Raised Vanilla Orange Cake

A yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake perfect for the holiday season.

If you know me, you know I am a self professed non-baker.  I have one no-fail chocolate chip cookie recipe, my best friends chocolate banana loaf/muffins/mini-muffins recipe and that is the extent of my sweet stuff portfolio.  Oh and bark.  Chocolate bark is one of those desserts that can make you look like a rock star and literally all you have done is melted chocolate. Exhibit A and Exhibit B.  But alas, there is a THIRD dessert that can make any non-baker look like he or she may have some idea what they are doing - enter the bundt cake.

yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake
yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake

The thing about the bundt cake is that it is so forgiving aesthetically.  There are really only two ways to decorate a bundt cake - you dust it with icing sugar or you poor icing over it.  The margin of forgiveness on this cake is huge, trust me. It's everything I love about cooking and fear about baking - its loose, rustic and perfectly imperfect.

yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake
yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake
yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake
yeast raised vanilla orange bundt cake

As I mentioned last week in this post, I have partnered with Fleischmann's in their movement to not only get Canadians baking again, but rethinking how they use common pantry staples such as cornstarch, baking powder and yeast.  Fleischmann’s is currently running an It's All You Knead contest for Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Just visit the contest site Its All You Knead, register and enter the UPC of any participating Fleischmann product with no purchase necessary. Each entry gives you a chance to win one of seven Cuisinart Precision Master 5.5 QT. Stand Mixers. A full list of rules and regs can be found on the contest site.

I have never used yeast as a leavener in a cake before, but I loved how it created a sweet bread taste - almost like a pannatone met angel food cake.  The yeast gives it a distinct flavour that works great with the orange zest and vanilla.  The cake is heavy, much like a pound cake, and we had it with whipped cream, ice cream and even orange apricot compote.

I've been using Fleischmann's yeast for years for pizza crust, but now I will keep it on hand when it's my turn to make the birthday cake.


Raised Vanilla Orange Cake

Author: Food Well Said

Prep time: 2 hours

Cook time: 45 mins

Total time: 2 hours 45 mins


  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package Fleischmann® active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • rind of one medium orange
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing Sugar or Melted Chocolate for garnish/decoration


  1. Heat milk to a rapid boil in a small saucepan and then add sugar, salt and butter. Stir until butter and sugar have dissolved and then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast and water to the milk mixture and let stand for five minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add flour and rind of one orange. Add milk and yeast mixture. Beat two eggs and add to the flour. Mix until combined (do not over mix). Cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Pour dough into the bundt pan. Cover and let rise for for another hour.
  4. Bake at 350 degree for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let set for about five minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate. Enjoy!


Disclosure: I am compensated in kind & financially for recipe creation, photography and written content. As always, and as owner of this site, opinions expressed here are my own.