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Orange Sponge Cake

This was the cake that my dad used to request for his birthday every year. For a wedding present 2 years ago, my aunt Marilyn included this recipe in a family cookbook for me. —Amy Sauser, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1-1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sift the flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt together twice; set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 2/3 cup sugar. Add orange juice and zest; beat 3 minutes longer. Gradually add flour mixture and mix well.
  • Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
  • Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.
  • Bake on the lowest oven rack at 325° for 45-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. For glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan; remove from the heat. Add confectioners’ sugar, water and vanilla; stir until smooth. Pour over cake, allowing it to drizzle down sides.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 317 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 119mg cholesterol, 121mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (45g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Patti
    Aug 13, 2017

    Excellent! Fun to make. My husband who thinks all deserts should be chocolate, loves it.

  • Karen12453
    Jul 31, 2014

    I think this is a good recipe but when I tried it it came out of the oven so dense that it bounced! Can someone please tell me what I did.I may have over beat it, does that affect the density?

  • MWcool
    Apr 26, 2013

    I think it's a perfect Orange Sponge Cake. It would be perfect if including Valencian oranges.

  • omahataxidriver
    Jan 24, 2013

    Good, just didnt have enough orange flavor

  • 1275
    May 21, 2012

    I admit I was a little scared at first, separating eggs does not always go well with me, but it did this time! The cake looked as pictured and was fluffy and moist, almost like angel food cake but you don't waste the egg yolks. The orange flavor was subtle and not at all overpowering. I will have to agree with the other reviewers, the glaze is excellent! The butter added some richness, but all in all, this is a great way to end a springtime meal, with a cake that is citrusy and fluffy.

  • katieblows
    May 23, 2011

    This is delicious, moist and light. The best glaze I ever had! I always use a little cooking spray even if it calls for ungreased pan.

  • katieblows
    May 23, 2011

    This is delicious, moist and light. The best glaze I ever had! I always use a little cooking spray even if it calls for ungreased pan.

  • jenreyn1
    May 15, 2011

    @ Jswisher2. You need to use a non-stick pan or a tube pan that is in two parts, so you can separate the cake from the pan with a knife.

  • jenreyn1
    May 15, 2011

    Everyone I have ever made this for just raves about! It is definitely a family favorite.

  • Jswisher2
    May 14, 2011

    Good flavor and texture, but the cake stoke to the pan. The directions call for an ungreased tube pan which is what I used. Can any one tell me what I might have done wrong?