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it’s citrus time

Recipe: orange pound cake

I’ve had a lot of people write to me or comment about Kaweah over the years sharing sweet words, concerns, and love for our crazy pup. There is a running joke here that once Kaweah passes on, my readership will dwindle to thirteen people. But seriously, I am truly moved that so many of you have such fondness for little Kaweah. She had a check up last week and her vet thinks she’s doing wonderfully for her age. We just try to ensure her happiness and comfort. So THANK YOU for all of the love and support you send over the interwebs!

It was sunny and cold, but now it’s sunny and warm. However, there is no new snow. Dear weather, WHAT THE HELL?! Sometimes you just have to suck it up and ski groomers in the sunshine. Don’t cry for me, the ski season could be worse (but this season has been pretty bad).

breck breck breckenridge

Oh heck, the flip side is that I can concentrate on getting work done without missing out on the powder… because there isn’t any powder. Instead, there is a lot of chocolate right now, which I can’t ski.

i spent the weekend working

with my assistant never more than a few inches away

And I set aside a little time to socialize with some of my amazing Colorado blogging ladies – a bunch of talented, smart, beautiful, and hi-larious women who happen to blog and live in Colorado. My friend, Denise, hosted the gathering and I promised her a cake. It came down to chocolate or lemon and I opted for lemon. It’s citrus season and while I know many of us associate lemon with summer (lemonade, lemony desserts, lemon cocktails), I love lemon in winter – it seems to brighten everyone’s outlook. Or maybe it just reminds us that summer is on its way?

lemon cake (despite the presence of lime slices)

wonderful lady friends

cake cross section at denise’s house

The cake is based on this recipe for lemon petits fours except I doubled it to make a four-layer 9-inch round cake with Meyer lemon curd, Meyer lemon buttercream, and limoncello simple syrup. I omitted the fondant icing because I frosted the cake with buttercream frosting.

I’ve been on a citrus roll because it all looks so good and feels heavy and firm in my hand. Jeremy and I have been on a steady routine of consuming grapefruits and oranges as well as cooking with plenty of limes and lemons. When I spied this recipe for a glazed orange pound cake in my latest issue of Fine Cooking, I had everything I needed to get started.

navel oranges!

sugar, vanilla, powdered sugar, oranges, flour, eggs, butter, salt, baking powder

zest the oranges

zest and juice

I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating – when a recipe calls for the zest or peel of any citrus, I use organic. So the recipe in my magazine called for four medium navel oranges, but I apparently bought large navel oranges. I only needed two to yield the necessary zest and juice. That said, leftover oranges are never a bad thing. Never. (Eat them, they are good for you.)

mix the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt

add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar

don’t forget the vanilla

The batter is quick to whip up. Just remember that you only use 3/4 cup of the orange juice in the cake batter. The remaining quarter cup goes to make the glaze which you definitely don’t want to skip. Alternate the juice and flour into the batter.

beat in the orange juice

then add flour

pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan

smooth the top

You may be thinking that this would be a terrific cake to double and bake in a bundt pan. I was thinking that too, but opted out of that modification when I saw the loaf pan was to be lined with parchment. Try lining a bundt pan with parchment paper. Oy. The bake time is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, but it took me an hour and 25 minutes because my oven has been experiencing issues lately, which resulted in over-browned corners. This is why having an independent oven thermometer is important.

done (finally)

poke holes in the top

While the cake cools, it’s a good time to quickly whip up the orange glaze. You may be tempted to skip this part, but let me tell you what’s what: the glaze really gives that moist, juicy, orangey oomph to the cake. It’s lovely. Also, don’t skimp on the holes. The more holey the cake is, the more the glaze will soak into the cake rather than spill onto the pan underneath.

whisk the remaining orange juice into the powdered sugar

it should look something like this

you’re supposed to brush the glaze, but i just poured it (next time i’ll brush it)

We love this cake. It’s great for tea, breakfast, snack, dessert, you name it. I took half of it over to my neighbors, because Jeremy kept eating it, and then I promptly wished I had baked a second loaf. It’s easy to make and has a lovely bright flavor that will make you forget that it is winter – or at least take your mind off the fact that it hasn’t been snowing lately.

orange you gonna try it?

