Grandma's Orange Sponge Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1
  • September 25, 2020
coconut cake with slice

Food and family go together in my world. Memories of happy times come from special meals or dishes cooked by my Mom, Grandmothers, Aunts and Cousins. While many recipes remind me of those days, it is this Orange Sponge Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream that simply “takes the cake”. 

Grandma’s most requested dessert to honor a birthday or occasion. We were wowed by the presentation. Served on a pedestal platter from her china collection. A candle-lit white cloud of sweetness with pieces of coconut trailing her along the floor from the kitchen to the dining room table. The slight citrus smell arrives once the cake is sliced. Flecks of orange zest can be seen amidst the golden cake color. 

slice of orange sponge cake laying down

This Orange Sponge Cake is light and airy. The flavors are subtle even with fresh orange juice and orange zest. 

orange sponge cake fresh oranges

Orange Sponge Cake Tips

The cake itself is not difficult to make. There are just a number of steps to take.

  • Have as much measured out and ready to go in advance for each stage of the recipe.
  • The recipe calls for cake flour but if you don’t have it, you can do this substitution:
    • 1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all purpose flour minus two tablespoons. Replace with two tablespoons corn starch.
  • If you like a sweet whipped cream, add sugar to taste. Suggest 1-3 tablespoons.
  • If you are not familiar with pint measurements, 1/2 pint equals one cup. 
  • You need a double boiler for the filling custard. If you don’t have one, you can use a tempered glass or metal bowl placed over a pot of water. Note: not in the water. You want the warmth of the water to steam the bottom of the bowl to cook the egg custard. 

The Process: Orange Sponge Cake Recipe Steps

Everything worth having (or eating) takes time, right? Well, same theory goes for this cake. Just needs to be done in stages.

  • Making the cake itself requires 8 eggs being separated. You will use them all but at different times. 
  • I use both a stand mixer and hand-held electric beaters. The first for the cake batter and the second for the egg whites and whipped cream. 
  • Preparing the custard for the filling takes some time to thicken in the double boiler. Stir occasionally to mix together. Once cooled, gently fold in the whipped cream. The orange streaking as the ingredients blend is pretty when the cake is cut. 
  • The cake itself can be made a day in advance and refrigerated before slicing and filling. 

orange sponge cake on china pedestal

This very special Orange Sponge Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream will always bring me joy and happiness because it reminds me of my childhood and sweet memories of my Grandmother. Over the last number of years, my Mom and I have made it together in her kitchen when we wanted to bring thoughts of my grandparents in to an occasion.

While the last 16 months have been filled with sadness for my family, I search for positive experiences like this to find peace. Food always brought my family together. This cake was about celebration. Should you make this recipe, I hope that it brings you all the beautiful memories of good times. Enjoy! 

forkful of orange sponge cake



coconut cake with slice

Orange Sponge Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

Light and flavorful sponge cake with subtle orange flavor topped with real whipped cream and shredded coconut
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • KitchenAid Mixer
  • GIR Spatulas
  • Offset spatula
  • Serrated knife
  • Double boiler


Sponge Cake

  • 8 eggs, large separated
  • 1/4 tsp salt, Kosher
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tbsp cake flour


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 pint whipped cream


  • 1/2 pint whipped cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut, shredded, sweetened
  • 1-3 tbsp sugar, optional


Orange Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Add 2/3 cup sugar gradually, beating well.
  • Beat egg yolks until lemon colored. Add the remaining 2/3 cup sugar then the orange juice and zest.
  • Fold the yolk mixture into the whites.
  • Sift flour over the batter and fold in gently.
  • Spray a tube pan with non stick spray.
  • Pour cake batter into tube pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes. Remove from oven and invert until cool.

  • Cut into three layers.


  • Mix all ingredients together except for whipped cream. Put in double boiler and cook until thick, stirring occasionally. Approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from stove and let filling cool.
  • Beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold whipped cream into custard filling.


  • Add the whipped cream topping just before serving. Cake can be made in advance and refrigerated.
  • Beat cream until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and sugar (optional)
  • Sprinkle with coconut across top and sides, if desired.
Keyword Cake, Coconut, dessert, Sponge Cake, Whipped Cream



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