I found a recipe for Orange Pound Cake online that claims to be the best orange pound cake, and I’ve made it several times. Here’s what I discovered and the changes I made to improve it.
The original recipe tries several methods to inject citrus flavor into the cake. Some of them work, and some of them don’t.
For one, they include thinly sliced oranges on top of the cake. I decided that unless it’s candied, no one wants to eat orange rinds, so I didn’t add them.
After adding the eggs to the butter mixture, I added some lemon and vanilla extract (scant 1tsp each). I also added a pinch of salt because it makes even sweet things taste good.
It also calls for a small quantity of milk powder, optionally. I sort of doubt that this amount of milk powder is enough to make any difference, but I have it, so I’ve added it every time I’ve made it.
I also took a tablespoon of the flour mixture before adding it to the wet ingredients and tossed the diced orange pieces. This prevents them from just settling to the bottom, and they become more evenly distributed through the cake.
Finally, for the glaze, I mixed the juice of a tangerine with the powdered sugar, and after punching holes in the cake with a skewer, I poured the glaze over the cake, to allow some of the liquid to penetrate more deeply into the cake.
So here is the whole recipe, with the order of ingredients listed in the order that you’ll need them…
The Best Orange Pound Cake, Even Better
3/4 cup of sugar (155g)
12 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (178g or 1 1/2 sticks), softened
3 large eggs (room temperature)
orange zest (1 large orange’s worth)
pinch of salt
1 2/3 cup AP flour (200g)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (5g)
1 1/4 teaspoon milk powder, optional (4g)
1-2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Juice from a tangerine or another orange — about 1/4 cup.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a loaf pan. Zest the orange. Dice the orange segments after peeling.
- In your mixer, roughly mash the butter, orange zest, and sugar in the bowl by hand, and then mix until the butter and the sugar are well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next.
- Add the vanilla and the lemon extracts.
- Weigh out the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, milk powder), and mix to combine. Add one tablespoon to the orange segments, and mix well. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix until a paste. Add the orange segments.
- Put the mixture into the loaf pan, cook at 375° for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325° for another 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and let cool.
- With a skewer, poke holes randomly into the cake, and pour over the juice with the confectioner’s sugar. Let it absorb, and the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.