Orange Tea Cakes for Spring

Has spring sprung where you live? No matter the season, we could all use a little more brightness on our tea table! Whip up a batch of these orange tea cakes for spring, and bring a little sunshine to your teatime.

Has spring sprung where you live? No matter the season, we could all use a little more brightness on our tea table! Whether you’re in a region where the ground is covered in snow or blossoms are poking their heads through the earth to meet the sun, whip up a batch of these orange tea cakes for spring, and bring a little sunshine to your springtime tea!

Citrus Bliss

No matter your tea style— if you’re hosting a tea party, enjoying an afternoon pick-me-up, or relaxing on a lazy weekend morning —one of the best parts of teatime is the snacks! The ideal tea cake is simple, comes together easily, and is—of course—delicious. This orange tea cake checks all the boxes! 

The base is a classic poundcake, enhanced by fresh orange juice and zest. To lean into the springtime vibes, we’ve added a touch of rosewater, but you could swap that out for orange blossom water or your favorite floral tea. (Or leave it out altogether if you want to focus on the citrus rather than the floral flavors.) 

The flavoring in these orange tea cakes is subtle yet effective—the simple zing of citrus shines through the buttery poundcake, softened by the hint of rosewater. And if you prefer a different flavor profile, this cake lends itself well to substitutions and mix-ins! 

It would be lovely with a sprinkling of coconut or pineapple for a more tropical feel. 

A burst of cranberry would be perfect in either spring or winter, depending on your weather forecast. 

A dusting of lavender sugar adds a touch of elegance and calming aromatics

Drop in a smattering of white or dark chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet craving.

Elevate the orange flavor with a mix-and-match citrus pairing of lemon or lime zest, or juicy chunks of mandarin oranges! 

Use this springtime orange tea cake recipe as a starting point, but make it your own to fit every mood this season—and the next, and the next, and the next! 

An assortment of glassware is spread out on a tablecloth. In the center is a glass tray carrying orange tea cupcakes, a slice of orange and a cup of tea. Next to it sit a fruit bowl filled with oranges, and a teapot filled with reading nook blend tea.

Tea and Cake: Perfect Pairings

This orange tea cake is such a simple recipe that it’s sure to pair nicely with almost any of your favorite teas

The poundcake is sturdy enough to stand up to the best of black teas, and the delicately floral and orange flavor profile is light enough that it won’t overpower a more subtle green or herbal tea. 

As is so often the case, the best tea to pair with your cake will be any tea you know you love. The ideal food and drink pairing tends to be any combination of two things you enjoy. But if you’re looking for some tea suggestions, might I direct you toward…

Reading Nook Blend

The rose, lavender, and chamomile will be a perfect complement to the subtle floral notes in the orange tea cake. The creamy vanilla essence pairs beautifully with the richness of the butter in the poundcake. My personal favorite for nearly every occasion, (available in both caff and decaf!) Reading Nook is an exquisite blend suitable for any teatime! 

Queen’s Blend Green Tea

Fondly called an “Earl Green,” this bergamot-flavored green tea is an excellent choice for a green tea pairing. The orange peel, bergamot essence, and blue cornflowers are a natural enhancement to the flavors in the tea cake, and the lemon and vanilla essences nicely round out the blend. A lovely pot of Queen’s Blend alongside your orange tea cakes is a springtime tea treat fit for royalty!

Earl Grey

When searching for a tea to pair with an orange-flavored snack, Earl Grey is a no-brainer. The signature bergamot oil found in any Earl Grey blend will make the zest and juice in your tea cakes shine through brilliantly! If the thermometer outside is climbing high, enjoy an iced Earl Grey latte!  If you’re having tea with the Earl after five o’clock (or maybe you need a little hair of the dog… I won’t judge!) Earl Grey tea makes a truly tasty cocktail! 

Choose your favorite beverage, serve it alongside a batch of orange tea cakes, and enjoy your springtime tea time! 

A cup of reading nook blend is being poured from a teapot into a cup and saucer on a tablecloth. Accompanying it is a plate holding an orange tea cupcake and two slices of orange. Rose petals surround the plate and a fruit bowl filled with oranges can be seen in the background.

Orange Tea Cake for Spring Recipe 


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (2 and 1/2 sticks) butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional) 
  • 1 Tablespoon rose water (optional) 
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel (double for stronger citrus flavor) 
  • Juice from 1-2 fresh oranges 
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (optional—infused with 1 tsp favorite citrus or floral tea) 
  • 3/4 cup mix-in of choice, optional (e.g. coconut, pineapple, mandarin oranges, cranberries, white or dark chocolate chips, etc.) 

  • Optional baste: 

  • Juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Optional glaze: 

    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
    • Juice from 1/2 orange, more or less according to desired consistency*

    *Can substitute orange juice for floral tea of choice  




    Heat oven to 350 degrees. 


    Grease or line cupcake pan or Bundt cake pan, set aside. 


    In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt—set aside. 


    In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and rose water on low speed 30 seconds to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat on high for 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed. 


    Beat in flour and milk alternatively on low speed. Pour into prepared pan. 


    Bake cupcakes 20-25 minutes or until set and golden. (Bake Bundt cake 70-80 minutes.) 


    Optional step: Combine orange juice and sugar, baste cupcakes or cakes as soon as they come out of the oven. 

    Optional step: Combine ingredients for glaze, drizzle over cupcakes or cake once cooled.

    Serve with your favorite tea and enjoy!*

    *Can serve immediately, but tastes even better after a day or two!  

    Erica Jolly

    Erica Jolly is a born and raised Pacific North Westerner. Rainwater flows through her veins. She is a tea drinker by day, wine drinker by night, and lover of food, yoga, and rambling conversations.
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