Orange Drizzle Cake

Orange Drizzle Cake

Citrus season is here! I know that seems weird doesn’t it, given it’s January and freezing cold outside 😅 But I have to say that a light and zesty bake is a nice change from all the chocolatey, rich bakes at this time of year. Drizzle cakes are a British classic when it comes to citrus baking, with lemon drizzle being the OG. But have you tried an orange drizzle cake before!? It has all the same delicious elements of a lemon drizzle but you literally just swap the lemons for oranges in the recipe. Oranges are still part of the citrus family, but they’re less sour than lemons and contain more natural sweetness.

About this Orange Drizzle Cake

  • Fresh orange used to make the cake, drizzle and icing
  • The perfect balance of zesty and sweet
  • Soft, buttery and light sponge
  • Topped with a thick layer of icing
  • Made using only 7 ingredients!
Orange drizzle cake

To make this orange drizzle cake you will need

  • Butter – choose either unsalted butter or a margarine baking spread. I love to use Stork Original because it makes cakes light, fluffy and soft.
  • Golden caster sugar – adds sweetness and locks in moisture.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 3 large eggs to make this orange drizzle cake. You could instead use 4 medium eggs.
  • Vanilla extract – orange and vanilla pair beautifully, so I’ve added a teaspoon of vanilla extract into the sponge.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake rise. You can substitute for 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Oranges – you’ll need 2 large oranges to make this recipe. The zest and juice is used to make the sponge, drizzle and icing.
  • Icing sugar – mixed with fresh orange juice to make the icing.
Orange drizzle cake

3 tips for baking orange drizzle cake

  1. Use a large 2lb loaf tin. This recipe will make enough cake mixture to fill a large 2lb loaf tin. It’s important to use to same size tin, otherwise the baking time will be affected. Here is a link to the exact loaf tin I used.
  2. Do not open the oven door too early whilst the cake is baking. Opening the oven door will allow the hot air to escape and this sudden change in temperature can cause the cake to sink in the middle. As a rule of thumb, leave the cake in the oven for at least 50 minutes before checking if it’s ready.
  3. Don’t worry if the cake cracks on top. This can happen when the oven is too hot or the cake is placed too high in the oven. But honestly don’t worry if this happens, the texture or taste won’t be affected. Besides we’re going to coat your orange drizzle cake in icing anyway 😉
Orange icing

How to prep your loaf tin

Here are the steps I follow to prep a loaf tin:

  1. Lightly grease the loaf tin with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper that is long enough to line the base and long sides of the tin.
  3. Press it into the base and sides of the tin, scoring the edges so they are sharp and straight.
  4. Leave enough greaseproof paper hanging over the long edges to help you lift the cake out.
how to prepare a loaf tin

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Orange Drizzle Cake

This light and refreshing Orange Drizzle Cake is the perfect balance of sweet and citrus flavours. The sponge is infused with a delicious orange drizzle and topped with a thick layer of white icing. For the decoration, I kept things simple and grated orange zest on top.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10


  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter I use Stork Original margarine, it makes the cake really light and fluffy
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar you could also use white caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 1 large Orange zest and juice

Orange drizzle

  • 0.5 large Orange juicy only
  • 35 g Golden caster sugar

Orange icing

  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 1 large Orange juice only
  • 2-3 tsp Cold water if needed


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan).
  • Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin (I used this one by Circulon) and line with greaseproof paper (see notes in the post above for how to do this). Set the baking tin aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the margarine (or butter), golden caster sugar and vanilla extract together until creamy.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 300g flour after each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
  • Add the remaining flour, and the zest of the whole orange plus the juice of half of the orange. Fold the mixture together until smooth and fully combined.
  • Spoon into the loaf tin, smoothing it out the top. Bake for 55-60 minutes* until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile make the orange drizzle

  • Mix the orange juice and sugar together in a bowl. You can use the remaining half of the orange used to make the cake.
  • As soon as the cake is out of the oven, prick it all over with a toothpick or skewer and spoon over the orange drizzle, letting it sink into the cake.
  • Leave to cool in the baking tin for 30 minutes, then carefully lift the cake out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate with orange icing

  • Mix the icing sugar and orange juice together until combined. The consistency of the icing should be thick but still pourable. If it's too thick, mix in a teaspoon of cold water at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  • Pour the icing over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  • Leave to set for 20 minutes, then decorate with orange zest. Slice and enjoy!


