Our family has always loved a good quick bread. When we were growing up we often came downstairs to the smell of a fresh coffee cake, a streusel cake filled with bursting blueberries, pumpkin bread in the fall, or zucchini bread practically straight from our garden. They were always the perfect breakfast, and also great to snack on throughout the day.
As for pound cake, there is no better way to brighten it up and make it a little more breakfast-y than by adding fresh squeezed orange juice and zest. This not only lightens it up a little, but also is the perfect use for some in-season citrus you may have on hand.
You'll start by beating the butter until creamy, and then adding the sugar, which ensures this loaf cake will be nice and high. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after beating the butter, and then again after beating in the sugar. You want to make sure everything is combined and nice and fluffy.
To keep this take on a pound cake perfectly dense, dare we say *moist*, high enough, and a bit spongey, I truly think the egg ratio is key! This recipe contains 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, which I found to be the ideal liquid and structure ratio. Once the eggs are added, you'll want to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated, and then briefly mix on high again. Warning here, things make look a tad wonky at this point due to the eggs, but I always remind myself to trust the process!
The remaining additions to this loaf cake are my favorite, because they add the orange aspect as well as round out what makes this loaf also pound cake-esque. You'll just need to grab:
In this roundup, of course the orange juice is essential for an orange loaf cake. The vanilla is your classic baking addition, as well as the flour for the pound cake. I always love adding a sprinkle of salt to round out a baked good, and you don't have to be super exact here. My absolute favorite addition here is the orange zest, which I think is 100% essential for making sure the orange flavor doesn't get lost.
Baking this pound cake is super easy. I used to be intimidated by baking loaf cakes, mainly because I watched a few of them brown too much on the top while the inside was still cooking through, which was obviously less than ideal, but so avoidable I later realized!
With this recipe, you'll pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (buttered and lightly floured) then smooth the top with a spatula. Once smoothed out, you'll transfer this to the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Fear not! You may not see much action in the first part of baking this pound cake but I promise it will eventually *puff*. The key part of this recipe is to tent it with foil after 30 minutes, and continuing baking it for 25-30 minutes until the inside is cooked through.
While this pound cake is baking, it's time to make world's simplest glaze which truly makes this cake extra incredibly delicious. Let me just give you a mental image - the perfectly thick enough powdered sugar glaze seeping into the top layer of a zesty orange, dense, and buttery loaf cake. I don't know about you but my mouth is truly watering. You'll just need to grab:
Add these 2 ingredients to a bowl and whisk them up with a small whisk, spoon, or fork. I know the milk ratio may seem small, but it really doesn't take much to create a perfect glaze that isn't too runny.
Once the loaf cake is finished baking, remove it from the oven and place it (still in the pan) on a wire rack to cool. I know it's so hard, but I once made a pound cake, decided it would be fine to immediately remove it from the pan, and was heartbroken when it fell apart. So repeat after me, let it cool before removing it from the pan! It doesn't need to be completely cool, but you don't want it to be hot. After about 20 minutes, run a knife along the edges, tilt it upside down, and the cake should pop right out!
Once it's completely cooled, pour on that glaze, and immediately add some additional fresh orange zest. You can add as much as you like, but I think it looks so pretty and ensures the perfect amount of orange flavor in each bite if you use a heavy hand with that zest.
This orange loaf cake is so easy, so delicious, and the perfect balance of zesty and sweet. Grab some oranges and make this quick bread to have for breakfast all week!
When sweet, dense pound cake meets zesty, bright oranges, it's the perfect end to citrus season in this orange loaf cake.
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