Sheri Wilson’s Orange Dreamsicle Cake

Makes four 6-inch (15-cm) or three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake layers

This dreamy orange cake comes from Sheri Wilson’s new book Caketopia: Your Guide to Decorating Buttercream Cakes with Flair (Page Street Publishing, 2022). The flavor is pure orange, and the cake is incredibly moist and fluffy. You can frost it with your favorite orange buttercream (such as this one), or serve it on its own with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, as Sheri suggests.


  • Vegetable oil spray, for pans
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1⁄2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 1⁄2 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (18 grams) King Arthur cake enhancer (optional)
  • 11⁄2 cups (360 milliliters) full-fat milk, at room temperature
  • 7 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) orange juice concentrate
  • Chefmaster sunset orange gel coloring


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease with vegetable oil spray, dust with flour and line the bottom of four 6-inch (15-cm) or three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray the bottom and sides of each pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Lower the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in the sugar. Return the mixer to high speed and beat for an additional 5 minutes, or until pale, fluffy and increased in volume.
  1. While the mixer is running, prepare the rest of your ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cake enhancer, if using, into a bowl and set aside.
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg whites, extracts and orange juice concentrate.
  1. Set your mixer to the lowest setting, and alternating between the wet and dry ingredients, add 1 cup (130 grams) of the flour mixture and 1 cup (240 milliliters) of the milk mixture to the stand mixer at a time. Increase the mixer to medium and beat until smooth, no longer than 1 to 2 minutes.
  1. Transfer half of the batter to a separate bowl, and add a few drops of sunset orange gel coloring to that half. Gently mix until incorporated.
  1. Scoop spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pans, alternating between the white and orange mixtures. Fill each pan half full. With a toothpick, swirl the colors together by running it through the batter.
  1. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for approximately 10 minutes before inverting onto wire racks or a clean countertop. Allow the cake layers to cool completely before filling and decorating. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and place in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.


  • Before starting, be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This will ensure that all the ingredients will blend and emulsify correctly and will result in a light and fluffy cake.
  • This recipe can easily be used for baking cupcakes. Pour the prepared batter into a cupcake tray (or trays) and bake for 18 to 21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Makes about 48 cupcakes.

Reprinted with permission from Caketopia by Sheri Wilson, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Zachary and Sherilyn Wilson

Recommended Equipment

Fat Daddio’s Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan, 8 x 2 Inch


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