Orange Cake (Torta all’Arancia)

This orange cake is simple to make but has a special flavor because of the orange juice, orange zest, and orange syrup. I’ve made it using this Italian recipe, with some minor changes. It is great for breakfast (very Italian to have cake for breakfast), with a cup of tea or coffee, or as a dessert.


For a 22 cm (9 inch) springform pan, 6-8 slices

190 grams (1 1/4 cup) pastry flour

125 grams (1 stick + 1 Tbsp) melted butter

230 grams (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar, divided

3 eggs

180 grams (3/4 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice without pulp, divided

grated zest of 2 untreated oranges

grated zest of 1 untreated lemon

16 grams (1 Tbsp) baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

butter and flour for greasing the springform pan


Preheat the oven to 170C/340F, fan forced.

Combine 3 eggs and 190 grams (1 cup less 1 tablespoon) sugar in a bowl.

Whisk until pale and creamy.

Add the grated zest of 2 oranges and 1 lemon, as well as a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Whisk to incorporate.

Add the melted butter (which should have cooled off a little to avoid cooking the eggs prematurely).

Keep 80 grams (1/3 cup) of the freshly squeezed orange juice separate, and add the rest (100 grams) to the egg mixture.

Sift 190 grams pastry flour, 16 grams baking powder, and a pinch of salt, and add to the batter.

Stir with a wooden spoon…

…until there are no more lumps. Do not mix longer than necessary.

Butter a 22 cm (9″) springform pan and dust with flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.

Level the top with a wooden spatula.

Bake at 170C/340F, fan forced, for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Combine 40 grams (3 Tbsp) sugar and 80 grams (1/3 cup) orange juice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.

Allow to boil, stirring, until you obtain a nice syrup. It is nice to get some caramelization, but if you make it too thick, you won’t be able to spread it out.

Remove the springform…

…turn the cake over onto a serving plate…

…and remove the bottom of the pan.

Pour the orange syrup on top of the cake, and spread it out evenly with a knife.

The cake is ready to be served once it has cooled off to room temperature.

Wine pairing

This great with many dessert wines that have orange notes, such as Moscatel de Setúbal from Portugal, Passito di Pantelleria from Italy, a very sweet late harvest Riesling (Auslese), or a Sauternes.


Squid tagliolini with yellow cherry tomatoes is a tasty dish with dramatic colors.

13 thoughts on “Orange Cake (Torta all’Arancia)

  1. Stefan, have you ever tried browning the butter before adding? I’m wondering if the nutty flavor of the brown butter would detract from or improve the result.. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caro Stefan! Buon anno con sensibile ritardo!! I had to laugh when I received the email from your blog about this recipe – since I too had made una torta all’arancia, ha ha! And, as you write in your post, for breakfast (for my husband). Great minds think alike. Love your cooking !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it’s the syrup that makes this cake for me, so intensely orange flavoured. Browning the butter (as someone suggested) would add a wonderful nutty flavour but may change the texture as the browned bits are the milk solids, but definitely worth a try. Orange cake was my absolute favourite cake when I was a kid, I used to always ask for it for my birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

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