Orange Spice Cake


Mmmmm, cake! Not normally a cake baker, this has become a welcome addition to my repertoire. Aromatic spices? Check. Local oranges? Check. Makes the house smell autumnal? Check. Gotta love this one!

Spice Cake


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour pans; tap out excess flour.

2. Sift first 8 ingredients into medium bowl.

3, Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

4. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with sour cream and milk. Divide batter among prepared pans.

5. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer pans to racks and cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)



  • 2 8-ounce packages chilled cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chilled sour cream


Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in sugar, then orange peel and vanilla. Beat in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until frosting is firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

To Assemble:

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.


* Do get a fresh orange and use a microplane grater for the peel. The scent is just amazing!

* If you are not familiar with cardamom, you may want to cut it in half for the first go round with this recipe. It is a strong flavor, but oh, so savory!

* In my oven, I can’t get all 3 pans to sit evenly on the same rack. Knowing that opening and closing the oven to swap around pans brings its own problems, I usually just do 2 pans. Of course that leads to some extra frosting, which I just load up between the two layers.

* Made this once with low fat cream cheese. Not a good idea at all as it just didn’t hold up well. Go for the gusto with this one and don’t look back!


One response to “Orange Spice Cake

  1. Oh man, I bet this does smell lovely, getting together and baking. Yum.

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