Orange Pound Cake
[print recipe]
from Fine Cooking

1 tbsp butter for greasing the pan
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp + pinch salt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps fresh orange zest (from 2 large or 4 medium navel oranges)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, split into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
5 oz. (1 1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Set the rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with the extra butter, line the pan with parchment, then butter the parchment paper. Mix the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium high until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and orange zest. Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled, it’s fine. With the mixer on low, add a third of the flour, then add half of 3/4 cup of orange juice, then add another third of the flour, then the rest of the 3/4 cup of orange juice, and finish with the remaining third of the flour. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides and turn the cake out onto the rack. Remove the parchment and set the cake upright on the rack. Place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of orange juice with the confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk until it is smooth. Use a toothpick to poke holes (about 3/4-inch intervals) in the top of the cake, making sure not to exceed 3/4 of the cake depth. Brush the glaze over the top and sides of the cake until it’s all used. Let the cake cool completely (about 2 hours). Serves 8.

25 nibbles at “it’s citrus time”

  1. sara says:

    So much tasty citrus! I love that pound cake…I go crazy for any cake that adds a glaze like that…so good. :)

  2. Linda says:

    That looks so nummy! I can almost taste it from here in San Diego! I love Kaweah, too, and am glad there’s always at least one pic of her per post.

    My daughter and her boyfriend wanted to go for a bike ride today, so they brought the grandpuppy (who’ll be 6 in a few weeks) down for me to babysit. All has to be just right for miss Rowdy, who is a black Lab mix. The easy chair has to be pushed up against the window so she can look out without having to stretch anything. She’s so funny (daughter, not dog). They can’t leave the house together, even to go to work, because it just destroys Rowdy’s world. They have to leave one at a time, after telling her how much they love her, and they’ll see her later. She has Marshall the cat to keep her company, but evidently he’s not the same as mommy and daddy. They snuck her into the condo pool this evening for a swim.

    xo Linda

  3. megan says:

    your blogging friends look awesome! i highly approve of all gatherings that involve food.

    what a pretty lemon cake!!! i love the citrus slices on top. simple but beautiful!!!!! how long does it take you to make cakes like the lemon cake? i usually do them in two sittings- cake, cake cooling, then frosting (unless i have BC in the freezer) and all the other stuff..

    glad to see that adorable Kaweah is doing great!

  4. Shut Up & Cook | The Attainable Gourmet says:

    Oh delish…this looks amazing.

    And oh crap…now I need to make this today. So much for doing the laundry!


  5. debbie says:

    My kind of cake. I always consider myself a chocolate addict but I have to admit that lemon sometimes wins over chocolate when deciding what to bake….Glad to hear that Kaweah is doing well. I have an older girl too. A chihuahua and she is nine (almost)…..and wayyyy too chubby!!!

  6. Jane M says:

    My dad just sent meHONEYBELL oranges! They are soooo juicy and amazing! Might have to try baking this pound cake. Yum!

  7. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This cake is gorgeous! I LOVE it!

  8. christine says:

    Tell me more about those beautiful chocolates!!

  9. Danielle says:

    My mom used to make a lemon cake similar to your orange cake. It was fantastic. Can’t wait to try yours! (And I second the request for info about those beautiful chocolates!)

  10. Margie says:


    I think the cooking magazine might be drooling over YOUR pics ;) … I know that I am. :) I can’t wait to hear about the chocolates. Everything is lovely, as usual.

    You spoil us so! Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  11. kelli says:

    yes, i too have an older dog, she is going to be 13 next month. i read your post about the stairs and cannot stop thinking about how we are going through the same thing here. Loona is a ball dog, she can’t get enough, several times a day, there i am kicking her rubber ball for her (kicking it so i don’t have to keep bending over to pick up a slobbery mucky ball). and recently she has started to occasionally lose control of her back legs and falls into a sit. i get her up and rub her down but she still wants to play. oh how i worry, i spend time alone, in the bathroom, so she can’t see me, crying that one day, not to much longer, i will lose my baby girl (and here come the quivering chin and welling tears). it’s tough to love someone so very much, someone who isn’t human but means just as much or even more than a human friend. your Kaweah, my Loona, what will we do when they are gone?
    thank you for the moral support, even though you have no idea who or where i am. your posts help.
    thank you thank you
    and i am a cook too, i have yet to follow one of your recipes( or anyone else’s ) to the letter, but you have inspired many wonderful meals and treats. not only is Loona a ball dog, she is a cookie dog and she now eats batch after batch of peanut butter cookies that i adapted from your recipe. and now i think i will make this cake and of course i will most likely use grapefruit or hamlin orange or this citrus i found at the co-op yesterday that was just called cocktail citrus, looks like and orange and oh so fragrant like a meyer lemon, yes, that’s the one to try.
    i’ve blabbed on for to long in your comment section

