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This vegan orange cake is light, soft, and very easy to make. You can eat it as is or you can fill it with our delicious orange curd filling.
It's a perfect breakfast cake, and it's also great as a mid-afternoon snack with tea or coffee. And the orange curd inside is tangy, zesty and so delicious that it will make you reach for another slice.
What is a vegan orange cake?
There are many types of orange cakes around, from bundt orange cakes to more elaborated layered orange cakes.
Our vegan orange cake is a round cake that is filled with a layer of vegan orange curd that we show you how to make below. It's really easy to make and it tastes delicious.
For the cake itself, you can literally whip it up in 5 minutes. The ingredients are simple ones that you probably already have at home.
It cooks in the oven in 30 minutes, and while you wait, you can make the orange curd.
We tested this cake with both all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Both versions are great, but in my personal opinion, all-purpose flour is best if you want a cake that is more dessert-like, or if you serve it to non-vegans that are not used to more wholesome flavours.
On the other hand, whole wheat flour is best for a cake that you want to eat for breakfast or that you want to serve to your kids, and get them used to whole-some flavours.
Also, this cake is delicious both with the orange curd filling and without.
Ingredients & Substitutions
For the vegan orange cake
- Flour: you can use all-purose flour or whole-wheat flour. You can also use 50% all-purpose and 50% whole-wheat.
- Plant-milk: we use soy milk, but any other plant-milk will do.
- Vegetable oil: you can use most vegetable oils, you can use canola oil, sunflower oil, and even a light olive oil, altough this makes the cake slightly heavier.
For best taste we recommend a neutral oil that doesn't taste too much of the vegetable is made of.
- Sugar: plain sugar works great. Unrefined cane sugar works well too. If you use coconut sugar, then you need to multiply our sugar amount by 1.25 as coconut sugar is less sweet than regular sugar.
- Baking powder: or cream of tartar.
- Orange: we use the juice and the grated zest of organic oranges. It would be best for you if the orange is organic.
- Vanilla extract: this is optional but it adds a nice vanilla flavour to the cake that goes well with the orange flavour.
For the eggless orange curd
The orange curd is optional, but recommended. The cake is delicious both with the curd, and without.
- Orange juice: we like to use freshly squeezed orange juice, then we filter out the pulp and only use the liquid part of the juice. You can also use packaged orange juice.
- Potato starch or corn starch: use either to thicken up the curd.
- Sugar: any type will work. You can add more or less based on your preference. The orange curd is usually tangy and sour, so if you don't like that add more sugar.
How to make orange cake vegan
- Springform pan with 9 inch or 23 cm diameter. If you have a different size check our conversion table below.
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Orange squeezer if you use freshly squeezed orange juice
Make the cake
Preheat the oven to 340F or 170C. Then lightly grease your springform pan with some vegetable oil, then dust it with flour. Set aside.
In a bowl add soy milk, sugar, orange juice, vegetable oil, grated zest of 2 oranges, and vanilla extract. Give it a stir with a spatula.
Sift in flour and baking powder and mix with a hand mixer or with a whisk for a few seconds. In the pictures that follows we used whole-wheat flour.
TIP: do NOT over-mix the cake batter. Mix only for about 30 seconds. Over-mixing will activate the gluten and your cake will turn out heavier.
Transfer the cake batter into the springform and bake for 25 minutes at 340F or 170C then set aside to cool completely.
Make the orange curd
To a pot add filtered orange juice (without orange bits), sugar and potato starch. Stir with a whisk to dissolve the sugar and the starch.
On medium-low heat cook the liquid for one to two minutes, while stirring. As soon as the liquid thickens take it out of the heat and keep stirring for another minute.
Fill the cake
With a serrated knife, cut the orange cake open in half. Make sure the cake has cooled completely before you do that.
Add the orange curd and spread it evenly on the base layer of the cake.
Cover with the top layer, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
How to scale this recipe?
How to scale ingredients?
Easy! We calculated the scaling number for you. Pick the springform pan that you want to use for your cake, then multiply all the ingredients in our recipe box by the scaling number in this table.
|Springform pan size||Scaling Number|
|4 inch (10 cm)||0.22|
|5 inch (13 cm)||0.31|
|6 inch (15 cm)||0.44|
|7 inch (18 cm)||0.60|
|8 inch (20 cm)||0.79|
|9 inch (23 cm)||1|
|10 inch (25 cm)||1.23|
|11 inch (28 cm)||1.5|
How do I know if my cake is fully baked?
