Fresh Orange Birthday Cake

Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne



Vegetable oil spray and flour for dusting
1 large orange
1 cup orange juice from carton
1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)


Place rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly mist three 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pans aside.

Rinse oranges and pat dry with paper towels. Grate enough zest to measure 2 to 3 teaspoons. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl; you will have about 1/2 cup of juice. Add enough orange juice from a carton to the fresh orange juice to measure 1 1/3 cups.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, vanilla, eggs, and orange juice and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until ingredients are moistened, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until well combined and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes more, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. Divide the cake batter evenly among the 3 prepared cake pans, about 1 3/4 cups of batter per pan, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. Place the cake pans in the oven.

Bake the cake layers until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 18 to 20 minutes. The cake layer on the higher rack may bake faster so test it for doneness first. Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let the cake layers cool for 5 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of each cake layer and give the pans a good shake to loosen the cakes. Invert each layer onto a wire rack, and then invert it again onto another wire rack so that the cakes are right side up. Let the layers cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes longer

Make the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below).

To assemble the cake, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer of cake, right side up, on top of the first and frost the top.

Repeat this process with the third layer. Use the remaining frosting to frost the side of the cake, working with smooth, clean strokes. Arrange the fresh orange slices around the base of the cake, or place candy gum drop orange slices on top of the cake. To make slicing easier, place the uncovered cake in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes.

Just Want a Two-Layer Cake? That’s easy. Pour the Fresh Orange Birthday Cake batter into two 9-inch round cake pans that have been misted and floured. You’ll need to fill them a little fuller than for a three-layer cake and they’ll take a little longer to be done; bake the layers until they are golden brown and spring back in the center when lightly pressed with a finger, 25 to 30 minutes. When you assemble the cake, spread the frosting between the two layers more thickly than for a three-layer cake.

Keep It Fresh! Store this cake, in a cake saver or loosely covered with waxed paper, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze the cake, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to six months. Let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated orange zest **
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Place the butter and cream cheese in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the orange zest, 2 teaspoons of the orange juice, and the confectioners’ sugar, a bit at a time, beating with the mixer on low speed until the confectioners’ sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the frosting until fluffy, 1 minute longer. Add up to 1 teaspoon more orange juice if the frosting seems too stiff. Use the frosting at once.


Yield: 12 - 16 Servings

**A small orange will yield a bit more than 1 teaspoon of zest. And it will provide a tablespoon or two of juice, more than called for in this recipe.

KosherEye Suggests: For a  delicious parve version of this cake/frosting :

Dunkin Hines yellow cake mix is kosher and parve.
Jell-o brand instant vanilla pudding is kosher and parve.
Use parve margarine ,such as Earth Balance brand instead of butter, and parve soy cream cheese, such as Tofutti brand, instead of dairy cream cheese.

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