Orange Dreamsicle Cream Cake

Orange Dreamsicle Cream Cake


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups half 'n' half
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract

filling and buttercream:

  • 18-ounce jar of orange marmalade
  • 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4-5 teaspoons orange extract (pure, not imitation)
  • orange (or red/pink and yellow) gel food coloring

Cook's Note:  This may sound like an exorbitant amount of butter for frosting one cake, but piping swirls, rather than spreading a thinner layer, uses much more buttercream.  I started with just 4 sticks, and ended up running out for the last row of swirls, then had to make more.  If you plan to simply frost the cake without piping all the swirls, you can cut the recipe down to 3 sticks butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 3 teaspoons orange extract.  As far as the calories go, eat a little piece, share the rest, and move on!

Bake the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with a circle of parchment paper, and then spray the paper also.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the cake ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 3 minutes until well combined.  Divide batter evenly between the pans.

Bake for 25-29 minutes, until golden and the cake is pulling away from the edges of the pan.  Set cake pans on a wire rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely in the pans.

Prepare the Filling and Buttercream:

Scoop the orange marmalade into a small bowl and stir with a spoon to smooth it out.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter for one minute with whisk attachment.  Combine powdered sugar with meringue powder (meringue powder should not directly touch any liquid).  Add to butter and mix on low to combine.  Add milk, vanilla and orange extract.  Increase speed to medium high and whip for 4-5 minutes until impossibly light and fluffy, scraping as needed.  Set aside.


When the cakes are completely cool, turn out of the pan.  Using a sharp knife or cake leveler, level the tops of the cakes (save cake scraps for another use, such as cake pops/truffles).  Split each cake into two layers so you have a total of four layers.

Place a layer of cake on a cake board.  Spread with 1/3 of the orange marmalade.

Cook's Note:  A little trick I learned in cake decorating class, when using filling between cake layers that you don't want squeezing out into the frosting on the outside, pipe a "dam" of frosting around the edge, then add filling in the middle.  This will keep the filling from leaking out.  See picture below...)




Place another layer of cake on the first, pressing down gently so that it's level.  Spread with another 1/3 of the orange marmalade.  Repeat with the third layer of cake and the last of the marmalade.  Place the fourth layer of cake on top, finishing with the bottom side up.

Spread a very thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake - it doesn't have to look pretty - this is your "crumb coat" to catch all the crumbs.  Place cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.



If frosting a simple layer of buttercream all over, tint the buttercream to your desired shade of orange, and frost the cake.

If making the "ombre" swirls (ombre refers to graduating degrees of color from dark to light), tint all the buttercream a very pale orange, using orange food coloring, or a combination of red/pink and yellow (I used a drop each of Americolor brand Lemon Yellow #107 and Soft Pink #132).

Fit a piping bag with a medium-sized open star tip (I used Wilton #22), and fill the bag.  Starting at the top center of the cake, pipe swirls of buttercream, starting at the center of each swirl and moving outwards, about 1 1/2 turns.  Create swirls all over the top of the cake, keeping them close together to avoid gaps.

If you have any buttercream left in the piping bag after finishing the top of the cake, squeeze it out back into the bowl.  Now, add a little more food coloring to tint the buttercream a slightly darker shade of orange.  Pipe a row of swirls at the top edge of the cake.  Repeat with the rest of the cake, tinting the buttercream a darker shade for each row.  With the leftover buttercream, I piped three roses for the top, using the Wilton #102 rose tip.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen