OMBRE CITRUS LAYER CAKE

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This moist and melt-in-your-mouth tender Ombre Citrus Layer Cake is bursting with layers of bright summer citrus flavor. This cake mix cake tastes like a fancy bakery cake from the addition of sour cream, pudding, and Jello. Topped with luscious buttercream and lemon, lime, and orange slices, this Citrus Cake is perfect for spring!

Rainbow layers citrus cake

OMBRE CITRUS LAYER CAKE

The saying ‘we eat with our eyes first’ really is true. This cake could have the same flavors but all yellow and it wouldn’t be nearly as appealing. As well, the citrus slices on top give a hint of what’s inside even before it’s cut. 

Whenever you can garnish or make food prettier, do it. Don’t underestimate taking that small extra step to garnish.

This cake comes together with just a few simple ingredients. It makes a spectacular showpiece if you’re entertaining. It’s great for Easter, Mother’s Day, and Graduation Parties. However, don’t just reserve this cake for special occasions, it’ll turn any day into a sunny celebration!

Layer Cake

What is the texture of this cake?

The cake is tender and adding Jello makes it slightly dense while still maintaining a soft texture. 

Citrus Layered Cake ingredients
Slice of Ombre Citrus Layer Cake on saucer.

INGREDIENTS FOR YOUR CITRUS CAKE

  • Cake Mix.
  • Egg whites. From large eggs or equivalent.
  • Vegetable oil. You can also use canola oil.
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream. You can use buttermilk, plain yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Vanilla pudding mix. (Don’t make the pudding, you’ll just use the mix. As well, you can omit the pudding, however, the cake may not be as moist.)
  • Lemon, lime, and orange Jello. Jello can be omitted completely and 1 tsp of each extract can be used instead. Food coloring would be highly advised if this substitution is made.
  • Powdered sugar.
  • Butter.
  • Pure Vanilla.
  • Salt
 Citrus Cake

METHOD FOR MAKING CITRUS LAYER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of three 9” cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray or Wilton cake release.

Add all of the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl except for the Jello and food coloring. Whisk together until combined. Divide the batter into three separate bowls. Add the lime Jello to one bowl, the lemon Jello to another, and the orange Jello to the remaining bowl. Mix only until the jello is incorporated.

Pour the batter into each of the cake pans, keeping them separate.

Place the pans into the oven to bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting. Add all the frosting ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth, fluffy, and lighter in color.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, remove the lime layer from the pan and place it onto a cake stand. Use an offset or rubber spatula to spread about ¾ cup frosting over the surface of the cake. Remove the orange layer from the pan and place it directly onto the top of the lime layer, ensuring that all edges meet. Spread about ¾ cup frosting over the surface of the cake. Remove the lemon cake layer from the pan and place it directly on the orange layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake using the remaining frosting. 

yellow orange green cake layers

DON’T FORGET TO GARNISH!

For added visual interest and easy decorating, after the sides have been frosted, gently drag the offset spatula upwards on the side of the cake to make lines. Optionally, layer slices of fresh orange, lemon, and lime onto the top of the cake. Slice and serve.

lemon slices

TIPS FOR CITRUS CAKE SUCCESS

Do not overmix this cake batter as it will become stiff and tough with over mixing.

If the frosting is too thick, mix in 1-2 teaspoons of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency. If the frosting becomes too thin, add in 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and mix until you reach the desired consistency.

dessert
citrus cake

Storage: Cake may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

While you’re here, check out these recipes

  1. Citrus Pound Cake
  2. Orange Creamsicle Pound Cake
  3. Scratch-made Orange Zest Pound Cake
  4. Sweet & Sour Citrus Salad
  5. Orange Bundt Cake
  6. Orange curd
CITRUS LAYER CAKE
Citrus Cake

OMBRE CITRUS LAYER CAKE

This cake is bursting with layers of bright summer citrus flavor. This cake mix cake tastes like a fancy bakery cake from the addition of sour cream, pudding, and Jello. Topped with luscious buttercream and lemon, lime, and orange slices, this Citrus Cake is perfect for spring!
Author: Paula
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Save To Your Recipe Box
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
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Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 package vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 tablespoons lime jello
  • 3 tablespoons lemon jello
  • 3 tablespoons orange jello
  • Yellow & orange food coloring, optional

Frosting:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups butter at room temperature
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of three 9” cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
  • Add all of the cake ingredients except all of the jello and food coloring to a large mixing bowl.
    Citrus Cake
  • Whisk together just until combined. Divide the batter into three separate bowls.
  • Add the lime jello to one bowl, lemon jello to another bowl, and orange jello to the remaining bowl. Mix only until the jello is fully incorporated. Both the lime and orange bowls will be colored. The lemon jello will not really color the cake batter.
    Citrus Cake
  • At this point, you can add a dot of yellow food coloring to the lemon bowl and orange food coloring to the orange bowl if you wish to intensify the colors. Mix only until the coloring has been incorporated and the batter is evenly colored.
    Citrus Cake
  • Pour the batter into each of the cake pans, keeping them separate. Place the pans into the oven to bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Remove the cakes from the oven and place them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Citrus Cake
  • When the cakes are almost cool, make the frosting. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth, fluffy, and lighter in color.
    Citrus Cake
  • Once the cakes have cooled completely, remove the lime layer from the pan and place it onto a cake stand.
    Citrus Cake
  • Use an offset or rubber spatula to spread about ¾ cup frosting over the surface of the cake.
    Citrus Cake
  • Remove the orange layer from the pan and place it directly onto the top of the lime layer ensuring that all of the edges meet.
    Citrus Cake
  • Spread about ¾ c frosting over the surface of the cake.
    Citrus Cake
  • Remove the lemon cake layer from the pan and place it directly on top of the orange layer.
    T  Citrus Cake
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake using the remaining frosting. For added visual interest and easy decorating, after the sides have been frosted, gently drag the offset spatula upwards on the side of the cake to make lines. Optionally, layer slices of fresh orange, lemon, and lime onto the top of the cake. Slice and serve.
    citrus cake

Nutrition

Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 808mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 73g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg
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16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  2. I generally love your recipes and have made many in the past but sadly, this page gets heavier and heavier with ads and pictures and so much stuff it’s frustrating. It takes forever to get to the recipe, even if I click on JUMP TO RECIPE there’s still so much clutter. Now the steps are interrupted by pictures of EACH step. We’re grown ups. We can follow a recipe without having to be shown each step. Please consider making it less time consuming and easer to follow without having to wade through so much clutter. Thank you

    1. Thank you, Tom, for commenting. Your feedback is appreciated. I thought the photo steps would help. I’m not doing them on every recipe. There should not be more ads I’ll take a look at that too.

  3. 5 stars
    This cake is a stunner, and the step-by-step instructions make something that seems so hard so easy to put together!

  4. I can’t find or see the recipe? It looks delicious … And So It Is .. 👑

  5. I would like the ingredients and recipe for this lovely looking cake. I would like to get the ingredients to make it soon. Thanks

5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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