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Orange buttermilk Bundt cake recipe

Orange buttermilk Bundt cake, rich and creamy.

Last week I went to the market with a shopping list for my weekend cooking, and spied an incredibly beautiful bottle -- bottle! -- of buttermilk from my favorite Vermont dairy on the shelf. It wasn't on the list, and I didn't have a recipe in mind, but I had to have that buttermilk. Right away I thought of cake, one a bake-o-phobe like me could pull off. This orange buttermilk Bundt cake, rich and creamy and large enough for a crowd, gets its zing from orange zest in the batter, and orange juice in the glaze. If you love frosting, bake the cake in a couple of round cake pans, and slather the layers with orange buttercream. I like it simple, so I shaved some additional orange zest on the warm sugar glaze, and it was perfect. One tip: If you're using a decorative Bundt pan, be sure to spray every nook and cranny with baking spray. I had a few small mishaps in the unmolding, but a bit of extra glaze covered them nicely.

Orange buttermilk Bundt cake (make ahead and freeze).

Orange buttermilk Bundt cake

From the pantry, you'll need: butter, granulated sugar, eggs, all-purpose unbleached flour, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar, baking spray.

Slightly adapted from this recipe on Taste of Home. Serves 12-16.


1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 navel orange (approximately 1 heaping Tbsp)
Baking spray
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Juice of 1 navel orange (approximately 3 Tbsp)


Preheat oven to 325°F.

In the workbowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add this, alternating with the buttermilk, to the mixer. When the batter is smooth, stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest.

Spray the inside of a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour in the batter, making sure to distribute it evenly. Set the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake at 325F for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool (this will take 1-2 hours), place it on a serving plate. Whisk together the confectioners sugar and orange juice in a glass measuring cup. Add more orange juice, a few drops at a time, if needed to make the icing pourable. When the icing is smooth, drizzle all of it over the cake.

Can be made a few hours ahead. If you wish to make the cake ahead and freeze it, do not add the glaze until just before you're ready to serve.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry to use the rest of the quart of buttermilk:
Chicken and avocado lettuce boats with buttermilk Dijon dressing
Salmon and greens salad with buttermilk lemon-thyme dressing
Chipotle ranch dip or dressing
Cranberry, orange and walnut buttermilk ricotta waffles
Pear spice cupcakes

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Apple cinnamon buttermilk cake, from Pinch My Salt
Southern buttermilk cornbread, from Andrea Meyers
Blueberry buttermilk pancakes, from Cooking On the Side
Buttermilk fried chicken, from Simply Recipes
Sage and fontina buttermilk biscuits, from A Cozy Kitchen

Orange buttermilk Bundt cake melts in your mouth.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I'm a Bundt freak, and this looks delicious. I have found, after many mishaps, that cooking spray with flour works best for successful removal from Bundt pans. In fact, it works so well it's kind of miraculous.

TW, that's what I used. So I have to admit to pilot error; I clearly missed a few spots when I sprayed.

This cake is most definitely NOT on my diet, but I'm seriously drooling here. And partly it's the buttermilk, which I love!

Kalyn, it's surely not o my diet, either. That should have stopped me from baking it, or eating it, but I did both. And it was oh-so-good.

Looks so good! I love simple cakes and have just recently fallen in love with bundt cakes. Thanks for the recipe I will definitely have to try this one.

That cake looks luscious - and so does the buttermilk in a bottle. I am getting to appreciate the depth and zing that buttermilk adds to recipes, so I have to try this!

Lydia, for a bake-o-phobe, you have been passing along quite a few baking recipes!

Isoble, I seem to have a collection of Bundt cake pans, as I find them irresistible when I see them at the discount stores. I feel guilty about not using them more often!

Judy, my only wish is that buttermilk would come in less-than-one-quart containers. I try hard to use it up when I buy it, and make more salad dressings than baked things. But yes, I have a few more baked buttermilk goodies coming.

Mmmm I am crazy about citrus cakes like this...with a citrus glaze and I have been craving oranges and cannot wait for the season to start! I often have buttermilk in the fridge - husband loves to drink it, I love it in cakes... so this is on my autumn/winter to-bake list! Yay!

And Lydia! Bake-o-phone, my foot, this cake is stunning!!! You go, girl!

OH I want this now ---
but could this be baked in a loaf pan ( or two)? Could some baking person tell me what degree and how long? This might be worth playing around with!! And what if you added mini chocolate chips ... just sayin... that might be yummy!

I like a Bundt cake, I like Taste of Home buttermilk Bundt cakes, and I've bookmarked this for the upcoming Band Fruit Fundraiser season, when I will be stuffing navel oranges . . . let's not go there.

Oh! I can PIN this too! You rock!

I just bought a new cheap bundt pan at WM. The interior is a fantastic light cream color and very smooth. All I used was an olive oil spray and the cake came right out. I was expecting a bit of a struggle but to my surprise it just fell out. I was lucky it did not break or crumble. I love this pan and my cake came out perfect!
If you want a very orange flavor, use orange oil. I always use vanilla no matter what other extract I use. It gives all baked sweets a boost.
BTW, I use loaf pans all the time for "cakes". I call them breads but the texture is more like cake. I use glass loaf pans and you could really use almost any pan that is oven safe and fill them only 2/3 full. Just watch the cakes and test the center until your tester comes out clean. Test toward the end of the baking time and then at 10 minute increments. And, write down what temperature and times worked for you.
I bake my cakes at about 325 to 350 degrees. That is about standard. The same as boxed cakes.

I was very excited about this recipe! I made it last night for a work event today. I found it a bit dry (perhaps I overbaked) and not quite citusy enough, even though I added lemon zest to the cake as well. Next time I might do a soak as opposed to a glaze, and add more zest.

I have baked this cake many times over the last two years. It's amazing! I've added a little twist though to give it a European touch: Marzipan. I add about 75 g (2.5 oz) baking marzipan (almond paste) into the batter along with the sugar. Works best if you grate the almond paste with a fine cheese grater before adding it too the batter, otherwise you're likely to have some almond paste chunks in the batter, no matter how well you mix. I also double the baking soda and the vanilla.

Andrea, if you want the cake to be more moist, try glazing it when it's still warm. It also helps to poke (small) holes with a cake tester or tooth pick to absorb more liquid.

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