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An orange cake, garnished with dried orange slices, on a white cake stand.

High Altitude Orange Cake with Dried Orange Slices

Heather Smoke
A moist and tender orange cake, that's flavored with orange zest and orange juice, and frosted with fluffy orange buttercream.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet. See FAQs for adjusting to higher or lower elevations.

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • Stand Mixer



  • 2 ¾ cups (330g) cake flour (preferred), or all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ¾ cups (378g) granulated sugar
  • 3 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 3 (165g) large eggs
  • ½ cup (135ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (266ml) orange juice
  • 1 cup (224g) vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup oil + 1/2 cup melted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest


  • 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (560g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp (9g) meringue powder (optional)
  • tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1-2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 2-4 tbsp (33-66ml) milk or cream, if needed



  • Preheat the oven to 350F, and spray three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Separately, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange juice, oil, extracts and orange zest.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk well for 30-60 seconds, until well combined.
  • Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake on the center oven rack for about 28-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the centers of the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Set the pans on a cooling rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely before frosting.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, meringue powder, salt, extracts and orange zest, mixing to combine.
  • Increase speed to medium and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy, adding the milk as needed for desired consistency.
  • Remove the cooled cakes from the pans.  Stack and fill the cakes, then frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream.  Chill 20 minutes.  Frost with a final coat of buttercream.  Garnish with the dried orange slices.


The cake should be stored in an airtight container or cake carrier for up to three days.  It can also be baked and frosted in advance, then frozen for several months until needed.
Keyword Cake, High Altitude, Orange
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