfect Christmas morning breakfast or brunch treat!
For years the Italian has been saying can you make a cake that is soft and perfectly moist with either an orange or lemon flavoring? So finally after all these years I did. And here it is. I had my daughter taste test it for a youtube video and she absolutely agreed. I am very proud of this cake and I hope you enjoy it too!
What makes a soft moist cake?
A soft, fluffy and moist cake is created by creaming the butter and sugar together, using cake or pastry flour, make sure your ingredients, eggs, milk, juice are all at room temperature, and the butter is softened.
Whisking or sifting the dry ingredients together is also a must. Be sure to beat the batter for a couple of minutes on high speed. Using the correct size pan and of course making sure your oven temperature is correct. A too high or too low temperature can ruin a cake.
- Flour – cake or pastry flour
- Baking Powder –
- Butter – melted and cooled
- Zest – of 2 oranges
- Juice – fresh squeezed orange juice
- Sugar – I like to use fine sugar but granulated will do just fine
- Eggs – 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk, all should be at room temperature.
- Vanilla –
- Milk – I use either 2% or whole milk, room temperature
How to Make Cake Flour
For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free. Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise.
How to make it
In a medium bowl whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
Beat the butter and zest until creamy, approximately 1 -2 minutes, add the sugar and beat 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating between each addition, add the vanilla beat to combine on speed #4 or high speed.
Add the flour in 2 additions, beat in the milk then the orange juice. Beat until combined, another 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Let cool in the pan, move to wire rack or cake pan.
Dust the cake with powdered sugar and or drizzle with a simple orange glaze.
What makes a cake fall?
- There are a lot a reasons a cake may fall, but the most common ones are, your oven temperature is off, you can always check it with an oven thermometer to make sure it is reading properly.
- You open the oven door too early, never open the door before 25-30 minutes has passed.
- Your baking powder or soda has expired and is no long active.
- The pan size might not be the correct size, sometimes using a bundt pan will help.
- Follow the recipe, adding the ingredients as listed.
Store the cooled baked cake at room temperate either wrapped in plastic or in a covered cake container. It will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. You can also store the cake in the fridge, just be sure to make it airtight or it will dry out, it will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, bring it to room temperature before serving.
Once the cake is completely cooled, double wrap it with either foil or plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the cake thaw overnight on the counter before serving.
You can, but the cake might not turn out as soft and tender. It is very simple to make your own.
When a recipe calls for room temperature you should bring the ingredients out of the fridge at least 60 minutes before making the recipe. My house is quite cool so I bring them out the night before.
If you are looking for a simple, soft Orange cake to try I hope you give make this Italian Orange Cake and enjoy it as much as we do. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!
More Italian Cake Recipes
- Italian Lemon Bundt Cake
- Fresh Cream Vanilla Cake
- Italian Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake
- Italian Apple Cake
Italian Orange Cake (Torta All’Arancia)
- 2 cups pastry/ cake flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt*
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- zest from 2 oranges (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup granulated sugar or very fine sugar (not powdered sugar)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons milk (room temperature I used whole milk) (90 grams total)
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
*If you use unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.
FOR THE GLAZE (optional)
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour an 8 inch (20cm) cake pan.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- Beat the butter and zest until creamy, approximately 1 -2 minutes, add the sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating between each addition, add the vanilla beat to combine on speed #4 or high speed for approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Add the flour in 2 additions, beat in the milk then the orange juice. Beat until combined, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes (or longer). Test for doneness with a toothpick, when it comes out dry or better still with a 2-3 crumbs attached. Let it cool in the pan then move to a wire rack or cake plate. Dust the cake with powdered sugar and or drizzle with the glaze. Enjoy!
- In a small / medium bowl stir together the powdered sugar and orange juice, if it's too thick then add more juice or even milk or cream, if too thin then add more powdered sugar, drizzle over the cooled or warmish cake.
Linda Sapp says
I am a diabetic so I’m always scanning recipes to find ones that don’t have a lot of sugar in them. And I notice that a lot of European ones don’t seem to be as heavy with the sugar. I really appreciate that you mostly give the nutrition of most of your recipes. I wish it were possible for you to give it for all the recipes and hope that you will from now on.
Thank you so much for helping those of us that need to be conscious of the nutrition content of the things they consume.
Hi Linda, yes it’s true Italian cakes are lower in sugar and plus they aren’t usually frosted. Yes I am trying to update old recipes with nutrition info. Have a great week.
Hi, this looks delicious. Planning to make it this weekend, Your ingredient list calls for baking powder for the glaze, that’s a typo, right?
HI Carol, Yes thank you for letting me know, actually for the glaze should be on the line below, which i have corrected. thanks again.
I just printed this recipe! Looks wonderful. Being Italian, I can well remember having orange cake but have never had a recipe for one. Thank you so much! I am so glad that I visited from Thurs. Favorite Things. I am sure to be back too 🙂
I am so glad you stopped by too, let me know how you like it. Thanks Rosemary