Depending on the type of oven, type of milk, and type of flour, your cake will take more or less time to cook than our cake.
For this reason, when baking ANY cake, you should always check the core of the cake with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.
To do that, just insert the toothpick or the skewer in the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry it means that your cake is ready.
If the toothpick comes out wet, then bake for a few minutes longer, then check again.
Mistakes I made
- I over-mixed the cake batter: the first time I made this vegan orange curd cake I mixed the cake batter with a whisk for a long time trying to remove all the lumps. This is wrong. Over-mixing will activate the gluten that will make the cake heavy and more compact.
- I overcooked the eggless orange curd: citrus tend to get bitter if you cook it too much. So use gentle heat and don't over-cook.
- I didn't add enough sugar to the curd: I tried to orange curd without sugar but it's just too sour.
- Don't grate the white flesh of the orange: only grate the orange-coloured zest of the orange. The white flesh under the peel is bitter.
- Do not over-mix the batter: I repeat this again. Only stir the cake batter with a spatula for a few seconds and don't worry too much about the lumps.
- Wait for the cake to cool down: this is a very light and soft cake that should NOT be cut while warm. Wait until it cools completely before cutting it open.
- Bake the cake immediately: to have your cake soft and fluffy you should bake it as soon as you mixed all the ingredients together. To do that always preheat the oven in advance and also prepare your springform pan in advance so you are ready to bake.
Store this vegan orange cake on a plate, covered, in a dry corner of your kitchen. It'll stay nice and soft for up to 4 days.
If you want to extend its shelf-life, then store it in a reusable plastic bag - like one for freezing food.
You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months, but we do not recommend it. It stays softer and fluffier when it's fresh.
You can fill this orange cake with any filling you like. For a quicker version, you can use orange jam or any other jams.
Alternatively, you can fill it with one of our vegan custards. Our favourite is to fill it with our delicious vegan pistachio custard, but a classic custard, or a coffee custard work too.
Double-tap/click to watch video-recipe.
Vegan Orange Cake + Orange Curd
- Springform pan 9 inches (23 - 24 cm)
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Orange juicer (if you use freshly squeezed orange juice)
For the orange cake
- 2 cups (300 grams) flour all-purpose or whole-wheat
- ¾ cups (180 grams) soy milk or other plant-milk
- ½ cups (100 grams) sugar
- 2 oranges the grated zest
- ½ cups (120 grams) orange juice
- ¼ cups (50 grams) vegetable oil canola, sunflower or other
- 1 tablespoon (16 grams) baking powder or cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- ½ tablespoon powdered sugar (optional to sprinkle on top)
For the orange curd
- 1 cup (250 grams) orange juice filtered, no bits
- ¼ cups (50 grams) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch or potato starch
Make the orange cake
- Preheat the oven to 340F or 170C. Then lightly grease your springform pan with some vegetable oil, then dust it with flour. Set aside.
- In a bowl add soy milk, sugar, orange juice, vegetable oil, grated zest of 2 oranges, and vanilla extract. Give it a stir with a spatula.
- Sift in flour and baking powder and mix with a hand mixer or with a whisk for a few seconds.TIP: do NOT over-mix the cake batter. Mix only for about 30 seconds. Over-mixing will activate the gluten and your cake will turn out heavier.
- Transfer the cake batter into the springform and bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 340F or 170C then set aside to cool completely.
Make the orange curd
- To a pot add filtered orange juice (without orange bits), sugar and potato starch. Stir with a whisk to dissolve the sugar and the starch.
- On medium-low heat cook the liquid for one to two minutes, while stirring. As soon as the liquid thickens take it out of the heat and keep stirring for another minute.
Fill the cake
- With a serrated knife, cut the orange cake open in half. Make sure the cake has cooled completely before you do that.
- Add the orange curd and spread it evenly on the base layer of the cake.
- Cover with the top layer, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
If you liked this recipe, you might also like:
- Vegan apple cake
- Easy vegan chocolate cake
- Italian wine cookies
- Vegan coffee cake
- Easy chocolate brownie cake
Did you try this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below or tag us on Instagram at theplantbasedschool 🙂