When oranges are in season, you have to make an orange cake! This super-tender cake is packed with bright citrus flavour, thanks to orange zest and freshly squeezed juice in the batter and a sweet orange glaze. It smells like sunshine in your kitchen :).
I usually add either cranberries or chopped cashew nuts. I feel the tartness of cranberries goes perfectly well with the sweet cake.
In India, the Nagpur oranges variety available in the market are sweet but their skin is not thick enough for grating. Hence I use one from the imported Navel oranges variety which is sweet and has the perfect orange skin for zest. I also love my citrus zester – it only zests the orange skin and not the bitter white rind underneath!
Orange Pound Cake
45ml freshly squeezed orange juice
3 large eggs – 150g without shells
150 g cake flour – sifted (you can make your own with 130g all purpose flour and 20g cornflour, sifted 4 times)
150 g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
185 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp fresh orange zest
Orange Glaze (Optional)
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
Orange Syrup (Optional)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1. Prepare an 8×4 inch loaf pan by buttering the sides and putting a parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and keep aside. Coat the cashew nuts with 1 tbsp flour (so that the cashew don’t sink at the bottom of the cake while baking)
4. Using a hand mixer/whisk, cream together butter, sugar & orange zest for about 5-7 minutes until light & fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
6. Add the flour in 3 additions alternating with orange juice. Before the last addition of flour, add the cashew nuts (or cranberries) as well.
7. Pour the batter into the pan and level the batter. Tap the pan on the platform couple of times to remove any large bubbles.
8. Bake the cake for about 55-60 minutes till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
9. If using orange soaking syrup, prepare it while the cake is baking – heat the sugar and juice until sugar dissolves. When the cakes come out of the oven, generously brush the tops with the syrup. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, glazing the tops a few more times while they cool in pans. Remove the cakes from loaf pans and set them on a wire rack set over a baking tray or a piece of aluminium foil to catch drips. Brush the sides and tops of the cakes with the remaining syrup, allowing a couple of minutes between brushings to allow syrup to absorb into the cake until the syrup is gone. Cool the cakes on completely.
11. Prepare the glaze – mix orange juice and icing sugar together. Add more orange juice, a teaspoon or so at a time, as needed to reach a thick but pourable consistency. Drizzle it on top of the cooled cake before slicing and serving.