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Vegan Orange Cake with Vanilla Coconut Whip Frosting

Thank you Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for sponsoring this recipe post.

Vegan Orange Cake Recipe

It is SO cliche to say this, but the holidays are unequivocally my favorite time of year! My tree goes up before Thanksgiving, for an extra festive flair. Holiday music is always on (though, the past couple of years, it’s less Bing Crosby and more Alvin and the Chipmunks. Motherhood!)

I am so into it, guys. Give me ALL THE CHRISTMAS. The lights, the decorations, the joy…and perhaps most importantly – the baking!

Gingerbread, peppermint, and pumpkin are all classic holiday flavors. But I love thinking outside the box and going with flavors that are less traditional but still festive. One of my favorite desserts to make is the Vegan Orange Cake recipe I’m sharing with you today. It’s topped with a heavenly vanilla coconut whip frosting and orange zest.

This is an orange cake that actually tastes like oranges – with the help of Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract. I highly recommend buying the finest quality products with rich flavor profiles when holiday baking. It makes all the difference. Some orange extracts are made from artificial flavors, but this extract is made from real, high-quality oranges.

Orange pairs really well with vanilla, so I also added some Pure Vanilla Extract and topped my cake with Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar – both also by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and both BURSTING with amazing vanilla flavor. (Side tip: Adding a teaspoon of vanilla sugar to chamomile tea is absolutely to die for.) Follow Nielsen-Massey Vanillas on social media for more incredible recipe ideas!

Vanilla Coconut Whip Frosting

I have used coconut whipped cream a ton on this blog (and in real life) – it’s THAT good. It’s 1) vegan 2) creamy and fluffy and 3) healthier than sugar-and-cream-filled frosting like buttercream. I mean, it’s cake, so we aren’t being TOO healthy here but this frosting also just tastes REALLY good.

To make the frosting, leave a couple cans of coconut cream in the fridge overnight. If you can’t find straight up coconut cream, use 4 cans of coconut milk instead. About 30 minutes before preparing the frosting, place your mixing bowl in the fridge. Keeping the frosting cold will help it whip up.

Scoop out the coconut cream from the cans, leaving the liquid behind, and place it into the bowl. Add in your sweetener (maple syrup or agave both work wonderfully) and Pure Vanilla Extract. Whip on medium speed using a stand mixer or a hand mixer – a stand mixer works better, I’ve found, but either will produce a delicious frosting. Be careful not to over whip. The frosting should be fluffy and form peaks.

Frosting Tips:

  • If your frosting comes out too liquid-y, try adding more coconut cream OR a couple tablespoons of organic powdered sugar.
  • If you make this cake ahead of time, place it in the fridge so the frosting holds up. I’ve left it out at room temperature for 2 hours and it was fine but any longer that, you might be pushing your luck.

This Vegan Orange Cake is a wonderful holiday dessert that is sure to please your friends and family! You might want to print out a few extra copies of this recipe to bring with you to your holiday gatherings. (They’ll be TOTALLY shocked to find out that this scrumptious cake recipe is vegan!)

Vegan Orange Cake with Vanilla Coconut Whip Frosting

Karissa Besaw
This incredible vegan orange cake is totally bursting with flavor. It's topped with a heavenly vanilla coconut whip frosting!
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16 slices


Vegan Orange Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2.5 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract
  • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Coconut Whip Frosting

  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • 3-4 tbsp organic agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract


  • orange zest from one orange
  • optional Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar
  • optional cranberries


Vegan Orange Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your cake pan(s) and sprinkle with flour. 
  • Whisk together all dry ingredients in one bowl (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) and wet ingredients another large bowl (orange juice, oil, orange extract, and vanilla extract.)
  • Whisk about a cup of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then, stir in remaining dry ingredients. 
  • Pour cake batter evenly into two round cake pans or into one 9x13 pan. 
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes*. (Or until a toothpick comes out clean.)

Coconut Whip Frosting

  • Prep: Refrigerate 2 cans of coconut cream or 4 cans of coconut milk overnight (I'd recommend buying an extra can just in case one is a dud). Refrigerate mixing bowl at least 30 minutes in advance of making frosting. 
  • Scoop out cold coconut cream from the cans and add into refrigerated bowl. Leave behind the excess liquid (you can store it in your fridge.)
  • Add in agave or maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whip on medium speed for 2-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip and check frequently. If the cream begins to separate, you have over-whipped.
  • After cake cools, frost it** and top with orange zest. You can also top with vanilla sugar and cranberries for a super festive appearance! 


*REGARDING COOK TIME: Cook time with vary depending on the size pans you use and the material they are made of. For two 9-inch round pans, my cake is done in about 22 minutes. For a 9x13 glass pan, it is done in about 25 minutes. 
**If making this recipe ahead of time, store frosting in the fridge. Re-whip when you are ready to frost the cake.
Note about servings: There are 16 servings in a double layer cake, but you can stretch this out to about 24 servings for a 9x13 cake.
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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