Orange Sour Cream Cake

Orange Sour Cream Cake
I like cakes that you can just throw together, the kind that are made with just a few ingredients that you almost always have on hand. I like cakes that you can just eat and enjoy on any random day at home because they’re not fussy and easy, the kind that don’t have to be saved for a special occasion or when you’re entertaining.

This is one of those cakes. It’s a very moist orange-flavored cake baked in a regular 8-inch square pan. The cake has a tight, tender crumb and is not too sweet, meaning that you can serve up some generous slices to munch on while you’re relaxing in front of the TV after a long day. Fresh orange juice is going to give you the best orange flavor, but you can certainly use store-bought oj for this cake, too, provided you buy the 100% juice variety.

Instead of frosting, this cake is topped with an ultra-simple glaze that makes it even more moist and tender, almost giving it as much moisture as a pudding cake. The glaze is just granulated sugar mixed with orange juice and poured over the cake while it is still hot from the oven. The juice soaks into the cake while the sugar forms a thin, sweet crust on top. If you serve the cake as soon as it has cooled and the glaze has set, the topping will have a nice crispness to it. If you cover the cake in an airtight container to keep it fresh, all of the glaze will soak right into the cake. It’s not fancy, but it sure is tasty!

Orange Sour Cream Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
1/2 cup sour cream

Topping
1/2 cup sugar (granulated, not confectioners’)
3 1/2 tbsp orange juice, preferably fresh

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and orange zest until light. Add in eggs one at a time, and beat mixture until smooth and well-combined. Mix in one third of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the orange juice. Stir in all remaining flour, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

When the cake has finished baking, whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake. Allow glaze to soak in while cake cools. Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.

Serves 8.

12 comments

  1. This cakes looks really simple to make. Thanks for sharing. Definitely try it out when I in rush hour.

  2. Looks great! Do you think a lemon variety would work? Would it need additional sugar to balance out the extra tartness?

  3. We enjoy eating desserts with orange in them so I know this is going to be a hit with my family. I’m marking this page so I can come for the recipe soon. We’re vegan, but this looks very veganizable (I know, that is not a word…but it certainly works here)

  4. Definately bookmarking this, it sounds lovely!

  5. The cake looks very moist and tender, Nic. Delicious! I love baking with citrus.

  6. My grandson (age 2) and I made this over the weekend and it was fabulous. Very moist and not too sweet. He would tell you “I poured the juice” which of course made it extra good!!

  7. This looks fantastic. I adore any and all orange cake recipes. I fully plan to make yours one day, perhaps in cupcake form, but in the meantime I wound up adjusting your recipe to use fresh strawberries and limes instead and produced delicious strawberry lime cupcakes using your measurements. Thanks for yet another great recipe!

    My version’s here:
    http://sourkrautkrafts.blogspot.com/2010/06/strawberry-lime-cupcakes.html

  8. I didn’t have fresh oranges so I made the cake with lemons (no other adjustments) and it turned out great! It’s like a cake version of a lemon bar. It was deliciously moist too! Everyone at work commented that the fresh lemon flavor was amazing. I will definitely have to try this with orange when I can get some fresh ones.

  9. This is such an easy recipe…and I have to agree with the above that it’s great because it’s not too sweet. Moist and lovely…thanks for posting this!

  10. Hmm. I tried to post two comments Monday night, and they still haven’t appeared. I’ll try again…

    I just wanted to thank you, Nicole, for this excellent recipe! It’s easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, but so lusciously tender and flavorful! And if you add a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter and a half teaspoon to the glaze, and top it off before serving with a ginormous dollop of whipped cream, you have a CREAMSICLE Cake! YUM…my favorite!

    Oh, and I was out of sour cream, so I swapped out some thick homemade yogurt in the same amount, and it worked perfectly!

    Thanks again–Gina

  11. This cake sounds so good! Especially with all that butter and sour cream mmm.

  12. just made this tonight (despite the 100 degree temperature!) and it was a nice light summery dessert.

    i’m looking forward to eating the rest of it at breakfast (hey, there’s oj, so that should fly) lunch and dinner!

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