Simple Orange Cake

This Simple Orange Cake recipe should be called EVIL ORANGE CAKE. I HIGHLY recommend you bake it, eat one slice, then RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN to your neighbor's house and give it to them!

Of course, not all in one bite, nohoho, no. Every time you walk past it, you'll pinch off a bite, or two. And before know it, half the cake is MISSING !!!

This is a dessert for sharing with friends and co-workers. Take it to a pot luck, a wedding shower, baby shower, anywhere two or more are gathered. It's a cinch to put together, it's pretty in color, and when you properly grease your bundt pan, it can be a lovely cake.

And let me just say this to BEN! at What's Cooking? This cake is dedicated to you.

We were just discussing how as food bloggers, we don't like to post about our failed recipes or photograph food that doesn't look just right. Well, here you go. Proof I'm not the best baker. You'll see here in broad daylight why I'm afraid to join the Daring Bakers.

I implore you to look past the photography and consider the cake. It TRULY is worth your time and effort.


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box of orange gelatin
  • 1 cup orange juice (the kind you drink)
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons orange zest

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Heat oven to 325F degrees.

Beat cake mix, dry gelatin, orange juice, oil, eggs and zest in a large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes or so. Pour into a generously greased bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest in a small bow. After you move the cake to the serving plate and while the cake is still warm, prick the cake with a fork. Pour glaze evenly over the cake. Allow the cake to completely cool before serving.

The next day is when it turns EVIL. You must have it out of your house by the next day.

Now for my humbling baking experience. It started out in the right direction?

Orange Glaze awaits.


It's suppose to look like a sunflower... : P

Let's me just cover it with the icing, maybe no one will notice...

C'est la vie!

  • Ben

    Nice. My mom used to make an orange cake that I loved, but I don’t have the recipe. I will try this, it sounds delicious.

  • “…eat one slice, then RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN to your neighbor’s house and give it to them!” … 😀

    Love it Jill, It looks yummy:)

  • Yum! Sounds like something my mom used to make too. Even though I have a severe baking “phobia” I may have to break down and try this one. 🙂

    • Oh GO FOR IT Teresa! Your daughter will love it as much as mine did.

  • Oh y’all it’s worth making for sure. Like I said don’t keep it out on the counter if you’re watching your intake. It’s hard to put down.

    Max & Maggie LOVED IT!

  • This was a great cake. It wasn’t too rich or to sugary. It would make a nice lemon cake as well, I think. Maybe put some poppy seeds on top and that sort of thing.

    • Uh, Sweet Pea, you’re describing a Lemon Poppy cake. Would you like me to bake you one?

  • Oh I couldn’t possibly ask you to do that! Of course, if you need to write about one and think it would help someone, then sure thing. I’ll suffer through to make sure that your readers are taken care of. 🙂

  • Teresa

    This cake is so very very delicious! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Deb Cavanaugh

    Good Morning Jill!

    This cake sounds completely decadant! We have a potluck every month here in Enloe and on Hallowe’en we have a Hayride and a big old Bob Fire. I am always looking for new recipes to try as my ‘peeps’ are my official guinea pigs fro new recipes! I am thinking of putting choclate fudge frosting on this cake for Trick or Treat. Orange & Chocolate? Hmmmmmmm…

  • Deb Cavanaugh

    OH… That is supposed to be BON FIRE! Not BOB FIRE! Some folks might think we take Hallowe’een and roast some poor soul named BOB:)

  • Deb, this cake is perfect for a potluck and the chocolate fudge frosting would be so pretty on it!

    I wouldn’t get heavy with the frosting. As I can remember, the cake is sweet. Of course, I know you bake from scratch, so your cake will be perfectly balanced with chocolate-orange goodness.

  • Jennifer

    I made this at Halloween! It was as wonderful as you said it would be. Thank you. I will make this again!

  • Ha! I just found this while searching for basic white cake recipes. I made one for my wedding years ago, and lost the recipe. This intro cracked me up, because I would give most of it away, I just bake to do it, and eat a piece; although orange is my favorite, so who knows! Death by Orange!