    again thank you for being you

  12. Caterina B says:

    There is simply “something about a Lab!’ We have raised 4 over the time of our marriage. When I met my Hubby he had a quite neurotic one he found digging in the trash behind a McDonald’s in Eugene, OR, where he went to college. He was skinny and starving, the dog, not my future husband. Hubby immediately fell in love with the dog and took him home.
    Two years later and in Colorado, Hubby met my 13 year old brother and all because of that Lab.
    The story involves a BB gun, that boy and that dog. The BB gun was flung as far as it would sail by my yet unknown future husband and the boy never told anyone that story until it came out later. (Nor did my tactful husband)
    We all know that the boy never intended to shoot the dog, right? The boy admits to being quite surprised when a few months later I brought my new boy friend home to meet the family. The boy and the boy friend recognized each other right away but nothing was said at that time.
    I had never known a Lab before that but soon fell in love with both the dog and the man. Then, about the time we decided to get married, the story was told. We all laughed and laughed at the confession.
    The boy (now a grown man, of course) and the hubby are fast friends and have been ever since. The dog lived until we had our third baby and then went to Heaven.
    So now we have had 3 more Labs who have come, enriched our lives and “gone to Heaven,” too.
    Two years ago we had two Westies and TWO Labs all at once! (we still have the Westies but….)
    We constantly look at the Colorado Lab Rescue Website and another one will be joining us by Summer!

    Oh…this post was about cake, wasn’t it? And my comment is awfully wordy. Sorry, I just LOVE your Lab’s wonderful expressions and any Lab I meet.
    I want to make that cake soon.

  13. Y says:

    What a delicious looking cake! Good to know Kaweah is doing well by the way.

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  16. Kim says:

    I emailed this recipe to my mom, and she made it right away. She reported that it was one of the most delicious cakes she’s ever made, and she and my dad couldn’t stop eating it! She lives in Arizona and used tangelos instead of oranges, as that is what they have growing in the backyard. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  17. jenyu says:

    sara – it’s addictive (dangerously so!)

    Linda – I love that name, Rowdy. Awesome <3

    megan - I too make the cake in two sittings (mainly because I was so busy with other things that needed to be done). I bake the cake and make the lemon curd on day 1 in the evening. Then in the morning the following day, I make the buttercream frosting and the soaking syrup. Then I assemble it! :)

    Shut Up & Cook - ha!

    debbie - I love citrus over chocolate any day :)

    Jane - wow, you have such a nice dad!

    Katrina - thank you :)

    christine - I will soon! Stay tuned!

    Danielle - info on the chocolates will be forthcoming :)

    Margie - :)

    kelli - I think the most important thing as our dogs age is to ensure their comfort, health, and happiness. I too think of the day when I will no longer have my Kaweah by my side and it always brings me to tears. But let's you and I make sure that we enjoy our pups and that they love their lives every single day until they pass on. No regrets xoxo

    Caterina - that is a fabulous story! Thanks for sharing it :)

    Y - thanks, sweetie! Hope all is well down undah! xo

    Kim - awww!! That is totally awesome :)

  18. Norra says:

    This recipe is fantastic — a real keeper. I brought it to work and it disappeared in about 5 minutes & I could hear people talking in the hallway about how good it was. And I agree, the glaze lifts it from merely yummy to absolutely transcendent. I did substitute 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier for 1 tablespoon of juice in both the glaze & the cake.

  19. megan says:

    thanks for the response! I’m glad to know that I am normalish for not doing the whole thing in one sitting!

  20. Danielle says:

    I just made this (doubled it) to bring somewhere. It was the only item that totally disappeared! It’s a keeper. Thank you!

  21. Kim says:

    This orange pound cake is amazing. I tend to gravitate toward chocolate but I had a bag of oranges that were begging to be used. This was so easy. Anything with a stick and a half of butter has to be good.

  22. Christine says:

    Made it four times, and it was a hit every single time! I substituted some of the butter for oil for a slightly moister cake, and it turned out great.

  23. Pam says:

    What a delicious looking cake! Good to know Kaweah is doing well by the way.

  24. Orange-Rosemary Ice Cream with Cranberry Swirl | 10th Kitchen says:

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  25. gayatri says:

    I tried this cake, with exactly the same measure of ingredients n it was awesum….till date I have not baked such a lovely cake…n I have been admiring my cake everyday till it was over…thank u so much…pls post much more great bread recipes too…n I can’t stop eating just one piece at a time for d flavor n freshness it has….thank u so much

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