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Easy Small Orange Cake Recipe

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Craving a taste of sunshine? This small easy small orange cake recipe is your answer! Bursting with bright citrus and floral honey, this easy cake uses simple ingredients, a fresh orange, and is refined sugar-free. The delightful small orange cake is made in a loaf pan for sweet portions and endless goodness!

Close up of the moist inside of a small batch citrus cake.

Small Orange Cake

When you think of honey and orange, you may think of ingredients to fight the common cold.  And while that may be true, I don’t want to mislead you to reach for a slice of this tasty orange cake if you start to get the sniffles!  Rather, the flavors are a natural pairing.  Add in a hefty dose of vanilla, and you have yourself a mini snack cake that will leave you coming back for more!

This small batch cake recipe is made in a loaf pan – which makes the cake even more irresistible.  The size accommodates 3 perfectly placed orange slices on top, and when sliced, the cake will yield 4 to 6 slices.

Close of of a delicious small batch orange snack cake with orange slices.

Why I Love This Orange Cake (And I Think You Will Too!)

  • Small Snack Cake – Don’t let the name fool you.  Even though this small orange snack cake is mini, it packs a strong flavor punch.  And the fact that it is sweetened with honey makes restraining yourself to one slice almost impossible.  
  • Bright Citrus – The first flavor you get when you bite into a slice is the orange.  Accompanied by the fact that the citrus aroma hits you first.  The fresh orange juice and zest give the cake a bright, natural flavor.  
  • Refined Sugar Free – Last but not least is the honey.  Not only does it sweeten the orange cake, but honey delivers a delicate fruity and floral flavor.  Rounding out the flavors of this cake in perfect harmony.
  • Easy Cake Recipe – No fancy ingredients or fussy equipment for this cake!  Pantry staple ingredients and an easy to use baking pan make this one of the easiest cake recipes on the blog!

Looking for more citrus-forward desserts?  Be sure to check out my chocolate and orange tarts, honey orange mini bundts, and winter citrus cream tarts.

Two pretty slices of orange snack cake with orange slices on a table.

Simple List Of Orange Cake Ingredients

  • Fresh Orange – The orange is used to its fullest by way of the zest, juice, and slices are all present in this cake.  Want to use the whole orange in a cake?  Try my whole orange butter cake recipe!
  • All Purpose Flour – I have only tested the recipe with AP flour.  You can try a gluten free version using a 1:1 gluten free blend – just let me know how it turns out!
  • Baking Powder – For a little lift.  Plus, baking powder helps with soft texture.
  • Salt – A little salt balances all the flavors.
  • Honey – This cake is refined sugar free thanks to honey as the sweetener.  I do recommend a good quality honey for the best flavor.
  • Egg – 1 large egg is all we need.
  • Milk – Any milk will work in the orange cake.  I have even used coconut milk!
  • Vanilla – A generous splash of honey adds to the flavor dimensions of the cake.
  • Unsalted Butter – We use unsalted since we add our own.  The butter adds rich flavor and soft texture to the cake.
Fresh orange sliced in half next to a jar of honey.

A fresh orange provides pronounced citrus flavor in the cake with juice, zest, and slices!  Accompanied by floral honey for a delightful flavor combo.

Pretty citrus loaf topped with baked citrus slices on a table.

How To Make A cake IN A Loaf Pan

One of the most versatile tools for making small batch desserts is your loaf pan.  A 9×5 loaf pan is a must-have in your kitchen.  I use mine all the time for small batch cakes, brownies for two, and cheesecake for fall

Another great tip to use a loaf pan to make this orange cake:  Line it with parchment paper to create a ‘sling’.  The paper sling makes lifting your cake out of the pan easier.  Because the loaf pan has higher sides than your typical cake pan, inverting the pan to get your cake to drop may not be as easy.  Making the parchment sling is always my first step because I don’t want to leave anything to chance when getting my deliciousness out of the pan! 

Small batch citrus loaf cut into slices on a table.

Recipe FAQ

Can I make the mini orange cake in a different pan?

You can make the cake in a 6-inch cake pan.

Will other citrus fruit work for the cake?

Absolutely! Grapefruit, blood orange, and clementines would be lovely! I would peel the grapefruit for the top slices though because the grapefruit pith is so thick and bitter.

Can I swap the honey with maple syrup?

Honey and maple syrup behave differently in baking. Honey is sweeter, browns faster, and is more acidic. The recipe has been tested to take into account all of these factors. I would recommend sticking with the recipe as written.

How should I store the cake?

The orange cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Beyond that, and it may start to dry out.

Can I freeze the baked cake?

You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to freeze. Thaw at room temperature. Note that the texture of the orange slices may change after freezing and thawing.

Pretty single slice of citrus cake on a small white plate.
Close up of the moist inside of a small batch citrus cake.
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5 from 2 reviews

Easy Small Orange Cake Recipe

Yield: 6 Servings
Craving a taste of sunshine? This small easy small orange cake recipe is your answer! Bursting with bright citrus and floral honey, this easy cake uses simple ingredients, a fresh orange, and is refined sugar-free. The delightful small cake is made in a loaf pan for sweet portions and endless goodness!
Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total35 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 3 fresh orange slices, sliced thin (reserve remaining orange for juice and zest)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey (plus more for brushing the orange slices)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk, room temperature (any kind will work)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Instructions

  • Orange Slices – To get even larger slices from the orange (as pictured), you will want to take your slices from the middle of the fruit. I recommend zesting the ends of the orange first – avoiding the middle so you keep the skin on your slices. Then cut the orange to get your thin slices (less than 1/4 inch thick). Juice the remaining orange for the cake.
    3 fresh orange slices, sliced thin
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper – long enough to hang over the long sides of the pan. Lightly grease the pan and paper.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the honey, egg, milk, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.
    ¼ cup honey, 1 large egg, room temperature, 3 tablespoons milk, room temperature, 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, ½ teaspoon orange zest, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet, then add the melted butter. Fold the batter until no dry streaks remain.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top the batter with the orange slices and lightly brush the orange slices with honey.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool the cake in the pan set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then gently lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, and cool completely on the wire rack.
  • The cake is best enjoyed the day it is baked. Leftovers can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe.  I have not tested doubling the recipe to make a larger cake, though it may work.  For a larger cake, use an 8-inch square or round cake pan.  The cake will be thin – it is intended to be!  The bake time may only need to be increase by 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Yield – As written, the snack cake will yield 6 smaller or 4 larger cake slices.
  • Orange Slices – To get the slices, juice, and zest from the orange takes a little planning.  We want larger slices of the orange, which come from the middle.  And we also want the skin on those slices for flavor.  To accomplish this, I recommend zesting the orange – avoiding the middle – first.  Then, slice the orange to get your thin slices for on top of the cake.  Juice the remaining orange halves.
  • Ingredient Substitutions – I recommend the ingredients as written.  Honey bakes much differently than granulated sugar, or even maple syrup.  With that, I can’t speak to how changing the flour or other ingredients will work.
  • Storing Leftovers – Store the cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Beyond that, and it may start to dry out.
  • Freezing the Cake – You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months, and thaw at room temperature.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag.  Note – the texture of the orange slices may change once frozen and defrosted – i.e., they may get a little mushy.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 323IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
Headshot photo of Erin Cernich

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I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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