having a heat wave – creamsicle cake

by hungryrabbit on July 19, 2013

Creamsicle Cake

This has been one of the hottest summers I’ve spent in New York. The rolling waves of steamy days make the endless humidity unbearable–even for someone who grew up in sub-tropical Hong Kong, known for its schvitzing spring and summers.

So, you understand why I crave frozen treats. It’s easy to make popsicles, such as Strawberry-Watermelon and Saffron-Apricot popsicles, but to make frozen treats and be able to bring them to a gathering to share with friends is quite the challenge.

I decided to turn one of my all time favorite childhood treat, the Creamsicle, into a cake. It’s not the same as the frozen treat, but it’s more portable–and evokes the same kind of memories with its sweet tart orange curd filling sandwiched between two creamy orange cake layers. The use of malted milk gives the cake a creaminess, and the tangy filling gets your mouth watering, as if the orange shell of the iced treat is melting in your mouth.

Happy Summer!

Creamsicle Cake

yield: One 9-inch cake

Orange Curd Filling


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for another use)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen


1. Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, and salt in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolks in large nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot citrus-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan.

2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 2 hours.

Orange Cake


4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (10–1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3-3/8 ounces) malted milk powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease two 9-by-1-1/2-inch cake pans with butter and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or wax paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour, and tap out excess.

2. Whisk eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla with fork in small bowl. Combine sugar and orange zest in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on low speed until resemble wet sand. Add flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; continue to mix  until combined. Add butter, one piece at a time; mix until combine, only pea-size pieces remains, about 2 minute.

3. Add half of egg mixture, increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low and add remaining egg mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

4. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides of pan and smooth with small off-set spatula. Bake until tops are light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotate pan half way through to for even baking. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto large plate, peel off parchment, and re-invert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

Orange Frosting


1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1-1/4 cups (5-5/8 ounces) malted milk powder
2 tablespoons orange zest
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (12 ounces/3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3 drops orange food gel (optional)


1. Warm coconut milk in small saucepan, do not boil. Remove from heat, add malted milk powder, orange zest and vanilla extract, stir to combine, set aside to cool.

2. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until combined, about one minute.

3. Add malted milk mixture and food gel (if using), increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl if necessary. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready.


1. Place one cake layer on the bottom of cake stand or serving platter. Spread Orange Curd Filling evenly over cake layer; top with second cake layer.

2. Spread frosting on top and side of cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve.


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

This cake would cure the summer heat like “whoa” for me…what a fabulous idea!

Barbara | Creative Culinary July 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

Creamsicles were always my favorite summer treat Ken…this cake looks so inviting and I can almost taste it. Maybe you should send me a slice just to make sure though?

Vicki @ WITK July 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Creamsicle is my absolute favorite ice cream treat! I’ve got to make this cake, maybe a really small one. Just for two?

Jillian July 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm

This looks delicious! I can’t wait to make it – For the butter in the orange curd filling, 2 oz. would be 1/2 a stick, not 1 stick, right? Just want to make sure – Can’t wait to try it!

hungryrabbit July 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hi Jillian, you are correct. Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy. Happy Baking! -Ken

Amallia July 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

this cake looks delicious , nice pictures

Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor July 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Creamsicle cake is a brilliant idea. It looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it.

Jackie July 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hi Ken
If the cake yields 1 9-inch cake, why are we using 8-by-1-1/2 inch cake pans. Also, I’m assuming that the 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut, room temperature is suppose to milk, not coconut flakes.

Madison July 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I can’t say anything about how the cake tastes yet, because I haven’t finished baking it yet. It looks delicious. I hope it is.

However, I’m unimpressed with the recipe itself. Specifically, it’s really inconsistent. The directions for the cake portion of the recipe mention milk. But milk is not mentioned in the ingredients list. So I had no idea how much to add. I ended up looking up another cake recipe and it said 1/2 cup of milk, so that’s how much I added. But I don’t know if that’s correct.

And then there was the coconut–it never said in the directions when to add it. Luckily I caught that at the end. And then directly after I put the cakes in the oven, I looked at everything left on my kitchen counter and realized that I never added the baking soda–again, it was never mentioned in the directions. Frankly, I don’t know much about how ingredients interact with each other or what’s more important and what’s not. So I hope it doesn’t negatively affect my cake too much.

This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. But I think if you’re going to run a recipe blog you should take more care to make sure your recipes are written out correctly. It’s really frustrating to work with an inconsistent recipe, especially for novice bakers who are not very good at improvising in the kitchen.

hungryrabbit July 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Hi Madison, apologies for the mistakes I made in the recipe. I rushed to post this cake and didn’t take the time to double check. I hope my errors won’t discourage you to keep baking. I’ve revised the recipe and should be accurate. I hope you’ll try this cake again. -Ken

hungryrabbit July 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Jackie, thanks for pointing the errors out to me, I’ve revised the recipe and should clarify the discrepancies. Happy Baking. -Ken

Karen (Back Road Journal) July 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

This has been an exceptionally hot summer here in Maine as well. Your cake might not cool me down like a cold creamsicle but it certainly sounds wonderful.

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray July 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

This cake looks DIVINE Ken!

Chris August 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

This looks great, and I am actually planning on making it today. I was just wondering: How long would you say the shelf life would be for this? What I mean is, would any part of the cake (for example the curd filling) go bad if left out for 2-3 hours in a rather cool room?

hungryrabbit August 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

Hi Chris, the cake should be fine at a cool room temp for a few hours. Happy Baking! -Ken

Rebecca Brown April 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

First of all I would like to say WOW! Second of all Thank You for such an amazing and unique recipe! I made it for my Mom’s birthday and all minds and taste buds were blown away =D Have made many many cakes and cupcakes trying internet recipes but this one truly tops them all! Genius! How did you decide to incorporate coconut milk, malt powder and sea salt?
Anyway – a Million Kudos!!!

Eleanor May 31, 2015 at 11:55 pm

I made this today and we enjoyed it at my father’s birthday celebration. Everyone loved it. The orange curd is so, so good and the cake is not too sweet. The Creamsicle flavor really comes through. I will make this again. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I look forward to trying more of your desserts.

hungryrabbit June 1, 2015 at 10:41 am

Hi Eleanor, I’m so glad the cake was a success for your father’s birthday. I look forward to hear more about your baking experience with my recipes. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Happy Baking! -Ken

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