Orange Pound Cake

I have oranges, lots and lots of oranges.  So I took a chance and adapted the Barefoot Contessa’s (she’s kind of my idol) Lemon Pound Cake for oranges.  I think it worked out pretty well.

This recipe makes two cakes, so I usually freeze the second one.  Just wrap it well in foil once it has cooled completely (freeze post flavored syrup but before glazing).  It’s not an overly sweet cake, so it’s nice with some fruit, and perhaps a little sweetened Greek yogurt.

Orange Pound Cake

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I substituted 1/4 cup vegetable shortening for one stick of butter)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated orange zest (6 to 8 oranges)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I never have buttermilk in my house, and no lemons today either, so I used 1/2 cup skim milk mixed with 1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt.  Seemed to do the trick)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Orange glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or wax paper.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the orange zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or cookie sheet; spoon the orange syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the orange juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes.

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