Orange Pound Cake

Orange Pound Cake is a from-scratch recipe that's buttery, moist, and bursting with sunny citrus flavor!

Orange Pound Cake Mini Loaves with text overlay.


 

Today I have the perfect recipe for those of you already suffering through enjoying summer temps…as well as for those of you wistfully longing for warmer weather. These Orange Pound Cake mini loaves are bursting with sunshine-y flavor, thanks to fresh squeezed orange juice, gorgeous flecks of orange zest, a soaking of orange-infused simple syrup, and a sweet and orangey glaze.

Don't they just look happy? Take it from me…they taste happy, too.

Orange Pound Cake is moist, it's sweet, and it's full of citrus goodness.

You'll want to make this recipe all summer long, whether it feels like that season has already arrived mid-spring, or whether it feels like it will never get here (y'all hang in there…it will!).

Close-up of glaze drizzled over Orange Pound Cake loaves.

Ingredients

Orange Pound Cake is simple to make from scratch using basic ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. The basics. 😉
  • Buttermilk. If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, it's easy to make your own. Simply pour 2 generous teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup. Then add milk up to the ¾ cup line. Stir and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken and curdle.
  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice + orange zest. You could use store-bought orange juice, but fresh-squeezed is really worth the effort in this recipe! Two large oranges should provide enough juice and zest for this recipe.
  • Pure vanilla extract.
  • Unsalted butter. At room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Eggs. At room temperature.

You'll also need additional orange juice and sugar to make the simple syrup and the glaze!

Orange Pound Cake loaves on serving platter and cutting board.

How to Make Orange Pound Cake

Make the Batter

  1. Preheat the oven, generously grease and flour your chosen pans, and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Measure the buttermilk, orange juice, and vanilla into a measuring cup.
  4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar into the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, as well as the orange zest, and beat thoroughly.
  5. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just blended.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick tests clean.
Orange Pound Cake sliced on a platter.

While the Orange Pound Cake is baking...

Make the Orange Simple Syrup

  1. In a small pot, stir together orange juice and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally stirring, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. When your pound cake(s) are done, cool for 10 minutes in the pan(s) and then turn out onto a wire rack.
  3. Set the rack over a sheet pan or a piece of wax paper or foil. Using a brush or a spoon, soak each cake with simple syrup. Allow to cool completely.

Make the Orange Glaze

  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and a bit of orange juice in a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cake(s) and allow it to set and harden before wrapping the cake/loaves or storing in an airtight container.
Aerial view of Orange Pound Cake mini loaves and fresh oranges.

Reasons to Make Mini Pound Cakes

I like to make mini loaves because it's easy to freeze a couple of them if we're not going to eat them all within a few days.

It's also fun to enjoy a loaf or two ourselves and then give the rest away. After all, these cute cakes make great gifts…who wouldn't enjoy receiving a little loaf of sunshine?! I think they'd be perfect for end-of-school or teacher appreciation gifts coming up in May.

And finally? Mini loaves bake faster...and after enjoying the scent of buttery citrus emanating from the oven, you'll be ready to slice into this yummy cake as soon as the timer goes off!

Close-up of sliced Orange Pound Cake.

Other Pan Options

That being said, you could certainly make this pound cake in larger loaf pans or in a Bundt pan. You'll know your Orange Pound Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

If making this recipe in two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½-inch loaf pans, start checking for doneness starting at about 35-45 minutes.

If using a bundt pan, bake time could take anywhere from 1 to 1 ½ hours...again, be prepared to check frequently!

Whatever pan size you choose to use, just be sure to grease and flour your pan(s) well. I even recommend lining pans with strips of parchment paper to ensure that there’s no sticking.

Close-up of glaze drizzling down a loaf.

Don't these Orange Pound Cake mini loaves just look happy? Take it from me…they taste happy, too. They're moist, they're sweet, they're full of citrus goodness.

You'll want to make this recipe all summer long, whether it feels like that season has already arrived mid-spring, or whether it feels like it will never get here (y'all hang in there…it will!).

Orange Pound Cakes with a slice on serving platter.

The next time you're in a baking sort of mood, I hope you'll keep this Orange Pound Cake recipe in mind. Enjoying a slice of this sunny, citrus-infused pound cake, with its flecks of orange zest and sweet and puckery glaze, is the perfect way to celebrate (or hurry along!) warmer weather!