  • Hi Jill, I made this cake tonight and it is delicious. We couldn’t wait until it was cool to eat it because it smelled as good as it taste.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

  • Karen Pollard

    I make a similar cake; Apricot Nectar Cake
    1 yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup apricot nectar, 1 package of lemon instant pudding, 1/3 cup oil. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

    Close to end of baking, remaining 4 oz of apricot nectar, 1 cup sugar and 1 stick of butter or margarine in a saucepan. Simmer until transparent. When cake comes from the oven, poke holes all over the top all through the cake. Spoon apricot nectar over the top, allowing to seep down through the holes and around the edge. Let it rest for 10 minutes and invert on a cake serving plate. Wonderful!

    • That sounds good, Karen. I need to try your version next. THANK YOU for sharing this recipe with us.

  • Sierra

    OH my god Jill, let me tell you. I made this cake today and it turned out great. the only thing i was a little upset about was the edges. they turned out hard. but i think its the oven i really dont know but the cake was great. OH did you kno your cake can be a 3 layer? because thats how i baked it. I didnt use the glaze because i kind of dont like glaze because it so messy. so i made a thick orange icing that will go good with it. Also i used simply orange orange juice in the whole thing. just 1 teaspoon let me add. the cake is moist and very filling. but i must kick myself in the butt for adding TOO much orange flavor to the cake. I CANT EVEN EAT IT LOL. but my family loves it. THANKS AGAIN JILL

  • Hi, It looks great and I wold really want to try it out. However I just like to ask how grams is it for a box of yellow cake mix
    a small box of orange gelatin?

    • I have no idea, Sylvia. I don’t have any boxes of these ingredients on hand right now. I can tell you whatever brand of cake mix or gelatin, the cake mix should be enough to make one bundt cake or two-layer cake, the gelatin box should be enough to serve four.

      • Hey Jill.
        I’ll try checking them out at the store. Thanks! 🙂

  • Justin

    This is delicious! Despite copious greasing of the pan, mine came out very similar to yours, but it was still VERY delicious…now, to run this somewhere out of my house so I’m not tempted to eat the entire thing! I’ve already eaten two slices!

  • Kerri

    Note: this is my great grandmas cipie, very close…. One key thing I might add, do not butter your pans, they will ruin this cake… Spray them with the baking spray lt sit a few mins, then spray again… And turn the oven down 5 deg… I promise no more messed up cakes!

  • Bonnie M

    After spraying the bundt pan; sprinkle it with white granulated sugar. The cake will slip right out. The sugar forms a slight crust and you can easily get by without a frosting. That would take the “evil” out of it!

    • Thank you, Bonnie!

    • Kelsey A

      I tried this cake tonight and it was completely delicious. Per Bonnie’s recommendation, I heavily sprayed the Bundt pan and then sprinkled it with sugar. This may have helped with most of the cake, but it didn’t quite work for those stubborn top parts of the pan. I went ahead with a frosting, because frosting is delicious. My husband said this cake ranks among his favorite foods, and this is a big deal because my husband doesn’t really like desserts. Winner!

      Also, I had to look up what a “small box” of Jello was. Answers I found said it was 3 oz, so I had to halve the 6 oz box of Jello I got at the grocery store, which worked fine for me. No biggie, but I thought I’d include that here just in case someone else was wondering!

  • April M.

    I have made this cake twice now and I absolutely love it!! I can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Use Crisco on the pan. It separates beautifully, and makes a wonderful cooked crust on the cake.

  • Sharon S

    Woo hoo, I just made this today and I couldn’t keep my boys from eating it all after school. They usually are all for chocolate cake. Fabuous!

    • I told you it was hard to stop eating! ;D
      Thank you for the rave review!

  • Pat

    Well, I think the only other option is to use a 13×9 pan, and just leave it in the pan..just as good and not the mess or hassle.

