Lemon Orange Cake

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: Jul. 13, 2023
I like to bake this lovely three-layer lemon and orange cake instead of a more traditional pie for Thanksgiving. It has that tangy Florida citrus flavor and isn't any more difficult to make than a two-layer cake. —Norma Poole, Auburndale, Florida
Lemon Orange Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 5-1/2 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. In a bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition. Stir in extracts.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, zest and extract; beat until well blended. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Lemon Orange Cake Tips

What makes a cake fluffy?

To achieve a perfectly fluffy cake, be precise with the first step—creaming butter and sugar. Creaming traps air in the batter, that, while baking, expands and gives the cake its fluffiness and height. Another easy trick for fluffy cakes is to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Cake flour is finely milled and has a low protein content—around eight percent—which is perfect for making cakes with a tender and delicate crumb. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of flour.

What are the secrets to a moist cake?

No one ever made baking history with a dry, dense cake. Set yourself up for success by using room temperature ingredients. This step will give you the best rise and most even mixing. You should also take care to precisely measure (or weigh) your ingredients. Adding too much flour, for example, can cause a dry cake. Here’s the proper way to weigh ingredients when baking. And finally, don’t overbake. Baking a cake for too long or at too high a temperature will result in a dry cake.

What else can I do with lots of oranges?

Oranges make for a light, citrusy dessert perfect for winter and warm-weather seasons alike. Try them in these other vibrant orange recipes.

Research contributed by Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 740 calories, 29g fat (16g saturated fat), 151mg cholesterol, 465mg sodium, 114g carbohydrate (86g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.