Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze

Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze – BOLD orange flavor in this EASY, 100% scratch, no mixer poke cake!! Orange juice, orange extract, and orange zest make this cake the BEST way ever to get your Vitamin C!!

If you love oranges and orange flavored foods, you’re going to be in love with this orange bomb of a cake.

I worked in orange in three ways: orange juice in both the batter and glaze, orange extract in the batter, and orange zest both in the batter and sprinkled on top. Holy orange. Best way ever to get your Vitamin C.

I used my favorite, foolproof, no mixer, buttermilk cake recipe that I also used for Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon GlazeBlueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes CakeCream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries CakeThe Best Pineapple Upside-Down CakeCaramelized Banana Upside-Down CakeVanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze, Homemade Funfetti Cake, and many more.

I love this cake base because it’s fast, easy, and the cakes always turn out supremely moist, springy, and fluffy thanks to buttermilk, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), and oil. That trifecta of moisturizing and tenderizing ingredients makes it impossible to have a dry cake. Not to mention it’s a poke cake. They’re never dry.

This super soft, moist, and easy poke cake is completely from scratch. I have a lot of poke cake recipes and many start with a box of cake mix, but not this one.

You absolutely need to use buttermilk, not another type of milk. I wouldn’t try to makeshift the DIY methods of making buttermilk that sometimes work in a pinch. I wouldn’t risk it here. Trader Joe’s has the cheapest buttermilk in my area. And just think, you can make all those other cakes that I listed above with your leftover buttermilk.

The orange glaze is very sweet thanks to the honey and confectioners’ sugar. On it’s own, it’s ridiculously sweet but the slight tartness of the orange zest and the cake itself help balance it. But if you’re a person who doesn’t have a big sweet tooth, this probably isn’t the cake for you.

After baking, poke holes all over the cake with a fork and let the glaze seep in and work its magic. It’s a great make-ahead cake because the cake tastes even better after the glaze has had a chance to seep in and set up overnight.

Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze

Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze – BOLD orange flavor in this EASY, 100% scratch, no mixer poke cake!! Orange juice, orange extract, and orange zest make this cake the BEST way ever to get your Vitamin C!!

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Orange Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (lite is okay) or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract (vanilla extract may be substituted)
Honey-Orange Glaze
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • about 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, or as necessary for consistency
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons orange zest, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cake – To a large bowl, add the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and whisk to combine.
  3. Whisk in the orange zest; set aside.
  4. To a separate medium bowl, add the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, orange juice, oil, orange extract, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 27 to 30 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  7. Using a fork, stab the cake about 50 times, making small holes all over the cake.
  8. Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool. While cake cools, make the glaze.
  9. Glaze – To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the orange juice, honey, butter, and heat for about 1 minute, or until butter has melted and mixture is just beginning to show signs of boiling.
  10. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. If necessary, add additional sugar to reach desired glaze consistency; glaze should be easily pourable.
  11. Slowly and evenly pour glaze over cake (cake doesn’t have to be fully cooled), smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary, but glaze will likely just slide into place. Glaze will soak into the holes as time passes.
  12. Evenly sprinkle with the orange zest and allow cake to cool in pan uncovered for at least 1 hour (or overnight and cover with a sheet of foil) before slicing and serving so glaze can set up although this is a soft glaze that doesn’t ever fully harden because of the honey. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze

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