If you're looking for an easy (and delicious) way to use up oranges this citrus season, this vegan orange loaf cake is the answer. It comes together in just a few easy steps and uses 10 pantry staple ingredients. You can even swap the oranges out for their slightly more exotic cousins to make a vegan blood-orange loaf cake!

What to expect from this orange loaf cake

  • Bright, zesty, and bursting with citrus flavor
  • Moist, light, and fluffy
  • Eggless and dairy-free
  • Easy to make, and use just 10 pantry staple ingredients 
  • Perfect for citrus season, you can use oranges or blood oranges depending on the season
  • Nut-free
  • Can be adapted as soya-free
orange drizzle cake on white wooden board.Pin

Ingredients overview

  • Plain flour: Good old plain flour does the trick for this recipe. You could possibly try swapping this out for gluten-free all-purpose flour, although I haven't tried this personally.
  • Baking powder: This is the leavening agent and adds volume to the loaf cake, it also helps to create a fluffy texture.
  • Soy milk: Together with apple cider vinegar, these ingredients are mixed together to form a vegan "buttermilk". This will help the cake to become super fluffy and light. You can use another plant-based milk of your choice if you want to keep this recipe soy-free.
  • Olive oil:  This helps to keep the cake moist once baked, keeping it tender and fluffy. I recommend using light olive oil if you're not a fan of its flavor. Feel free to also use rapeseed, sunflower, or another neutral oil in its place.
  • Light muscovado sugar: I love using light muscovado (not to be confused with dark muscovado) in baked goods as it is less refined than most other sugars and gives a subtle caramel flavor. You can use cane sugar, coconut sugar, or light brown sugar in its place.
  • Orange juice and zest: The star of the show, the orange flavor really shines through in this recipe. You can use regular or blood oranges depending on what's available or in season.
  • Vanilla extract: Although you won't be able to taste much vanilla coming through in the end, it helps to balance the zestiness of the cake.
  • Organic powdered sugar/Icing sugar: This forms the base of the standard icing which is flavored with freshly squeezed orange juice. You can use blood oranges to give the glaze a wonderful peachy-pink hue.
tray of ingredients to make vegan orange cake.Pin

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Step 1: Prepare

Like with any recipe, preparation is key. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've forgotten or missed a step when making a recipe! So first thing, make sure you have all your equipment out and ingredients weighed out and ready to go.

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Get the equipment ready (1 large bowl, 1 medium bowl, a couple of small bowls, whisk, rubber spatula, loaf tin, parchment paper, citrus press, grater, cooling rack)
  • Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Weigh out all ingredients, grate orange zest, squeeze orange juice, etc.

Step 2: Make the orange cake batter

Next prepare the batter by first making the vegan buttermilk. Add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes. It will curdle (this is what you want!).

Then add the remaining wet ingredients to the buttermilk mixture (orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract). Whisk everything to combine!

Get a large separate bowl for the dry ingredients and whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk until evenly mixed.

Step 3: Bake 

Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 mins. Check the cake is ready by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.

pouring orange cake batter into a loaf pan.Pin

Step 4: Make the glaze

Now you can relax for most of the time while your loaf cake is in the oven, you only need a couple of minutes to get the glaze ready. Simply whisk together the icing sugar and blood orange juice until smooth and set aside, that's it!

Once the cake is baked and cooled, you can drizzle the icing on top, using as little or as much as you'd like!

drizzling orange glaze over vegan orange loaf cake.Pin

Storage instructions

Store this vegan orange cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Expert tips

  • Use unwaxed oranges: Organic if possible. Waxed fruits are generally not vegan due to their coating. It's also a good idea to go for organic if you can as you'll be using the orange peel.
  • Measure in grams: With any baking, accuracy is key, and measuring in grams will always be more accurate.
  • Declump the sugar: Light muscovado sugar can sometimes "clump" together. Get your hands into the dry ingredients and work out any lumps of sugar as these can create spots when baking.
  • Use a parchment paper sling: A parchment sling covers the bottom and sides of the loaf tin, making it so much easier to lift out your vegan loaf cake once baked. King Arthur Baking shows detailed images of how to create a parchment sling.

Frequently asked questions

Can this vegan orange loaf cake be frozen? 

Yes, you can freeze this cake in an airtight container and defrost it a couple of hours before serving.

What frosting goes with orange cake?

If you want to frost this cake instead of glazing it you can also use vegan cream cheese frosting.

orange drizzle cake on white wooden board.Pin

More vegan loaf cakes

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!

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Orange Loaf Cake (Vegan)

4.8 from 20 votes
PREP TIME: 20 mins
COOK TIME: 50 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 10
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

Description

Delicious zesty vegan orange loaf cake drizzled with orange icing. This cake is moist, fluffy, and bursting with citrus flavor. Perfect for making the most out of citrus season!

EQUIPMENT

Loaf pan (20 x 20 x 8 cm)

Ingredients

Cake

  • 300 g (2.4 cups) plain flour, sieved
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (2 ½ teaspoons) baking powder, sieved
  • ¼ teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) sea salt
  • 200 g (0.9 cup) light muscovado sugar, or cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) soy milk, or plant-based milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) apple cider vinegar
  • 118 ml (½ cup) olive oil, or neutral oil such as rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons (3 tablespoons) orange zest
  • 1 teaspoons (1 teaspoons) vanilla extract

Orange glaze

  • 180 g (1.5 cups) organic powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons (4 tablespoons) orange juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease an 8" loaf tin and place a sling of parchment paper into it to help lift out the cake once baked.
  • To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sieved flour and baking powder to a bowl and whisk to evenly mix, set aside. To the bowl add the olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract, and whisk again to combine.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a separate large bowl and whisk to combine. If there are any clumps of sugar, work these out using your fingertips.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and whisk until evenly mixed.
  • Add the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 mins. Check the cake is ready by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.

Glaze

  • Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by adding the ingredients to a bowl and whisking until smooth.
  • Once the cake has cooled, place a sheet of parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any icing. Pour the glaze on top of the cake, add more or less depending on your taste. Slice and serve.

Storage

  • Store this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
    Freeze this cake in an airtight container and defrost it a couple of hours before serving.Freezing instructions

Notes

  • Use unwaxed oranges, organic if possible. Waxed fruits are generally not vegan due to their coating. It's also a good idea to go for organic if you can as you'll be using the orange peel.
  • With any baking, accuracy is key, and measuring in grams will always be more accurate.
  • Light muscovado sugar can sometimes "clump" together. Get your hands into the dry ingredients and work out any lumps of sugar as these can create spots when baking.
  • Use a parchment paper sling: A parchment sling covers the bottom and sides of the loaf tin, making it so much easier to lift out your vegan loaf cake once baked. 
  • If you want to frost this cake instead of glazing it you can also use vegan cream cheese frosting.

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
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