Florida Orange Flower Cake

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.

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • ½ 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: 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

Florida Orange Flower Cake

Tender and fluffy orange cake layers with orange flavored whipped cream and fresh oranges.
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Servings 16 people



  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 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



  • 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.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
Keyword Florida Orange Flower Cake, Orange Cake, Vintage Cakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment


  1. 3 stars
    I was just wondering about the outcome of my orange cake today and going over your recipe once again to check my ingredients. I did follow the recipe exactly and was disappointed that my cake was not fluffy like yours. My ingredients were at room temperature and I do have a scale and oven thermometer as I am a baker. I realized that only one ingredient could have different…. how much juice do you think you actually get from one orange that goes into the cake batter? That would be the only ingredient that was not measured and could be different increments depending on orange. I would like to try this cake again. Can you please clarify how much fresh squeezed orange juice you use in your cake? Thank you.

    1. A few tablespoons different won’t make a difference on the rise. Did you get the butter and sugar light and fluffy?

        1. Hi Chandra, I made this cake today and my orange juice measured just over 1/3 cup, maybe 2 Tablespoons more. Also, if you are weighing your ingredients, use 200grams of sugar (to equal one cup.) I believe there is a typo in the recipe.

        2. Hi Chandra,
          I made this cake today and my orange juice measured just over 1/3 cup, maybe 2 Tablespoons more.

    2. Hi Stephie,
      I prefer weighing my ingredients as well, but while making this cake today with my 18 year old daughter, she noticed that 100g of sugar does not equal one cup (so glad she spotted that). When I first started to cream the butter and sugar I kept thinking about your comment and Courtney’s response and realized I needed more sugar. After adding the correct amount, our batter came out much fluffier. I hope that solves your mystery. For reference, my OJ measured a bit over 1/3 cup (about 2 tablespoons). I don’t have 8″ pans so I used 9″ and they baked in 17 minutes. I made the recipe twice, and the rise on the second batch came out slightly fluffier, perhaps because I added the correct amount of sugar all at once and didn’t over beat it. I plan to use 3 of the layers for one cake and frost it tomorrow for my mother-in-law’s birthday.

  2. 3 stars
    The cake seemed dense – I think I would try sifting the dry ingredients. The whipped topping, however, did seem to offset the denseness of the cake. NOTE: if you bake in metrics, the sugar is off. 100g is not 1 cup… so please measure 200g!!!!

  3. Okay wow this was one of the better cakes I’ve made. Dropping the oven temp to 325º turned out some of the flattest and straightest cakes I’ve ever baked. No leveling needed! The coloring on the sides was a shade darker than your pictures but not in a bad way.

    Hardest part was getting perfect orange garnishes!

  4. So I made this cake twice. First time not happy with the rising of it. Second time I thought looked great but taste wise after putting it all together my family said it was awful!! Sorry to be so blunt. I have done other Cakes By Courtney and never had a major disaster. Anyway will not be making the orange cake again.