This creamsicle cake tastes like all of our childhood ice cream dreams but in cake form. A strong orange and cream and vanilla flavor are found throughout. And the texture of the cake is fluffy and delicious.
Let’s Talk Creamsicle.
Creamsicle….more like DREAMSICLE. Am I right? The flavor of creamsicle couldn’t be more simple. It consists of orange, cream and vanilla.
When I think of creamsicle, I’m taken back to those often times sketchy ice cream trucks that sold those popsicles that were orange on the outside with vanilla ice cream in the center. They were divine. This is essentially that but in cake form.
Sizes of Cake
This cake is no doubt adapted from my lemon cake which was also adapted from my strawberry cake. The structure of this cake makes the perfect fluffy white cake that I can manipulate to take whatever flavor I desire. It’s my favorite back pocket cake recipe, to be honest.
This cake can be made with two 6×6-inch cake pans. OR you can use one 8-inch cake pan. You could also do cupcakes. I believe you’d get around 8-10 and you’d bake them for about 20 minutes. There are options. And I hope you find the one that suits you best.
How to Make This Creamsicle Cake
- The first step of all of my cakes with citrus is to aggravate the zest to release all of its fragrance and flavor. To do this, I like to mix the zest with the sugar. The sharp edges of the sugar crystals will help with aiding this process.
- Then, add in the butter and vanilla and beat away. Remember, fat carries flavor. All of this being beaten together will ensure a super flavorful, orange-tasting cake.
- Then you whisk together the milk, egg whites and orange juice. In goes in the dry ingredients and you alternate with adding the liquid ingredients until you get a cohesive cake batter.
- Divide the batter into those two 6-inch cake pans OR add all of it to your 8×8-inch cake pan.
- Bake it until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- You can just beat all of the frosting ingredients together for a super simple vanilla American buttercream.
- The decoration of little oranges is up to you. But I include more detailed instructions below.
Tips and Tricks
Oranges – I used naval oranges but I imagine using clementines, blood oranges, or any other type of citrus would be great. As long as it’s on the sweeter side, you’re good. I think citrus like pomelos might be too bitter?
To Make Ahead – If you want to make this a day ahead, you can bake the cake layers and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Stick them in the fridge and decorate them the next day.
To Store – I always suggest storing cake at room temperature. Cold cake is terrible. And it dries the cake out when not wrapped properly.
If you make this creamsicle cake, let me know on Instagram
Looking for more recipes? Here are some favorites:
- Lamb Kofta
- Mini Carrot Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
- Chipotle Braised Lamb Shank
- Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- Strawberry Rolls
- 1 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (165g)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (250g)
- 3 tablespoons orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113g), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4-5 drops orange food coloring gel (optional)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup orange juice (from about 3 oranges), strained to remove pulp and seeds
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226g), at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean scraped OR 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 4 cups powdered sugar (plus more for the decoration)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Orange food coloring gel
- Green food coloring gel
To Make the Creamsicle Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line two 6-inch baking pans OR a 8×8-inch cake pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (alternatively you can do this in a large bowl with an electric mixer), add the sugar and orange zest. Beat the two together. This will release all of the fragrant oils in the orange zest and infuse them in the sugar. We want this, we need this. Add the butter and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. If you want the cake to be orange in color, add 2 drops of food coloring gel. This is of course optional.
- In a measuring cup, pour in the milk, egg whites, and add the strained orange juice.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and, alternating between the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients, add them to the butter/sugar mixture, until the batter is relatively smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans (or pan) and smooth it out until it reaches the sides. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25 to 32 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake layers to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. It’ll probably take a good hour.
To Make the Buttercream Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (or a medium bowl using an electric hand mixer), add the the butter and beat it until smooth, about 15 seconds.
- Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and heavy cream. Beat for a full 2 minutes to ensure fluffy, delicious frosting.
To Make the Orange for Decoration:
- To two bowls, add about 1/4 cup of frosting to each. You can eyeball this. One will be our orange and another will be our stems (green). Add a drop or two of orange food coloring to one frosting bowl. And add a drop or two of green food coloring gel to the second frosting bowl. Mix until smooth. Transfer the orange frosting to a piping bag fitted with a #3 round piping tip.
- Transfer the green frosting to a piping bag fitted with a #1 round piping tip.
To Decorate the Cake:
- Add the frosting to the top of the cake and smooth it out into an even layer. Make it cute with some swoops.
- If you didn’t do the oranges above, no biggie. Top it with some sprinkles OR leave it as is. It’s cute.
- To add the oranges, pipe on rounds of frosting; they’ll end up looking like oranges once we add the tops. Add as many as you like. Make them any size you like, too. Dip your finger in a bit of water and tap the tops of the oranges to make them appear smoother.
- Pipe on a “leaf” shape at the top of each of the oranges. This will make it appear like they have a stem.
To Store Cake:
- I keep this cake at room temperature on my counter. I don’t own a glass cake cover so I use a colander. This cake is delicious for about 2 to 3 days. If my way leaves you unsettled, you can always place the cake back into the 8×8-inch baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap. You can also place them in containers with lids and just store them at room temp.