Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication – Orange Butter Cake

To be honest, I am not good with icing a cake. I just don’t know why it always ended up with my kitchen including myself splattered with cream and icing. The icing on the cake looks like it just came out from typhoon area. I am not going to show you these photos. No… It is going to be buried deep down in one dark corner.

Leonardo da Vinci quoted “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and I am going simple by baking a butter cake without any icing needed. Yes, butter cake is simple but I heard some people say that the simpler the food, the harder to cook. This is because you will need a lot of skill to bring the best out from the few ingredients on your hand.


I wanted to be “slightly” adventurous by adding orange in my butter cake hence I am baking “Orange Butter Cake”. Compare to lemon, I prefer using orange because I feel the taste of orange is not as sharp as the lemon. It just makes both the orange and butter compliment each other in the cake. But of course there will be times when you feel you need a tad more citrusy in your cake, then lemon is better.

This orange butter cake is moist, not very crumbly and infused with orange scent. When you bite into the cake, the aroma from the orange zest will straight away fill up your whole mouth and even after you swallow it, the aroma will stay in your mouth for a while. This cake is really good for afternoon tea and it will surely impress your guests.



Notes before baking:

  • I use bread tin (9 x 5 inches) to make this butter cake because I prefer a smaller portion. So if you want a big round cake, double the amount of ingredients and use round baking tin (9-inch)
  • Sugar quantity in cake: In this recipe, I cut down slightly on the sugar amount because I like my cake less sweet and you will also have the orange juice sugar content in the cake


  • A little extra butter to grease your bread tin

Sift and put aside:

  • 150 g of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 113 g of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 90 g of castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoon of freshly squeeze orange  juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest (from 1 orange but you can put more if you like)


  1. Preheat the oven with fan at 170 degree Celcius.
  2. Line your bread tin with baking paper and grease the baking paper with lots of butter.
  3. Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Put aside.
  4. With your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in the bowl until the texture turns to lighter color (pale yellow), creamy and fluffy. It should take roughly 5 minutes.
  5. Put the egg (one by one) into the bowl and continue beating until the eggs blend in evenly.
  6. Add in orange juice and orange zest. Continue to beat until all the ingredients mix evenly. This shouldn’t take long as you just need to mix the orange juice and zest evenly.
  7. Divide the sifted flour into 3 batches and fold into the sugar butter cream mixture. Fold the mixture until just combined. Be careful not to over-stir because it will ruin the texture of the cake. Over stirring will cause you to have chewy cake just like bread.
  8. Pour or spoon your cake batter into the bread tin.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake should turn golden brown and when you insert the cake tester, the cake tester should come out clean.
  10. Once the cake is well baked and out from the oven, let it cool down before serving.


  • The cake can be kept up to 1 week in the fridge but I suggest you eat it within 2 to 3 days. Because the longer it gets, the beautiful cake scent will slowly fades away.
  • This recipe is adapted from My Kitchen Snippets. I was searching for inspiration in the internet and found this orange butter cake recipe from My Kitchen Snippets. Her recipe is just simply gorgeous. The link to the recipe is: 


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