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Pioneer-Style Orange Sour Cream Cake

Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves
Author Notes

I’m calling this “Pioneer-Style” because I mixed it all by hand. The house we’re renting isn’t equipped with any sort of electric mixer. It worked out fine, but you don’t have to do it that way. This recipe can be doubled to make a layer cake but I made one layer. Vacation isn’t a time for architecture. —Giulia Melucci

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

  • Orange Cake

  • 1/2 cup

    unsalted butter, very soft

  • 3/4 cup


  • 2 teaspoons

    orange zest

  • 2


  • 1/2 cup

    sour cream

  • 1/4 cup

    freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon


  • Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese, softened

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup

    confectioners sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1/3 cup

    sour cream

  1. Orange Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch baking pan.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl until creamy. Use an electric mixer if you have one.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, then the sour cream and orange juice followed by the dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate.
  1. Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer if you’re lucky enough to have one, if you’re not, have courage, the job can still be done.
  3. Add the sugar, the orange juice, and vanilla, then the sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to spread on cake. About 10 minutes.

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