I love everything about this cake recipe- and I also love it's uniqueness. It's not every day that an Orange Dreamsicle Cake is on the dessert menu (but it should be)!
The cake tastes fantastic, and the light orange filling and orange cream cheese frosting are the perfect complement to the flavorful orange cake layers.
Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing
What if I Prefer the Traditional Method of Mixing?
We hear from bakers that love the reverse creaming of method of mixing, and others that prefer the traditional creaming method.
If you prefer the Traditional Mixing Method (creaming the butter and sugar, adding eggs, adding the wet and dry ingredients alternately, etc.) we have a wonderful orange cake for you!
We have another delicious Orange Cake recipe that we came up with after creating this Orange Dreamsicle Cake. You really can't go wrong with this recipe- it is very fluffy, and moist, and has wonderful orange flavor.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
It's flavorful, pipeable, and silky smooth! You're going to love this recipe!
Orange Cream Filling
This orange cream filling is SO delicious and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes with instant pudding, cream, and flavoring!
This filling recipe always receives rave reviews and nobody would ever guess how easy it is to whip up. It's very adaptable for a number of flavors, we use the chocolate "mock mousse" version all the time.
More Fruity Cakes
Love fruity cakes? In addition to today's orange dreamsicle cake, we have several more refreshingly flavorful cake recipes for you to try!
Orange Pineapple Cake- Orange Cake Layers, pineapple & cream filling and whipped orange mascarpone frosting!
Lemon Orange Cake This is such a delicious combination of lemon and orange flavors, including homemade orange curd filling!
Homemade Lemon Cake- A classic- This is a favorite year-round.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake- If you've never tried the combination of cherry cake and chocolate chips, you MUST! So good.
Lime Cake from Scratch- So fruity and refreshing!
Strawberry Cake - We love this moist scratch strawberry cake recipe!
...and SO many more! We hope that you enjoy the recipe! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Orange Dreamsicle Cake- Delicious Homemade Recipe
This moist and delicious cake tastes just like an Orange Dreamsicle! Moist orange cake layers with orange cream filling and orange cream cheese frosting!
For the Cake:
- 2 ½ cups (285g) cake flour
- 1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon (12g) baking powder
- 1 ½ sticks (12 T) (169g) unsalted butter....Cut into ½ inch slices onto waxed paper to soften slightly. Your finger should make a slight indentation but not sink in easily. If it becomes too soft, refrigerate for a few minutes. Do not soften in microwave
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup (190g) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- ½ cup (121g) milk
- 1 Tablespoon (10g) orange extract
- zest of 1 orange
- Orange Coloring Gel (optional) We used a small amount to tint some reserved orange cream cheese frosting so that we could apply it to the cake here and there for a swirled effect.
For the Orange Cream Filling:
- 1 small box instant Vanilla pudding (3.4oz/96g) We used Jello- Brand
- 2 c. (464g) heavy cream or whipping cream.
- 1 tsp. (4g) Orange Extract (we used McCormick)
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) (226 g) unsalted butter, let it sit out until slightly softened.
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Do not soften the cream cheese.
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) clear vanilla extract (we used clear to keep color lighter)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) orange extract
- ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
- Orange Coloring Gel (optional) We used a very small amount for tinting.
For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (This Recipe uses the Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing.)
Grease and flour two 8 x 2 inch round pans.
In the bowl of your mixer add the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix with your mixer for 30 seconds or whisk to blend ingredients.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs, orange juice concentrate, milk, orange extract and zest.
With the mixer on low speed, add the slices of butter a few pieces at a time to the dry ingredients. Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat until the dry ingredients look crumbly and moistened. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
SLOWLY add ½ of the egg mixture, increasing to medium speed for 1 ½ minutes, the batter will become thick and fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add a small amount of Orange Coloring Gel to the bowl if you would like the batter to be orange. Add the remaining egg mixture in 2 pourings, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Let the cakes cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out.
Works well for cupcakes.
Makes 6 cups batter.
