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Glazed Orange Pound Cake

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Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

This super-tender cake is packed with bright citrus flavor, thanks to orange zest and juice in the batter and a sweet orange glaze. The glaze also helps keep the cake moist for several days.

  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
  • 4 medium navel oranges (about 2 lb.)
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 1 pinch table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. (1-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and then butter the parchment.

Finely grate enough zest from the oranges to yield 2 Tbs., and then squeeze the oranges to yield 1 cup strained juice. Set aside 1/4 cup juice for the glaze.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and orange zest and beat until incorporated (the mixture may look curdled at this point). With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture in 3 additions, and the remaining 3/4 cup orange juice in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, then tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to pop any air pockets. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes, run a knife around the sides, then invert it onto the rack. Remove the parchment and invert again.

In a medium bowl, whisk the reserved 1/4 cup orange juice with the confectioners’ sugar and the pinch of salt until smooth. Set the warm cake on its rack over a large rimmed baking sheet (or a large piece of parchment). Using a toothpick, poke holes at 3/4-inch intervals in the top of the cake, stopping about three-quarters of the way down the cake.

Repeatedly brush the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake until you’ve used it all. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Make Ahead Tips

The cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 510; Fat (g): fat g 20; Fat Calories (kcal): 180; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 77; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 270; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 120; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The orange pound cake was easy for me and my 2 girls (ages 8 and 4) to make. We broke into it soon after it came out of the oven and found the orange taste to be lacking. I enjoy a good zing with citrus. I am hoping that the flavor will grow with time. My girls will make the cake again, the youngest would like it without the glaze (it was too sweet for her).

This cake is absolutely delicious! It will go into the rotation for deserts. It's wonderful with coffee for breakfast or just as an afternoon treat. I will make this again.

My husband told me I should never make any other cake - I doubled the recipe to share with friends and it got rave reviews all around!

Moist, zesty, delicious and a snap to make. Fabulous!

I was underwhelmed by this cake. Even with 2 Tbsp fresh zest, I found the orange flavor lacking. The cake does have a nice fine texture and slices hold together. Baking time is longer than indicated.

Fresh orange taste, easy to make. Delicious

To cut down on saturated fat and ramp up the orange flavor, I substituted an orange infused olive oil for the butter. I also added a little Grand Marnier to the glaze. Final result still wasn't very orangey, though flavor definitely improved after the cake sat overnight. Crumb was quite fine, as other reviewers noted, but I actually prefer a coarser more rustic crumb. I remember tasting a similar cake from a NY Times recipe several years back that was olive oil based and much more intensely orange, will have to search it out. UPDATE: okay, this cake is growing on me the longer it sits. One thing I like is that you can slice it really, really thin and it still holds together, which makes for a nice presentation. Will try again, doubling amount of zest and using yogurt in place of some of the olive oil, because it's a little oily.

It took longer than mentioned to bake, but it was delicious, and my family LOVED it. A new family favorite, thanks!

I made this recipe exactly as printed with fresh oranges. It made a large amount for a loaf pan, consequently it took longer than an hour to bake. It was still absolutely delicious and I will be making it again, maybe I will put a small amount in a mini muffin pan and send with my hubby's lunch.

Made this today with my kids and it came out great. Followed the recipe with no changes. Moist, nice crumb, great citrus flavor.

I had just purchased a half-bushel of navel oranges freshly picked from a resident grower at his road-side stand, so when this recipe arrived in my mailbox I was delighted and knew I had to try it right away. The cake is indeed moist and evenly fine textured with all the fragrance that only grated zest can depart. For my taste, orange pound cake tops all other types of pound cakes, with lemon ranking second. Thanks for this recipe! I will be making this again soon!

What a beautiful cake! Tender, moist, and full of flavor! The instructions are perfect. I measure my ingredients - would request author to add measurement for sugar.

Finely textured, as the recipe promises. I made one change, because I wanted to up the orange flavor: Instead of using juice squeezed from the oranges, I used thawed orange juice concentrate. I'm glad I did because the orange flavor was delightful, but not overwhelming. I think it would have been 'weaker" with plain juice. Excellent cake, will make again. I expect that the flavor will even improve after 24 hours. I am also experimenting with freezing one loaf (I made two).

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