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Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Whole Orange Cake – ground-up whole oranges (peel and all!) and add to a vanilla cake batter to create this amazing orange streusel cake

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

You guys know that I absolutely hate food waste. Even though citrus peels can be used for a thousand different things (both in baking and around the house), it’s nice to be able to use them in a recipe. Plus I’ve been wanting to make this cake forever (like, for years), so there’s no better time than the present.

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

This Whole Orange Cake lives up to its name. First you grind up whole oranges, then mix them with a vanilla cake batter to create a light, zesty orange loaf. And to make it even better, top it with a cinnamon streusel. The streusel gives a nice crunch on top, and every once in a while you get a little chunk of orange. Sounds like a weird concept to grind up whole citrus, but it’s delicious.

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

You might think that grinding up the peel and the pith along with the orange itself would give a bitter taste. However, it actually enhances the flavor and texture. The little bits of bitterness you get from the pith totally balance out the sweetness of the cake, and the peel adds a little bit of texture in the best way possible, almost like slightly bigger pieces of orange zest.

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Looking for more citrus recipes?

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Brit Wolfe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cake


Whole Orange Cake

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan cream cheese, such as Kite Hill
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup finely ground oranges see notes

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, such as Earth Balance


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with 6 Tbsp. of water, mix well, and set aside to let thicken slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Cream together on medium until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and flax mixture and continue to mix until fully combined, about 1 minute.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda). Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add half of the dry ingredients, then the ground oranges, and then the remaining dry ingredients. Let the mixer run on low while you add everything.
  • To make the streusel, combine the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon) in a bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork (or your hands!) until the mixture comes together in big clumps.
  • Pour half of the cake batter into a greased and parchment-lined 9"x5" loaf pan. Add half the streusel on top, then top with the remaining cake batter. Smooth the top of the batter, then add the remaining streusel on top. Bake 50-55 minutes until golden brown and baked all the way through (a toothpick inserted in the center should have a few wet crumbs, but no batter).


Since this recipe uses whole oranges, try to find oranges with relatively thin skin. I used 1 large navel orange, but depending on how big your oranges are, you may need to use more than one. Wash the orange(s), then trim off the top and bottom (where the stem is). Slice the orange into quarters, then add to a blender or food processor and blend until relatively smooth. It’s ok if there are some chunks!
Recipe inspired by Joy the Baker

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