Dreamy Creamsicle Cake – Part 1 (cake)

I think every baker dreams of the day of when they make up their first recipe.  For me, that day is today! 🙂  (or I guess technically it was yesterday.  But still.)

I was talking with my friend The Culinary Cheesehead about various cakes that you can make for summer – especially in this insane heat that we are having here in the Midwest. (In case you have missed it, in Chicago we just broke the record for the highest “low” – we never got below 80.  And today is supposed to be 99 with a heat index of 112.  Sigh.)

In the midst of our chatting, Paula mentioned an Orange Creamsicle cake, which sounded absolutely delectable… and after she mentioned it, it just didn’t leave my mind at all.

I looked up TONS of Creamsicle Cakes… only to find that almost every single recipe started with Duncan Hines orange cake mix (or something similar).  Now, I know this might make me a “cake snob”, but any recipe that starts with a pre-made cake mix is not a real recipe to me.  I feel it’s not really homemade – it needs to be made 100% from scratch for me to claim it as my own.

To try to make it a little different, I figured this would be a good time to try to experiment and make up my own recipe.  I tried to find a base recipe and then try to incorporate all of the various ideas I found when trying to find a scratch recipe… and what I put together I think worked out very well!

Orange Cake – two 8″ cakes (adapted from me!)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest of two large oranges
  • 402 g (2 cups) sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 390 g (3 cups) cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 114 g (4 oz) sour cream
  • 171 g (6 oz) orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp orange extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees; grease and flour 2 8″ cake pans (or spray with Pam w/ Flour) and put a parchment circle in the bottom of each pan.
  2. Put the butter and zest in a mixer with a paddle attachment ; mix on medium high until the mixture gets fluffy.  Be sure to scrape off your paddle in case the zest gets stuck on there (it did for me)
  3. Mix the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a whisk and set it aside…
  4. Add the sugar to the butter mixture in small portions, mixing thoroughly after each sugar addition.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture.  Do not add the next egg until the first is completely incorporated.  After 2 eggs, scrape down bowl; do the same after 4 eggs.
  6. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined; then add 1/2 of the orange juice and 1/2 of the sour cream and mix until combined.  Add 1/2 of remaining dry ingredients to batter and mix, then add remaining sour cream and orange juice, finishing with dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.
  7. Split batter between two 8″ cake pans, and put in oven.  Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until edges of cake are pulling away from pan and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; then flip out onto cooling rack and let cool completely.
Be sure to check back later this week for Part Two (frosting) and Part 3 (Construction)!

13 thoughts on “Dreamy Creamsicle Cake – Part 1 (cake)

  1. They say necessity is the mother of all invention! This cake sounds delicious!!!! Looking forward to what you use as the frosting and decorating. Was it for any occasion in particular?

    • Thanks!! I have family coming in to visit this weekend, so I thought I would bring a cake to share for dinner 🙂 I cannot wait to frost this cake – although it is going to be pure torture having to wait until Saturday to eat it!

  2. Pingback: A dream come true! « The Culinary Cheesehead

  3. here’s a silly question-how many cups is 360g? I would love to try the cake, but am horrible at conversions and I tried googling it, but have different answers coming up! I’d hate to start the cake and get it wrong because I added too much flour!

  4. Pingback: When life hands you oranges…make Creamsicle Cake |

  5. Pingback: My Baking Addiction |

  6. I tried this recipe today for my brother in laws birthday. I too wanted to do a summer cake and knowing how he loves orange I thought a creamsicle cake would be perfect. But i was disappointed to see all the recipes online were for cake mixes which just seems like cheating… I love this recipe. I gave my fiancé a bite of the excess I shaved off the top and he loved it!! This is one of the best recipes I’ve found online!! Thanks so much!

  7. I am going to try this. Any recipe that starts with a box cake I just skip. I love baking from scratch and I love new cake ideas. thank you.

    • Sorry for the delayed response – but yes, I don’t think that should cause any problems. Maybe add a small dash of lemon juice with it to get the right tartness/sourness.

  8. I am baking this right now — I did 1/3 of the recipe earlier today as a taste test (comparing it against the other online recipes which, as you said, all use mixes and orange jello!). No surprise, your recipe came out much better, both in flavor and texture. I’m doing a big cake for my niece’s graduation party and I’m anxious to have it turn out tasty and beautiful. Thank you for preparing this recipe — it’s been a huge help!!!

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