Monday, April 8, 2013

Bake: Moist and Delicious Orange Cake

J and I were lucky enough to be treated for dinner, and gifted a bag of fresh off the trees (yes, there really are lots of oranges in the OC!) oranges and tangerines from our friends this past weekend, so I searched the web to find some good orange recipes to thank them. I found some interesting orange cookies and orange cakes - but this recipe one got the most rave and consistent reviews.

This is an incredibly moist and delicious orange cake. It is Ina Garten's (aka Barefoot Contessa) "Orange Pound Cake",  but I did not find it dense or heavy the way I usually think of pound cakes. Her recipe was perfect. The only modification I made was to use a mix of tangerines (more tangy!) and oranges that I had on hand. I also recommend the final icing/glaze as optional.  Be sure to read the recipe carefully as some of the measures (orange juice, sugar) are divided into different steps. 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated orange zest (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
Glaze (optional):
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. 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. (I used PAM spray to make one large, and 3 mini loaves)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 and allow the cakes to cool completely.
  5. To 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 one cake and allow the glaze to dry. Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.


  1. your pictures made me try this cake and what a gem. I used Florida honeybell oranges and the flavor pops, wow. thank you for sharing. I would love to share on myfacebook page.

  2. Thank you for your comment and feel free to share my recipes!

  3. I halved the recipe for just 1 loaf. Just took it out of the oven and smells divine! will let you know how it tastes later