Summer Entertaining + 4 Layer Orange Cake Recipe

Summer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table setting and color coordinating dessert recipe.

Summer Entertaining is easy when you follow these tips for a color coordinated tabletop and dessert display!

I have to tell you I’m thrilled with how today’s photo shoot turned out and I’m excited to share it with you! Not only did I create a design for summer entertaining, I developed a cake recipe that’s the perfect dessert to serve for this party. I was asked to come up with some ideas and a recipe using Silk Coconutmilk and I was inspired by a recent shopping trip where orange and yellow really caught my eye.

I think you’re going to love this table and if you like strawberry shortcake, you’ll like this spin on the idea for dessert.

For my tabletop I put together a design that’s elegant enough for a bridal shower, but with a casualness that’s suitable for a luncheon or dinner al fresco.

Summer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table & place settingSummer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table setting and color coordinating dessert recipe. Summer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table setting and centerpiece.Summer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table setting and color coordinating dessert recipe. Summer entertaining is easy with this beautiful table setting and color coordinating dessert recipe.Summer entertaining is easy when you set up a bar cart for dessert.

Summer Entertaining :: Get the Look

  • I recently made a shopping trip to World Market where I picked up some great summer entertaining supplies. Among them were the orange cups, chevron napkins, white mini colanders, and individual bottles of Moscato wine. These were the starting point to my design which led me to the orange-flavored cake recipe below.
  • I layered those items with my trusty white plates and some yellow ones I picked up at Target. A centerpiece of orange and yellow flowers brought everything together beautifully, and I added some extra greenery from the back yard to make it even more lush.
  • The mini white colanders add an interesting element to the place settings and can be used as a party favor for guests. I added a large navel orange inside and wrote on real leaves with a gold marker. I pinned the leaf on to the orange with a decorative straight pin and these make fantastic place cards!
  • I used my garden cart to hold water and dessert, and brought out things that were yellow and orange just to help dress it up and pull in some color. A washi tape flag was made to top off the cake.

The cake recipe is easy to make and it’s all from scratch. I don’t bake cakes from scratch that often but I do like to do it for special occasions. One thing notable about this cake is that it’s dense like pound cake so a heavy icing wouldn’t be as good in my opinion. The whipped cream is the perfect balance and fresh whipped cream is so easy to make and tastes delicious!

The oranges bring in a freshness much the same way that strawberries do for strawberry shortcake. The presentation is also a home run. The four layers are tall and impressive. Definitely a centerpiece for your dessert table.

NOTE: You’re going to want to let your stand mixer do all the work on this recipe.

This orange and cream 4-layer cake is terrific for summer entertaining.

PIN this recipe

I used Silk Coconutmilk in this recipe to replace regular milk. You can get get a coupon to try it here.

4 Layer Orange Shortcake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon orange extract
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Silk Original Coconutmilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 2 9-inch baking pans with cooking spray and dusting of flour.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well combined – about 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

Stir in orange and almond extracts.

Combine flour and baking powder and sift. Slowly add in flour mixture to creamed mixture while mixing – about 1/2 cup at a time. Combine well each time before adding the next 1/2 cup.

Finally, add in Coconut Milk and mix well until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cakes cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pans. Let cool completely.


  • 1 quart Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 15-oz cans mandarin oranges packed in light syrup

Put bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to get chilled.

Pour cold whipping cream into mixing bowl, add sugar and whip together until fluffy firm peaks form – about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, open cans of mandarin oranges and drain syrup, reserving about 1 cup.

Assemble the cake:

Cut each layer of cake through the middle, crosswise. Add first layer to your cake stand and poke tiny holes all over the top of the cake layer.

Use a spoon to drizzle the mandarin orange syrup all over the cake layer.

Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of cake and top with a layer of oranges. Repeat layering process with remaining ingredients.

Chill until ready to serve.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.


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  1. Linda says

    This orange cake looks beautiful. Please clarify if you used orange extract or vanilla. Thank you.