  • Sandra Cordero

    Oh my!!! I just made this cake for my family tonight and they just could not wait for it to cool long enough to cut it!! The smell in the house is so pleasant!! The texture, the flavor and the presentation makes a great combination!!! I followed someone else advice in the comments about first spraying the pan once, then waiting a little bit and spraying the pan again twice: my cake came out of the pan looking like a true king!! It did not stick at all and it looked beautiful. Also, I baked at 350 for 45 minutes and it was perfect!! Thank you for sharing this amazing “simple orange cake.” I wish I could post a picture of it but I’m not sure if it is even possible….take care!

  • Mary

    Ugh I wish I had read Bonnie’s comment before making this cake! Mine did the exact same thing!

    • Don’t fret, Mary. The cake make look a disaster but it still tastes great. Just close your eyes and enjoy. ;D

  • Linda

    This is in the oven,pray that it doesn’t stick. Thanks for the recipe, i know its going to be great…

    • Jill McKeever

      As you may have read from all the comments, this is a hit!

  • Linda

    Ok, success, and it did not stick!!!! So delicious, Im excited to taste it tomorrow. Had to hide whats left. Tha

  • Sue C

    Tried it in a 9×13 and it worked out fine. Just poured the glaze ovet the top of cake, did not turn it out of pan. Love 9’x13′ recipes!

  • Kathy Friedlander

    I can usually get a cake to come out of a bundt pan if I grease it liberally with Crisco Shortening (the white stuff in a canister). Nothing else seems to work for me. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Chele D

    This was very good. We used a 9×13 pan. I’m sure the bundt would have made that nice outside all over. We will def make again. Thanks!!

  • Lori M

    I made this, sprayed the pan with cooking spray. Turned out wonderful! (And came out of the pan, lol) I think the next time I am going to try adding a can of mandarin oranges to the cake mix. Cake was a hit on mothers day!!

  • Casi

    How long would you bake in a 9 x 13???

    • Casi, since this recipe calls for a box cake mix, look on the box for the cooking time.

  • Jennifer

    I have now made this twice and it was a hit each time!! Love this cake!

  • Sabe

    I made it in a fluted cake pan. 50 mins b.c my oven runs hot. Came out beautifully! Thank you for sharing!

    • AWESOME!!! Thank you, Sabe, for coming back to let us know. ;D

  • Laura Strycker

    LOVE the recipe and can’t wait to try it! One question – You say 1 C. of ‘orange juice (the kind you drink)’…is there another?…kind? If there truly is, I REALLY do want to know about them! Thanks!

  • guest

    is it neat eadable the fillowing day,

  • guest

    sorry i meant is it not eadable the next day, or can it be kept in fridge if its not finished

    • What do you mean by “not finished”? If you mean not eaten right away, then you can leave it out on the counter inside a cake saver. I like to eat cold cake, so I put mine in the fridge.

  • beck9119

    Bakers joy. Best stuff ever made , nothing sticks. Tar will slide off a 57 Chevy bumper with it.

  • y

    i tried but i had the same problem in the pictures :(( the taste was not great too… I have tasted better orange cakes

  • Sarah Painter

    crisco and granulated sugar or PAM and sugar has helped my bundt cakes slip out easily. This cake is a family favorite for sure! I’ve been making it for years now. Thank you!

  • Deborah Valentine

    Just made and it smells heavenly. I sprayed the pan twice and 1/4 of it stuck to the pan. I was able to get it out and piece it in and you would never know. I cooled it for 15 minutes ,,,thinking you should let it cool longer as I have a similar triple chocolate cake and it never sticks in this bundt pan but I wait until it is cooler …Can’t wait to eat it tomorrow !

  • Lois C.

    Thank you for bringing this recipe back to life. This was the first cake my paternal grandmother (born a Texan) ever learned to bake. She wasn’t ever known as a baker, and she took a little teasing about it, but back when I was a youngster (1960), we went to Texas to visit. One of grandma’s cousins made this cake and the Texas family all agreed, “This cake is so easy, even Lora (my grandma) could make it.”
    Grandma took the recipe, with little faith it would turn out ok, but she decided to try it and it turned out great. This became her holiday cake recipe. We always called it Texas Orange Cake because it came from our Texas family.
    This recipe has been lost to me and found and lost and now found again. Since Christmas is coming, I think I’ll make it for my kids, grandkids and great grandkids.
    Thank you again and again.