Orange Turmeric Cake

This delicious orange turmeric cake recipe is so easy to make, colorful, and absolutely delicious, too. If you’ve found yourself with a bunch of turmeric and wondering what to do with it, why not make a cake? Believe it or not, combined with orange, it’s a tasty combination!

A slice of turmeric cake sits on a plate with a bite sitting on a fork. An orange and a small bowl of turmeric is behind it.

I love making surprising desserts. This turmeric cake is an excellent example. If you take this to a potluck, it’s the one dessert that catches everyone’s eye. They may be wary of the bright colors at first, but once they dive in? They’re bound to want another!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Based on my wacky cake recipe, this cake is made with simple ingredients and it’s ready in no time
  • Ground turmeric adds color and subtle flavor
  • Vegan cream cheese is added to the frosting to balance out the flavors from the cake, making every bite irresistible!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Flour — I recommend using all-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Ground turmeric
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Orange zest — Use some of the zest from one fresh orange.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegan butter — Use storebought dairy-free butter (such as Earth Balance) or make your own vegan butter.
  • Vegan cream cheese — I use Tofutti or Daiya.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Orange extract

How to Make Turmeric Cake

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, like flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and turmeric. Stir to combine.
    Looking down on a mixing bowl with flour and other ingredients, including turmeric.
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, such as water, vinegar, orange zest, and vegetable oil.
    Looking down on a bowl full of water, oil, and orange zest.
  3. Make the cake batter by pouring the wet mixture in with the flour mixture and stir it together until there are no more big lumps of flour.
    A hand holds the bowl of wet ingredients pouring it into the bowl with flour ingredients.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean.
    Orange cake batter is being poured into a cake pan.
  5. Make the frosting and spread it across the top of the cooled cake before serving.

Marly’s Tips

If you don’t have any oranges or orange zest, simply use a teaspoon of orange extract. No orange extract? You can substitute vanilla, coconut, or even lemon extract.

Creamy Orange Frosting

For the Creamy Orange Turmeric Frosting:

  1. Cream the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer to blend until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, orange zest, and turmeric.
  3. Continue beating with the mixer until you reach a nice, fluffy consistency. (Vegan cream cheese has a thinner consistency, so we don’t need to add soy milk to this frosting).
  4. Slather a thick layer of frosting on the cooled cake.
  5. Sprinkle the top with orange sugar crystals. I happened to have some from a Halloween decoration, but if you don’t it’s easy to make by stirring together sugar with orange food coloring.

Marly’s Tips

If your frosting is too soft, add a little more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, you can add a teaspoon of plant-based milk.

Turmeric is healthy

So let’s talk seriously about turmeric. I knew I was going to make an orange cake. The Food Network magazine just about made me do it with those glorious Orange Cream Cupcakes. Adding turmeric just seemed like the way to go.

Turmeric is one of my favorite ingredients because it’s a superfood. That means for the calories, it offers lots of nutrients. Of course, so do many fruits, veggies, and spices.

I also love the orangey-yellow tint it ads to so many of my recipes. For example, I even add it to my vegan creme brûlée to add just a bit of color.

Storage Tips

Cover the cake and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 7 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Vegan Frostings

Try some of these different vegan frosting recipes:

Delicious Vegan Cakes

If you love easy vegan cakes, you’ll want to try these for sure!

A slice of turmeric cake on a plate with another slice behind it. There's an orange and a bowl of turmeric beside it.
A slice of turmeric cake sits on a plate with a bite sitting on a fork. An orange and a small bowl of turmeric is behind it.

Orange Turmeric Cake

Enjoy the tender bite of this delicious orange turmeric cake with a fluffy, creamy orange-infused frosting.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 374kcal

Ingredients

For the Orange Turmeric Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (from a fresh orange)
  • cup vegetable oil

For the Creamy Orange Turmeric Frosting

  • ½ cup vegan butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Orange Sugar Crystals combine ½ cup sugar with orange food coloring or 1 drop of red and 2 drops of yellow food coloring

Instructions

For the Turmeric Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable spray.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and turmeric in a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the water, vinegar, orange zest, and vegetable oil. Stir to combine. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Make sure all big lumps of flour are mixed. This might take 40 seconds to a minute at most.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. When it's ready, remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely before frosting.

For the Creamy Orange Turmeric Frosting

  • Place the butter and vegan cream cheese in a bowl and use a mixer to blend until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, orange extract, orange zest, and turmeric. Continue beating with the mixer until a nice, fluffy consistency is reached. If it's a little too soft, add a little more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add a teaspoon of plant-based milk.
  • Once the cake has cooled and the icing is ready, slather a thick layer of frosting on the cake. Prepare the Orange Sugar Crystals by combing one-half cup of sugar with food coloring. Stir until well combined and sprinkle this over the top of the cake.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

In the cake, you can substitute 1 teaspoon orange extract in place of fresh orange zest. If you don’t have orange extract or oranges, you can use any of the following instead: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, coconut extract, or lemon extract.
Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 479IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

11 Responses to Orange Turmeric Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlysimon andrew Reply

    5 stars
    This cake has nice color and looking very yummy

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMargo Reply

    5 stars
    Phenomenal! Thank you so much for such a simple yet tasty cake. Concerning turmeric, is it true that it becomes more bio-available with adding black pepper? Thanks. Great recipes BTW.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyInes Reply

    Could something else be used in place of the vegan cream cheese? I really don’t use that and hate to buy it just to use 3 Tbl. Just wondering…

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlydina Reply

    this looks great. turmeric is so good for you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      5 stars
      Yes, Dina! It’s so true. I figure it adds a little color and some boost of health too!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen Reply

    It makes such a vibrantly colored cake and frosting, what a great idea!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Sylvie! I was worried it would add too much flavor, but the orange combines with it very nicely!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBeth @ The First Year Reply

    I love orange and citrus flavors, so I am eyeing this cake!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Beth!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNichole Kraft Reply

    5 stars
    Mmmm…I could go for some cake right now! I’m out of cream cheese, but I’ll be tucking this recipe away for when I’m feeling adventurous. And sick of being a people pleaser! 😉

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I can’t tell you how many times I go to make a recipe only to have some key ingredient missing. I hope you like this cake as much as we have!

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