Desserts, Southern

Orange pound cake with orange glaze

Pound cake. Yum. What self-respecting Southerner doesn’t love it? My sweet mom makes one for me and my crew every time we head to Georgia to see her. I like to pretend it’s just for me, but it’s really for my husband John. Spoiled son-in-law. We eat it as a late night snack as soon as we arrive, weary after an 8-hour drive that should have only taken 7. We eat it for dessert. We toast thick slices for breakfast (and sometimes add more butter on top). We saw off thin slivers each time we walk by the lucite cake plate to “even it out.” It’s long gone before the weekend is over.

There are a million formulas out there for pound cake — as many as there are for gumbo and fried chicken. Some involve sour cream, some call for separating the eggs. Some, like my friend Teresa’s, get a zip of flavor from cola. She updated it recently with the addition of satsuma flavored Swamp Pop, a local cane sugar soda. My recipe is a straightforward, reliable one that originally came from Southern Living. I’ve been using it for years. It’s a great one for turning young people on to baking.

Here, I’ve modified it with orange – helpful for when I have too many fresh oranges still hanging from my trees. Like now. But if you don’t feel like fiddling with oranges, just eliminate the zest and orange glaze.


1 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

8 oz. sour cream

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

they’ve lost their zest….Zest&Oranges


Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at lowest speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in zest and extracts.

Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack with paper towel underneath for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour orange glaze (recipe follows) slowly over the top, allowing it to drip down sides.  Let cool completely on a rack then transfer to a plate for serving.

Orange Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed

Add sugar to medium bowl. Pour in juice and whisk until smooth.


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