Classic butter pound cake is given a citrusy makeover with orange zest and triple sec liqueur. It’s a wonderful foundation for trifles and petit fours, or simply serve pieces with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
This cake bakes up golden on the outside with the showy hallmark of any good pound cake – that all-important split on top. It comes out of the oven lighter than you’d expect, and it’s only after two days in the refrigerator that the crumb settles into its rightful place. The end result is firm and dense, yet extremely moist! That old saying ‘good things come to those who wait’ rings true with this recipe.
I’ve been so inspired by winter citrus lately, I decided to take advantage of all the beautiful oranges available. One big navel orange will give you all the zest you need for this recipe. I also purchased a big box of mandarins at the market and peeled a few to serve alongside the cake.
I almost forgot how easy mandarins slip away from their peels. Their fragrance is so lovely and I recently read that the peels can be candied which I may try soon!
Although this cake is delicious with all its bright orangey goodness, its flavors can be endlessly varied with your choice of extracts, zests and liqueurs. Or, you can omit the flavorings altogether for a simple butter pound cake.
This is definitely one of the best pound cakes I’ve tasted, and certainly the first one I’ve waited two days to eat after baking! The resting time is important though, so plan accordingly.
Orange Pound Cake
- 9×5 inch loaf pan
- 2 cups 240 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 120 ml whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Triple Sec or any other orange liqueur
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 cup 226 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup 200 grams granulated sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 C). Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with flour-based baking spray (recommend Baker’s Joy).
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; in separate bowl, whisk together milk, liqueur and orange extract.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the butter until light in color. Pour the sugar in a small bowl and rub the zest into the sugar using your fingers until well dispersed. Beat the orange sugar into the butter, and then the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir to combine after each addition, so the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed lightly, or a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: If the cake appears to be browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil for the final 15 minutes of baking.
- Remove cake from oven and loosen the edges with a thin knife if needed. Wait at least 5 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
- The cake is best stored wrapped in plastic for a day or two before serving, or can be wrapped well and frozen for longer storage.
- Serve cake slices with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.