*If the cake starts to brown too much, you can lightly place a piece of foil over the cake after 50 minutes. 
Keyword Eggs, Golden caster sugar, Orange, Self-raising flour, Vanilla extract

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Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of fluffy Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake decorated with a fresh orange cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces!

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake layers

Reasons to love this Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake

  • The recipe uses freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest
  • The sponge is light, fluffy and buttery
  • Chopped pecans add a lovely crunchy texture throughout
  • Tangy cream cheese frosting and refreshing citrus flavours are a match made in heaven
Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe overview and success tips

  1. Bake the cake layers. Simple vanilla sponge recipe with added orange zest and chopped pecans. Use margarine like Stork Original for a light and fluffy texture.
  2. Spoon over the orange drizzle. Whilst the cakes are still warm, a fresh orange sugar syrup is drizzled over the cake.
  3. Whip up the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter first until it’s super soft and almost white in colour, this will remove any yellow tones from the butter and result in a bright white frosting. Also, I’ve found that adding the cream cheese cold straight from the fridge, helps prevent the frosting from becoming thin and runny. Keep it in the fridge until needed.
  4. Assemble the cake. Sandwich the layers together with frosting, then apply a crumb-coat layer (more on this below). Then apply the final coat of frosting and smooth out the sides.
  5. Decorate. I like to decorate around the base of the cake mainly because it helps hide any mess 😉 I chose a mix of chopped pecans and mini-butterscotch pieces and used by hand to press them into the side of the cake.
Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

How (and why) to crumb-coat your cake

Ever wondered how to get beautifully smooth and crumb-free buttercream? Say hello to the crumb-coat technique.

A crumb-coat is a thin layer of buttercream applied to the outside of a cake to help seal in the cake layers and catch all of the crumbs. It doesn’t have to be neat or perfect.

The cake is then refrigerated for 30 minutes to firm up the buttercream. You’ll then apply the final coating of buttercream on top of the crumb-coat, which will be much easier to apply and give you a perfectly clean and crumb-free finish.

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake

Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of fluffy Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake decorated with a fresh orange cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10


Pecan Orange Cake:

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter I use Stork Original
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar
  • 300 g Self raising flour
  • 3 medium Eggs At room temperature
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 large Orange Zest only
  • 100 g Pecans Roughly chopped

Orange Drizzle:

  • ½ large Orange Juice only
  • 2 tbsp Golden caster sugar

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250 g Unsalted butter
  • 500 g Icing sugar
  • 250 g Full-fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese Keep in the fridge until needed
  • ½ large Orange Juice only


  • 50 g Pecans Roughly chopped
  • 1 large Orange Chopped into slices
  • 25 g Mini Butterscotch Pieces I bought these from Sainsbury's


Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
  • Lightly grease two deep 8inch round cake tins with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large bowl add the margarine, golden caster sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Beat together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until fully combined. Fold in the orange zest and chopped pecans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Orange drizzle

  • Mix the orange drizzle ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Whilst the cakes are still warm, prick them all over on top with a toothpick and spoon over the orange drizzle. Leave to cool completely.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift in the icing sugar and squeeze in the juice of half an orange. Beat together until smooth.
  • Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Gently fold into the mixture until smooth and fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix, as the frosting can quickly become runny.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cake layers on a plate or cake stand. Spread over a thick layer of frosting, then place the second cake layer on top.
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to create a crumb-coat*. This doesn't have to be super neat and don't worry if the frosting pulls up any crumbs. Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the frosting.
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.


  • Decorate the base with chopped pecans and butterscotch pieces.
  • Place a few slices of fresh orange on top of the cake. Slice and enjoy!


Store your Pecan Orange Drizzle Cake in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
*Check out the post above for how (and why) to apply a crumb-coat.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate orange, Cream cheese frosting, Pecans

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