Grand Marnier Cake

Overhead view of an orange cake

natassapnevmatikatou / Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
314 Calories
18g Fat
34g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 314
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 74mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This flavorful Grand Marnier cake is an easy and decadent preparation that's an elegant dessert for any celebration. Fluffy and moist, this orange-forward cake is filled with crunchy pecans and is ready in under two hours, from "start to slice." The steps are as simple as creaming the butter with sugar, then adding eggs, followed by the dry ingredients, and lastly the stiff egg whites. Pour the airy mix in the cake pan and bake for less than one hour. The final and key part is to make a syrupy concoction of liquor, orange juice, and sugar to add on top of the baked cake to provide the zesty cognac flavor this cake is famous for. Pretty pecan halves top the cake in any form that you'd prefer, adding a visual element as well as additional crunch. This is a great cake to serve for tea time, but also the perfect dessert for other occasions. Serve with whipped cream on the side or perhaps a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Although most people think Grand Marnier is a single orange liqueur, it's actually a brand offering a number of liqueurs. It was made famous, however, by the renowned orangey Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, the most popular liquor from this French brand and easily recognizable by the red ribbon that wraps and seals the bottle. This popular liqueur combines a beautiful cognac profile with bitter orange liqueur in a 51:49 percent ratio. Similar products from the same house are less famous than the Cordon Rouge but equally delicious. Cuvée Quintessence, Cuvée 1880, Louis Alexandre, and Cuvée du Centenaire round out the rest of the Grand Marnier family and combine cognac with orange liqueur in different percentages. If you have any of these at hand and want to experiment with it for our cake's syrup, you might also want to try adding more sugar to taste to counterbalance the bitter orange flavor.

Make this cake ahead of your party so it has enough time to cool off and soak up the syrup completely. Remember that the alcohol in this cake won't get evaporated by cooking, so this isn't a suitable dessert for people who need to abstain from drinking alcohol for dietary, health, or personal reasons. If needed, substitute the liqueur with orange juice to make an alcohol-free version. Make Grand Marnier cupcakes for a pretty cupcake tower display, decorating them with pecan halves and a piece of candied orange peel.


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, from 1 orange

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier liqueur, or orange juice

  • 1 cup pecan halves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cream butter with 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in egg yolks.

  4. Sift together the dry ingredients; add to the first mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until smooth.

  5. Stir in orange zest and chopped pecans.

  6. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into batter.

  7. Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch tube pan and bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes.

  8. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar with orange juice and Grand Marnier; pour over hot cake.

  9. Decorate top with pecan halves. Cool on rack before removing from pan.

  10. Enjoy.