More Citrus Treats

Orange Pound Cake Mini Loaves ~ moist, buttery, and bursting with sunny citrus flavor! | FiveHeartHome.com

Orange Pound Cake

Buttery, moist Orange Pound Cake is bursting with orange goodness in these citrus-infused mini loaves that taste like sunshine and will have you dreaming of summer!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 servings (4 mini loaves, 2 regular loaves, or 1 Bundt cake)
Calories: 369kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup orange zest

FOR SIMPLE SYRUP:

  • ½ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar

FOR GLAZE (OPTIONAL):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour four 5 ¾" x 3 ¼" x 2" mini loaf pans and lay a strip of parchment paper along the bottom and up the two long sides of each pan, pressing the paper into the corners of the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Measure buttermilk, orange juice, and vanilla into a measuring cup. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until creamy. Blend in sugar and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and orange zest, and beat until well incorporated.
  • With mixer on low, slowly pour in ⅓ of the flour mixture. Mix in half of the buttermilk mixture. Blend in another ⅓ of the flour mixture and remaining buttermilk mixture. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until just blended.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • While loaves bake, prepare orange simple syrup. Stir together ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat while occasionally stirring, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside to cool.
  • When cakes are done, cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. Set rack over a sheet pan or piece of foil, and using a brush or a spoon, soak each cake with simple syrup. Allow to cool completely.
  • For glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cakes and allow to set and harden before wrapping loaves or storing them in an airtight container.

Notes

  • If you don't have buttermilk on hand, make your own by pouring 2 generous teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup, and then adding milk up to the ¾ cup line. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken and curdle.
  • Two large oranges gave me enough juice and zest for this recipe.
  • If making this recipe in two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½-inch loaf pans or one Bundt pan, start checking for doneness at 45 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (after probably no longer than an hour).

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from FoodNetwork.com
Recipe originally posted at Or So She Says on Feburary 18, 2014

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22 Comments

    1. Hi Marlene! I'm sure this recipe would convert to muffins, but you'll just have to closely watch the baking time the first time you try it. I'd start checking for doneness at 15 minutes to be safe! Good luck! 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    Just tried making these and they came out divine! I halved the recipe to make 2 mini loaves, one for tasting and the other for giving away as a gift. I skipped the glaze and just used the simple syrup, absolutely delicious. Thanks for a great recipe! I look forward to making more of these as the orange season is in full swing!

  2. 5 stars
    This orange pound cake made me so happy. I found that slices were extra good toasted up and served with ice cream!

  3. i prepared exactly as recipe called for and used 4 mini loaf pans the size you indicate and so far am at 45 minutes cooking time and they are still not done in the middle. Any suggestions? They smell delicious though!

    1. When a recipe isn't cooked in the middle after the allotted time, I typically just keep baking and checking every few minutes, tenting the top with foil if necessary until it finally tests done with a toothpick. I'm sorry that the timing of these loaves was off for you, but I'm not sure what may have gone wrong without more information? I hope they still turned out okay!

  4. I love Texas; wish i was there right now! I guess I will have to settle for these "sunshiny" mini loaves to warm up my day here in North Dakota. TGFC (Thank God For Coffee) 🙂

    1. I hope it warms up for you in North Dakota soon, Stephani! If it makes you feel any better, your weather will probably be perfectly lovely in a month or so when we're already boiling away at 100+ degrees! 😉 Hope these loaves are a hit if you have a chance to try them...glad you stopped by! 🙂

  5. I agree that citrus smells and tastes like summer! This bright and summery pound cake would brighten the day no matter what the season! The mini size is great for keeping some and gifting the rest. 🙂

  6. YUUUMMM! I love orange desserts! I live at high altitude and have attempted a pound cake with disastrous results. I hope I can figure out how to do this one, looks awesome!

    1. I'm sorry that I can't give you high altitude baking advice, Laura...I hope you're able to figure it out as well! If these end up working for you, I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

  7. This cake sounds great; I loooove orange flavored desserts. It's the only citrus flavor I really like. Great post, definitely going to pin! Thanks Sam, have a great week!

    Deb

    1. Thanks, Deb! I'm a big fan of citrus desserts, too...lemon, lime, orange, I love them all! Thanks for the comment and the pin...hope your week is off to a great start! 🙂

  8. This looks delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I am going to make this gluten-free. I love citrus flavored desserts. Happy Monday!

    1. I'm glad you're going to try this out, Janet! I hope it adapts well to being made gluten-free. You'll have to come back and let us know how it turns out! Happy Monday to you, too! 🙂