Moist, dense yet finely textured, this orange pound cake recipe is fragrantly flavored with grated orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice. It’s a perfect cake to impress guests for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And one that will give any holiday cake a run for its money.
Once Florida oranges hit our markets every Fall, I try to make as many “orange” things as I can. Some of our favorites are Orange Roasted Salmon, Creamy Tomato Soup with Cognac and Orange, and Fennel Orange Salad.
This is a super rewarding and easy pound cake recipe, not to mention reliable because it’s from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa.
Beautiful with citrus flavor, this is a perfect recipe to make for any Holiday party, whether it’s your own, or when you’re invited out. Tis the season for Holiday gatherings.
No one should live without pound cake and especially one that’s flavored with orange and topped with a luscious orange syrup glaze, an easy frosting, then surrounded by sugared cranberries. Does it get anymore festive than that?
This is one of those recipes that even though a bit time consuming, it’s easy enough for a beginning baker to tackle. It’s impressive enough to be an incredibly rewarding baking project to showcase at your next Holiday party.
And it’s my new favorite cake recipe, edging out Creamy Banana Coffee Cake which is another recipe you might want to keep in your back pocket for Holiday entertaining ideas.
What Is Pound Cake?
Pound cake gets its name not because it’s heavy but because it’s easy. Based on an old-fashioned method using a pound each of four ingredients: flour, sugar, butter and eggs.
But don’t let its simplicity fool you into thinking it’s a pushover in the flavor department. Designed to be made without a recipe, pound cakes have evolved into some clever flavor combinations that will wow guests at any gathering.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- All Purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Powdered (confectioners) Sugar
- Oranges: For orange zest and fresh orange juice
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Step 5: Pour the batter into two buttered and floured loaf pans.
- Step 6: Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool on wire rack.
Step 7: While the cakes are baking, make the orange glaze by cooking sugar and orange juice until sugar dissolves.
Step 8: Combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth.
Step 9: Pour over the top of one cake and allow the glaze/frosting to dry. Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.
How To Make Sugared Cranberries
Easy! Just pick-up a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries at the grocery store. You’ll need two cups of sugar, divided. 1/2 cup to make the syrup to coat the cranberries and 1-1/2 cups to coat the cranberries for that frosted cranberry appearance.
- Step 10: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until they’re coated well with the syrup.
- Step 11: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire rack over a sheet pan. Let dry for at least an hour.
Step 11: Working in batches, roll the sticky cranberries in the remaining sugar until well coated. Move them back to the rack and let dry for at least another hour.
FAQ’s and Tips
Allow 1 – 2 hours for the butter to come to room temperature. Room temperature butter is still “solid” but soft enough to hold air. It’s simply important to cream sugar and butter correctly. The butter must be soft enough for your finger to make an indentation, but not too soft where it looks greasy. This means no cheating and trying to soften butter in the microwave. Plan ahead. I like this article from Bon Appetit, which explains the process in more detail.
Even though you’ve greased and floured the loaf pans, it may still be difficult to remove the cakes from the pans. Parchment paper will insure a clean break. Just use the bottom of the loaf pans to draw a rectangle on the parchment paper. Cut out the shapes and place them on the bottom of the pan after you’ve floured and greased. Just remember to remove the paper once the cake is done.
Sure! But you’re still going to need fresh oranges for the orange zest. So why waste those oranges. Just slice them open after zesting and squeeze out the orange juice.
Yes! Pound cake freezes very well. Once the cake has cooled, wrap it tight in plastic wrap and place it flat in the freezer. It will keep up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.
Recipe for Orange Pound Cake with Orange Glaze and Sugared Cranberries
To serve, just place the orange pound cake on your favorite platter and surround with sugared cranberries. I have made this pound cake with and without the white frosting. The white frosting makes a more festive holiday presentation than the photo above. It’s nice with the sugared cranberries.
I hope you give this Orange Pound Cake recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating.
Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes. And if you have a favorite pound cake recipe, let me know. This recipe for orange pound cake was so easy and rewarding, I’m really looking forward to trying more pound cakes.
And if you’re looking for more dessert recipes, don’t miss my Dessert Category. You’ll find lots of fun recipes to satisfy that sweet tooth, along with another one of our orange flavored desserts for Orange Slice Bars.
Orange Pound Cake Recipe with Orange Glaze and Sugared Cranberries
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter 2 sticks, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar divided
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 cup grated orange zest 5-6 oranges
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice divided
- 3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Frosting Glaze: optional:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- Sugared Cranberries
- 12 ounces Cranberries fresh
- 2 cups Sugar divided
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and 2 cups of the granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the orange zest.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the 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.
- While the cakes bake, cook the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans and place them on a baking rack set over a tray. Spoon the orange syrup over the cakes while they're still warm. This will allow the cakes to absorb the syrup better. Then allow the cakes to cool completely.
- Frosting Glaze: Combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Add a few more drops of juice, if necessary, to make it pour easily. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to dry. Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.
- Sugared Cranberries: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until they're coated well with the syrup.Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire rack over a sheet pan. Let dry for at least 1 hour. Working in batches, roll the sticky cranberries in the remaining sugar until well coated. Place them back on the wire rack and let dry for at least 1 hour.
Ina Garten Orange Pound Cake Recipe … It’s What’s For The Holidays