Inspired by Ina Garten, I adapted her Lemon Pound Cake to my Cranberry Orange Poundcake. I also baked the cakes in mini loaf pans. So, instead of 2 regular pound cakes, this recipe makes 8 mini loaves. The mini loaves are great for gifts. Just sayin’
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (this is very important! for a good whip on the butter and sugar it needs to be room temp)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided into 2 cups and 1/2 cup
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (again, they need to be room temp!!)
1/8 cup grated orange zest (2-3 large oranges)
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (do I need to say it again?)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely diced fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 or more mini loaf pans. For the best results you should butter and flour the pans well. Very well! Then line the bottom with parchment paper. Don’t skimp on this step.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar, until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the orange zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix in the finely diced cranberries. Spoon approximately 1/8 of the batter into each of the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. (This step is very important. Inadequate cooling will result in the cakes falling apart when you remove them.) Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the orange syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
I usually ice my pound cakes, but these are intended for Christmas gifts, so they haven’t been iced yet. You can drizzle all of the delicious icing you would like to on the top of yours. Mine have to wait for a few days in the freezer first. Yes, you can freeze them. 🙂
For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (or more as needed)
For the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the orange juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes, some drizzle down the sides is expected.