The best Orange Pound Cake I’ve ever had. Zesty orange cake soaked in a simple orange syrup and drizzled with a sweet orange glaze. It has a crisp crust, a buttery crumb and is bursting with orange flavour.
Buttery cake bursting with sunny-sweet orange ☀️
Just when you thought Orange Pound Cake couldn’t get any better, we soaked it in a sugary orange syrup and drizzled it with an orange glaze.
This cake is truly moreish, with a crisp crust and a soft and tender crumb. With real orange zest and juice, this cake is fresh and summery. And yes I know it’s winter, but it’s summer somewhere right?!
why you will love this recipe
- You only need everyday ingredients
- It’s wonderfully buttery and moist
- It’s bursting with real orange flavour
- Keeps moist for days
Quite possibly my new favourite thing, this Orange Pound Cake was somewhat of an (happy) accident. It all began when I wanted to make an orange drizzle cake. I was picturing a zesty orange cake soaked in an orange syrup.
But through my research, I realised I was perhaps thinking of an orange syrup cake. Some drizzle cakes just have a glaze icing, whereas others have a soaking syrup and a drizzle. So what exactly did I want this cake to be?
All I knew was I wanted a very buttery cake that was undeniably orange. So in the end, I decided to call this an Orange Pound Cake – which it most definitely is – but it’s also an orange syrup cake and an orange drizzle cake too 😆
I took my favourite Vanilla Pound Cake recipe – you remember the one I lovingly made nine times – and transformed it into an Orange Cake. Removing the vanilla and adding the zest of three (yes three) large oranges.
While the cake is still warm, I soaked it in a sugary syrup that’s made from fresh orange juice and caster sugar. The juice soaks into the cake crumb making it even more moist and orange-y, while the sugar sits on the top resulting in an extra crisp crust.
I experimented with the amount of juice – too much and the cake was a little wet, too little and the orange flavour didn’t shine. I also tried heating the syrup to dissolve the sugar, but found I much preferred it straight, so the sugar settled on the crust.
The final touch is a two-ingredient drizzle once the cake is completely cooled. It’s optional and more for looks, if nothing else. All-in-all, this Orange Pound Cake is a buttery, zingy, sweet showstopper.
what you will need
Perhaps the best part of this cake is that you only need a handful of everyday ingredients to make it. If you’ve got a bowlful of oranges sitting on your kitchen bench, you’re halfway there.
- Unsalted butter
- Caster sugar: Or granulated sugar.
- Orange zest and juice: Fresh is best.
- Plain flour: Or all purpose flour.
- Baking powder
- Milk: Full fat or whole milk is best.
- Icing sugar: Or powdered sugar.
how to make Orange Pound Cake
Despite having three elements – the cake, the syrup and the drizzle – this cake isn’t particularly tricky to make. Here’s a snapshot of how to make it. The full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer, until it’s pale, creamy and almost a little fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest and milk and mix until combined. Batter will be thick and creamy.
- Bake Pound Cake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- While cake is still warm, pour over orange syrup. Leave to cool completely.
- Drizzle cake with orange glaze.
tips for perfect pound cake
- Ensure your butter and eggs are at room temperature: This will help them combine more easily and prevent your batter from curdling.
- Weigh your ingredients using a baking scale: It’s very easy to add too much flour when using cup measurements. A little extra flour could result in a dry Pound Cake with a tough crumb. No thank you!
- Cream your butter and sugar correctly: Mixing together your butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until the butter turns pale, light and fluffy will result in a soft and tender cake. If your butter is soft to begin with, it won’t take long – just a few minutes on medium speed.
- Don’t over-mix your cake batter: Once your cake batter is combined, stop mixing. If you over-mix, your cake may be tough or dry.
- Try not to under or over-bake your cake: Because Pound Cake batter is dense and thick, it has a long bake time. Make sure you check it’s ready by inserting a skewer into the middle. I recommend checking in a few places to ensure the cake is completely cooked. If it starts to get too brown at the hour mark, loosely cover the top with aluminium foil.
frequently asked questions
Pound Cakes do generally crack – it’s normal don’t worry! The cake batter is very thick and dense, so it takes a long time to bake. The top of the cake cooks first, causing the remaining batter to rise up and burst through the crust as it bakes. It’s the perfect place to drizzle your syrup.
Yes! Simply swap the orange zest and juice for lemon – delish!
No, without them, you’ll still have a wonderful Orange Pound Cake. If you just want to add one, I highly recommend trying the orange syrup – it really does take this cake to a whole new level. The glaze or drizzle is more for looks and can definitely be skipped.
Pound Cake is best eaten on the day it’s made, however it will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze it to maintain maximum freshness.
more cakes to love
Buttery Orange Pound Cake soaked in orange syrup and decorated with a sweet orange drizzle.
Orange pound cake
- 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Zest of 3 large oranges
- 280 grams (2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat or whole milk, room temperature
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 70 grams (1/3 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
Orange drizzle (optional)
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 2–3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- Orange Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 170 C (340 F) standard / 150 C (300 F) fan-forced. Grease and line a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined and then turn speed up to medium and beat for a further 1-2 minutes or until butter turns pale, creamy and almost fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly to combine – don’t worry if the mixture goes a little bit lumpy at this stage – then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add orange zest.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Mix on a low speed until cake batter is smooth and creamy (but try not to over mix). It will be very thick.
- Pour cake batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If your cake is very brown after 50-60 minutes, loosely cover the top with aluminium foil.
- Place cake (still in pan) on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
- Orange syrup
Mix together orange juice and sugar. Spoon orange syrup over warm cake while it is still in the pan. The syrup will soak into the cake, especially the cracks, and the sugar will settle on the crust.
- Use the parchment or baking paper to carefully remove cake from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Orange drizzle
Mix together icing sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over cooled cake. Cut into slices and serve.
Butter: Creaming your butter and sugar correctly will result in a soft, buttery cake. You need to mix together your butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until the butter turns pale, light and fluffy. If your butter is soft to begin with, it won’t take long – just a few minutes on medium speed.
Syrup: You don’t have to add the syrup and the drizzle. Without them, you’ll still have a wonderful Orange Pound Cake. If you just want to add one, I highly recommend trying the orange syrup – it really does take this cake to a whole new level. The glaze or drizzle is more for looks and can definitely be skipped.
Cracking: Pound Cakes do generally crack – it’s normal don’t worry! The cake batter is very thick and dense, so it takes a long time to bake. The top of the cake cooks first, causing the remaining batter to rise up and burst through the crust as it bakes. It’s the perfect place to drizzle your syrup.
Storage: This cake is best eaten on the day it’s made, however it will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze it to maintain maximum freshness.
Lemon: You can easily make this a Lemon Pound Cake recipe by swapping the orange zest and juice for lemon.