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+ servings
slice of orange cake with coconut on a blue and white plate.

Old Fashioned Orange Cake

Published by Kate
This orange layer cake with orange cream cheese frosting is coated with coconut—the combination of orange and coconut is irresistible!
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 295 kcal


For the cake:

  • 1 package white cake mix, prepared according to package directions (see instructions and notes for adding orange juice)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange

For the cream cheese frosting & coconut topping:

  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • cups sweetened coconut flakes


For the cake:

  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions with TWO changes: 1) add the zest of one orange to the batter before mixing AND 2) replace half of the water with orange juice. For example, if the directions call for 1 cup of water, use ½ cup of orange juice and ½ cup of water in place of 1 cup of water.
  • Bake the cakes according to package directions for two 9-inch cake pans and let cool. Run a knife along the edges of the pans, and remove the cakes from the pans.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Place the softened cream cheese and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix on medium with a hand mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Mix in the orange zest and orange juice.
  • Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, mix until combined, and repeat with the remaining powdered sugar.
  • Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate or serving platter. Top with approximately three-quarters cup of frosting and spread evenly across the cake.
  • Place the other cooled cake layer on top, and cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
  • Sprinkle the coconut over the top and sides of the cake, using your palm to help the coconut adhere to the sides of the cake.
  • Cut cake into slices and serve. Refrigerate any remaining cake in a covered container.


I used Pillsbury white cake mix, which called for 3 eggs, one half cup of oil, and 1 cup of water to make the cake. I substituted one-half cup of orange juice and one-half cup of water for the water. 


Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 201IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
Keyword orange cake
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