I thought that I would make a lighter dessert this week, and the Barefoot Contessa’s pound cake seemed perfect. Once I told my husband that I was going to make it for our dinner group, he was so excited and looked forward to it for a few days before I got to making it. This was a pretty easy cake to put together, and it was definitely a lot lighter than the other pound cakes I’ve made. It was incredibly light and moist, and a lot of this was due to the orange syrup that you pour over it ten minutes after it comes out of the oven. This also added a lot of flavor to it. The orange glaze was also a delicious addition. Everyone who tried the cake really enjoyed it. David had three pieces that day :) Ina also has a recipe for an Orange Raspberry Trifle that uses the cake and I think that would be really good as well. This recipe makes two pound cakes, but can easily be halved so you can just make one.
Orange Pound Cake
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated orange zest (6 oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
TO GLAZE ONE LOAF (OPTIONAL)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ – inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
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.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine ¼ 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 an hour (mine took 55 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean.
While the cakes bake, cook the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar with the remaining ½ 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.
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.
YIELD: 2 loaves
Source: Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Family Style