The best vegan orange cake with heaps of orange flavor and a gorgeous color. Light and fluffy and topped with a gorgeous orange buttercream frosting.
This vegan orange cake really surprised me. I didn’t expect the color to be orange at all. I was thinking it would be vanilla cake in color but orange cake in flavor.
Well….shockingly the orange extract colored the batter a gorgeous orange and when baked it hadn’t completely dissipated as I expected. The cake had this pretty orange tinge. It’s subtle, but there.
And when combined with a delicious orange frosting, the flavor and color of this cake are fabulously orange.
If you don’t get orange color in your baked cake – I imagine maybe some extracts won’t be as powerful with the color as mine was – then don’t worry you’ll still get all the flavor.
And if you love citrusy cakes, then you’ll also love our vegan lemon cake.
How to Make Vegan Orange Cake
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Sift all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add sugar, baking soda and salt and mix together.
- Add soy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest and mix into a batter. Don’t overmix.
- Divide the batter between two 8-inch prepared cake pans (lined with parchment paper at the bottom and sprayed with non-stick spray).
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- When cooled, frost the cake layers.
- Decorate with orange zest.
The Orange Frosting
The frosting is a delicious orange buttercream. The recipe is adapted from our vegan buttercream frosting recipe and uses powdered sugar, vegan butter, a little salt and orange extract to create creamy silken frosting perfection.
TIP: If you’re not a fan of sweet frostings, then you might prefer to top this cake with something like vegan whipped cream instead.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Soy milk – can be replaced with almond milk or another non-dairy milk that works well in baking if you prefer.
Distilled white vinegar – we used white vinegar but apple cider vinegar is also totally fine to use. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda in this recipe giving it a perfect rise.
Egg replacement – there is no need for an egg replacement in this recipe, the baking soda/vinegar combination creates all the magic that you need.
Orange extract and orange zest – create all the orange flavor in this cake. If you can’t get orange extract you can just use orange juice instead but the flavor will be much more subtle. Orange extract is concentrated and really brings the flavor in this cake.
If you want to make this cake gluten-free then you can try a gluten free all purpose flour blend. We have not tested it with this recipe so can’t guarantee results.
Yes! This cake can be made in 8-inch cake pans (as pictured) or 9-inch. It will be a slightly thinner cake if made in 9-inch cake pans so the baking time can reduce to 25 minutes.
This cake can also be made as a 9×13 or 10×15 sheet cake. Bake for 20 minutes for a 10×15 and for 25-30 minutes for a 9×13 sheet cake.
Yes, this will make 18-24 cupcakes. Bake for 20 minutes.
Storing and Freezing
Keep it covered at room temperature where it will stay fresh for a few days OR keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay fresh for up to a week.
This cake is also freezer friendly (frosted or unfrosted) for up to 3 months.
More Vegan Cakes
- Vegan Lemon Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Vegan Banana Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Oreo Cake
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Orange Cake
- 2 ⅔ cups All Purpose Flour (330g)
- 1 ½ cups White Granulated Sugar (300g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ½ cups Soy Milk (360ml) or other non-dairy milk
- ½ cup Canola Oil (120ml) or Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspoons Orange Extract
- 2 Tablespoons Orange Zest
Orange Buttercream Frosting:
- Orange Zest
- Orange Slices
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare two 8-inch* (see notes) cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
- Sift the all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda and salt and mix in.
- Add soy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, orange extract and orange zest and mix it into a batter. Don't overmix.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans before removing them from the cake pans and placing on a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by adding the powdered sugar, vegan butter, salt and orange extract to the bowl of a stand mixer and starting at slow speed, gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
- When the cakes are cooled frost the cake and decorate with orange zest and orange slices around the sides (optional).
- Measure the flour correctly. For best results weigh your flour or use the Spoon and Level Method. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife.
- Orange extract. If you can’t get orange extract then you can use orange juice instead, but orange extract is highly recommended as it’s concentrated which provides the perfect flavor for this cake. Using orange juice would reduce the orange flavor.
- Orange zest. Around two small oranges will provide 2 Tablespoons of orange zest for the cake. If your oranges are large you might get enough zest from one orange.
- Frosting. If orange frosting on top of orange cake seems like too much orange flavor to you then you might prefer to frost this cake with a simple vegan buttercream frosting or just serve it with some vegan whipped cream.
- Baking pans. This cake can also be made in 9-inch cake pans. The baking time can reduce to 25 minutes.
- Storing. Keep the cake covered at room temperature where it will stay fresh for a few days or covered in the fridge where it will last for up to a week. The cake is also freezer friendly.