Sour Cream Orange Cake


This sour cream orange cake from Moosewood cookbook is moist, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious! Pair it with your morning coffee, or as an after dinner dessert.

What is the Moosewood Cafe?

Moosewood Cafe is a cozy restaurant in Ithaca New York that serves fresh vegetarian meals. I’ve never been to the Moosewood cafe but if I ever find myself in Ithaca it is on the top of my list for restaurants to visit. For now, the cookbooks inspired by their collective are the next best thing! The Moosewood cafe cookbook is filled with delightful vegetarian recipes that are hand written and easy to make, which is where I spotted this orange cake recipe. My family loved this orange cake, and the neighbors I shared it with raved about it too.


Ingredients & Supplies for the Moosewood Cafe Orange Cake


Baking Pan: I used a tube cake pan, but a bundt cake pan also works!

Basic baking Ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Sour Cream: This creamy addition to the cake makes it extra moist! You can also substitute with yogurt.

Citrus: orange and lemon citrus zest are needed for the cake, and freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice are needed for the (optional but encouraged!) syrup.


For the recipe you can substitute the orange and juice with another sweet citrus. I used blood orange but other options you could try include mandarin, tangelo, tangerine, clementine, satsuma mandarine, and cara cara.

You can substitute the sour cream in this cake with yogurt. If you do this, I recommend using whole-milk Greek yogurt. This yogurt is the closest in texture and flavor. The end result may be tangier and slightly less tender than if you stick with sour cream.


How to Make Orange Cake

This recipe is quite simple and easy to follow. First, prepare your ingredients by zesting and juice the lemon and orange, and measuring out dry ingredients and sifting together in another bowl. Lightly grease bundt or tube pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

First, cream together butter and sugar until light fluffy in an electric mixer. Next, add in eggs, one at a time. Stir in citrus zest and vanilla. Now, gently using a spatula add in dry ingredients and sour cream, alternating between dry ingredients and sour cream, starting and ending with dry ingredients.


Bake in oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool and invert onto serving platter.


To make optional syrup melt orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and liqueur over medium heat until it starts to boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour syrup over the cooled cake before serving.


Sour Cream Orange Cake Recipe

The nutrition facts are based on the cake only and does not include the optional syrup.

Any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. The nutritional labels are a product of online calculators such as (but not limited to)   Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered only as estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.

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If you make this orange sour cream cake please share on instagram using hashtag #rainbowdelicious & and tag me at @rainbowdelicious , I’d love to see what you are up to in your kitchen!

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m not a fancy cake kinda gal so this orange cake is right up my alley. Something light and soft and not overly complex in flavours. I can so see myself having a slice over a cup of tea! Going to try this recipe this weekend.

  2. 5 stars
    This cake looks so pillowy soft! Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    One of my favourite cake combos!! I also have a lot of oranges, so I am definitely making this cake this weekend. Thank you so much for this recipe! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Citrus fruits are my favorite and orange is one of them too. This cake looks moist and super delicious for sure. I can have a slice all day.

  5. 5 stars
    what a beautiful cake my mom was used to make for us orange cake similar to this you have brought me so many memories seeing your pictures

  6. What size is the Bundt pan? Mine is large and deep and I don’t trust that the amount of batter is correct for the pan.

  7. Tara Bouwman says

    I could cry! This has to be the recipe my mom used for this cake and I have been looking for it everywhere! Thank you, thank you!

  8. The recipe directions do not include when to add the zest and vanilla. An experienced cook will figure it out, but it would be reassuring to have all the directions included.

    • Hi There Linda, thanks so much for pointing out my oversight in the recipe. I’ve gone back in and updated the written instructions in the recipe to include stirring in the zest and vanilla after the eggs. Thanks again <3

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