For the Orange Cream Filling:
Combine the pudding mix and heavy cream and orange extract in a mixing bowl. I prefer to mix with a hand held mixer, but a whisk is just fine too. If using a mixer, start on low speed until well combined. Then, switch to high speed and whip the pudding until thick and fluffy. If mousse is too thick, mix in small amounts of heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
If mixing by hand, simply whisk rapidly for a couple of minutes or until mixture is nice and thick.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Cakes with this filling should be chilled until close to serving time.
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
Add the vanilla and orange flavorings. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat.
This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake. When decorating our Dreamsicle Cake, we frosted our cake and then went back in with swirls of lightly tinted orange frosting for a pretty effect.
Hi Kim, Beautiful presentation of your cake!! I'm thrilled your son requested it for his next birthday! Thanks so much for posting.
I love the recipe and tried this cake. I am curious on the outcome though. My cake turned out more dense and dry than fluffy and moist. Unless that's the way its suppose to be? I'm doubtful though. I did use regular flower instead of cake flour which shouldn't make a huge difference right? I did notice when mixing the cake it never got fluffy really like you were suggesting. Any advice or tips? The frosting and filling turned out perfect it's just the cake batter.
Hi Johnathon, I am sorry you had a problem. The cake should not have been dense or dry. There was most likely an issue with the
Reverse Creaming Method. Below is a link to Melissa's video of using Reverse Creaming. Cakes using this method have a tight and tender texture with almost a melt in your mouth quality.
I love the cake, and I love the filling. I think the cream cheese frosting was a little overpowering for the cake. I think, next time, I will use a buttercream frosting or whipped cream.
Waning to make this as it looks so good and orange creamsicles are my favorite. Though I have a question, instead of using oj concentrate, could I just use the juice from the orange that we zest?
I made this cake and it didn’t turn out. Was about 1/2 high. Went and bought a box cake mix and added the orange extract to it.
The frosting and filling turned out and was delicious.
Not sure what I did wrong with the cake reread the instructions and still and figure it out, maybe the cake flour was old?
Hi Linda, I'm sorry that it didn't turn out for you! It's difficult to know exactly what could have happened- I would first check to make sure that your baking powder hasn't expired. Overmixing can be another common problem that causes cakes not to rise. This cake uses the reverse creaming method and sometimes it can take some getting used to. Our Orange Vanilla Bean Cake uses the traditional method of mixing which you may find simpler and it is a very good orange cake recipe also. I hope this helps, I'm sorry that it didn't rise for you!
I've made this cake twice for a co-worker's birthday. Everyone loves it. This is my absolute favorite cake of all time. Not only is it oh, so pretty, but the flavor is outstanding. Thank you for sharing this outstanding recipe.
Thanks Jen, I'm so glad to hear it!
This cake was amazing! It baked really evenly with almost no dome so it was easy to level and stack. The layers came out so tall I was able to slice them in half for double the filling. I ended up piping a cream cheese frosting circle border and filling the middle with a generous helping of whip filling.
I did find the whip filling a little overly heavy on the pudding (which to me has an artificial taste) so I ended up making a similar whip filling starting with just the cream and extract and adding pudding until it had good structure and powdered sugar until it tasted right.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Thanks so much for your feedback! So glad that you like the recipe!
Hi Melissa and BeBe!
This cake sounds and looks delicious and I plan on taking it to a family birthday party. Only problem is a few people (including the birthday boy) are not fans of cream cheese, which means this frosting is probably out. How do you think this cake would pair with an orange buttercream? Possibly either an orange American style buttercream or possibly an orange Swiss meringue buttercream? Or would either of those be too much? This is all provided that I could even find a good orange buttercream recipe too.
Thanks so much!
I would like to make a four layer 6” cake.
Would this recipe work or would I need to adjust it? Please advise. Thanks!
The flavor was really good, but the cake came out a bit dry. I'm at 5,200 feet altitude and also baked it in a sheet pan vs 2 rounds. Is there an adjustment I should make when baking in a sheet pan vs the rounds? Should I add more moisture at altitude? I increased the head by 25 degrees per high altitude baking recommendations so maybe that dried it out?
I’m new to baking and I’d love to try this recipe. I’m wondering what type of salt you mainly use in your recipes? I’ve noticed some sites use kosher some use fine sea salt and some use regular table salt. Thanks in advance for any help you may give me!
Hi Amy, We use regular table salt. I hope you will enjoy the recipe.