Florida Orange Flower Cake

May 20

Florida Orange Flower Cake – light and fluffy orange cake layers with an orange flavored whipped cream filling and fresh oranges.

Florida Orange Flower Cake: a classic cake from the early 1900's gets a little face lift to bring it into the 21st century. #orangecake #cakebycourtney #floridaorangecake #flowercake #cake #easycake #vintagecake

Vintage Cakes

Time for a little mid-week pick-me-up with my first Vintage Cakes post. When my friend, Alexis, first gave me a collection of used cookbooks from the early 1900’s that she found on ETSY, I was so eager to dive in and look for recipe inspiration. I didn’t expect, however, that I’d be so drawn to the idea of actually baking everything in the books, as-is! But as I looked through each recipe’s ingredients and instructions, I was just too curious not to try one of the recipes as it was written in 1940.

Florida Orange Flower Cake

The first cake that caught my eye was a Florida Orange Flower Cake (I love the names of the cakes in these vintage cookbooks, by the way!). I haven’t done an orange cake in a while and the idea of starting with something basic and budget-friendly just felt like the perfect fit.

Florida Orange Flower Cake: a classic cake from the early 1900's gets a little face lift to bring it into the 21st century. #orangecake #cakebycourtney #floridaorangecake #flowercake #cake #easycake #vintagecake

Round One

During round one of this Florida Orange cake, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly.

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

I was immediately worried about some of the ingredients, and definitely that bake time and temperature. But, I had to remind myself, ovens were different back then and so were ingredients. This particular cookbook was published in 1940 – in the middle of a war! Some ingredients were probably really expensive and rationed, so bakers had to find inexpensive substitutes.

Anyway, I went ahead with the recipe and recorded everything in THIS Instagram video.

The bake time was definitely too long for my oven and the cakes didn’t rise well. Additionally, as the cakes cooled, they definitely tasted dry.

Round Two

In round two, I changed only a few things. My goal in re-working these “vintage” cakes is to keep the integrity of the recipe as much as possible. I just want to enhance the recipe a bit.

In order to enhance the cake, without changing the recipe too much, I switched out the shortening for butter, added buttermilk, a little more flour and one extra egg. The added egg and flour help to stabilize the cake so it doesn’t sink. And then the butter and buttermilk create a little more moisture.

Don’t those layers look delicious! I showed a great comparison of the original recipe cake layers and my updated version on Instagram in the link above. You’ll definitely want to take a look.

Perfect Cake Layer Tips

  • Don’t overmix the cake batter once you add the flour mixture
  • Use good quality pans, like Fat Daddio
  • Make sure cold ingredients get to room temperature before using
  • Use fresh ingredients
  • Don’t use bake even strips (at least for my cakes)


Florida Orange Flower Cake

Tender and fluffy orange cake layers with orange flavored whipped cream and fresh oranges.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword Florida Orange Flower Cake, Orange Cake, Vintage Cakes
Servings 16 people



  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • zest of one large orange
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk at room temperature
  • juice of one large orange
  • 2 cups (226 g) cake flour
  • 2 tsp (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt


  • 1 cup (231 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp (4 g) orange extract
  • zest of one large orange


  • sliced oranges



  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, spray again and set aside.

  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and orange juice, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

  6. Bake the cake layers for 20 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 10 minutes and then invert them on to wire racks to cool completely.

    TIP: spray your wire racks with nonstick cooking spray.


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a chilled metal bowl and beat with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.


  1. Place one cake layer, top side up, on a cake stand. Evenly spread half of the whipped cream on top of the cake layer and then arrange half of the orange slices on top.

  2. Place the second cake layer, top side down, on the filling. Evenly spread the remaining whipped cream on top of the cake and arrange the remaining orange slices on top.

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