Mandarin Orange Sour Cream Cake

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Summers remind me of consistently showing up late to my aunt’s house for birthday parties on Sunday afternoons (3 ladies living together in one house – do I need to say more?). The afternoon started with 3 p.m. cake and coffee time (or 3:30…. ;-), followed by pool time or a long walk through the vineyards having deep conversations about reoccurring family topics like health and digestive issues, ending the evening with grilling in my aunt’s backyard. I definitely miss those times! Preparing and eating my aunt Heidrun’s mandarin orange cake brought me right back to her backyard and is getting me excited for my upcoming trip in August!

My husband Jason was extremely confused when he was first introduced to cake and coffee time in Germany, not understanding why people would want to eat dessert before dinner. And I say “why not?” Life’s too short to miss out on dessert when you’re too full to eat it! That’s probably why Germans have written cookbooks and cookbooks about cakes and desserts because we actually make them AND get to eat them, too! 😉

This cake is without a doubt my favorite cake my aunt makes! I am always disappointed when it doesn’t make it on the table for cake and coffee time at her house. It’s consists of three layers that I ended up repeating for my in-a-glass version. I had plenty of extra to layer in another square dish, so whichever shape you prefer for this cake will work!

The fluffy, rich frosting made from sour cream and whipped cream forms a soft white blanket on top the layer of juicy mandarin oranges and the orange juice infused cake. Finished with a dusting of cinnamon sugar on top, this cake is a great crowd-pleaser and makes an amazing pot luck contribution! Try it out and please let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Guten Appetit! Also, if you love German cooking and baking as much as I do and want a chance to win cool kitchen gear (more WÜSTHOF knives to come soon!), PLEASE SUBSCRIBE at the bottom of this post! ????  Danke! ❤️

Ingredients for about 20 servings:

Cake (I used one 10 by 16 inch cake pan, but 2 pans for sheet cake, see notes under last step):

  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs (yolks and white separated)
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) baking powder
  • 1 c orange juice
  • pinch salt

Mandarin Orange Topping:

  • 5 10.5 oz cans mandarin oranges
  • 1 package vanilla pudding powder


  • 26 oz (750 g) sour cream
  • 17 oz (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and prepare a sheet pan with non-stick spray and parchment paper on the bottom.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites, then beat until stiff.
  3. Whisk together all remaining ingredients in separate, large bowl, then fold in the beaten egg whites.
  4. Spread the batter out on the sheet pan, then bake until set (depending on how big your sheet pan is, this will be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes; make sure a toothpick comes out clean).
  5. Let cool completely.

Prepare mandarin orange topping:

  1. Drain the mandarin oranges and collect the juice in a medium sized pot (you should have about 16 oz of juice).
  2. Whisk in the pudding powder into the juice and follow instructions on package adding no other ingredients.
  3. Add in the mandarin oranges and let cool completely.

Prepare frosting:

  1. Add sugar, vanilla and heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high until peaks are shaping and holding their stiffness (you can also use and electric hand mixer).
  2. Gently fold in the sour cream.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Depending on which type pan you baked the cake in, it may be thicker than you want it. I baked mine in a 10 by 16 inch cake pan, and ended up cutting the cake in half to make 2 10 by 16 inch, thinner cakes. You can of course bake it in a larger pan or in 2 pans that size, and then assemble the cake in a single layer as a sheet cake. OR create cute, individual desserts layered in a Weck glass jar like I did! There are no limits to your creativity here! 🙂
  2. Start with the cake on the bottom, then evenly distribute the mandarin orange mixture over it. Spread on the frosting and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Happy cake and coffee time!

Sophie’s Tool Box & Entertaining Picks:

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