Orange-Scented Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Orange zest perfumes this butter-based cake with cream cheese frosting.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (includes cooling time40)
  • Yield: 10
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Ingredients

Cake:

2 sticks butter

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

Frosting:

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups confectioners? sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 cup cold heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment, butter again and dust the whole pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Put the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the granulated sugar and orange zest and pulse a few times to combine evenly. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand, with some pea-size bits of butter.
  3. Whisk the milk, vanilla and eggs together in a small bowl or measuring cup with a spout. With the processor running, pour in the milk mixture and process until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and invert the cakes onto the rack. Peel off the parchment and cool completely.

For the frosting: 

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners? sugar, vanilla and salt and gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low beat in the cream and then continue beating until the frosting is creamy and thick, about 1 more minute.
  2. Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate, and spread 1 cup of the frosting over the top. Top with the other cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)