Wednesday, September 28, 2011

High Ratio Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake

High Ratio Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake - made September 24, 2011 from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri (book #164)

Really moist, really good
(Please enter the baking book giveaway 2 posts below and please vote!  They're in 14th place but need to move up higher before voting ends on Friday, September 30 - thanks!)

Nick Malgieri is another cookbook author whose recipes I can reasonably count on to almost always turn out.  I had the privilege of getting him to sign this cookbook for me when I met him during a baking demo he was doing at Sur La Table some years ago.  I think he does cakes exceptionally well, much like Rose Levy Berenbaum.  This recipe only enforces that.  Although it's now officially fall and the days are getting noticeably shorter, if not always cooler, if you want a last taste of summer, go find the freshest oranges you can and make this cake.  It seems like a standard pound cake but the orange flavor makes it much more than your average butter pound cake and will remind you of summer days gone by.

Brush all of the soaking syrup into the cake in stages: brush, wait a few minutes to let it absorb, brush some more, wait a bit, and so on.  It took me more than half an hour to use up all of the syrup.  Sometimes I get lazy or feel like I've used enough syrup and I don't want the cake to get too moist or soaked.  But this worked out pretty well to use up all of the soaking syrup because it really flavored the cake well.  The cake was moist but not overly so or and it wasn't gummy.  Make sure to bake it properly (toothpick should come out just barely clean) and don't underbake it or else it will be too gummy, especially after you use the soaking syrup.  This is actually the type of cake that tastes better the day after you make it because the flavors have had time to mellow and really settle into the cake.  Another good picnic cake or a good candidate to include in a care package.

2 ½ cups bleached all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoons strained fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange extract

Orange Syrup
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice, strained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

One 12-cup Bundt pan, buttered and floured

1.    Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325˚F.
2.    Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on the lowest speed for about 2 minutes, or until the ingredients are well combined.
3.   Meanwhile, whisk all the remaining batter ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined.
4.   Increase the mixer speed to medium and add one-third of the liquid, and mix for 2 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater.  Add another third of the liquid, beat for 2 minutes, and scrape again.  Finally, add the remaining liquid and beat and scrape as before.
5.   Use a large rubber spatula to give the batter a final vigorous stir, then scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
6.   Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake halfway between the side of the pan and the central tube emerges clean.
7.   Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto the rack to finish cooling.
8.   To make the syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from the heat and stir in the orange juice, lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Brush the hot syrup evenly all over the cake.  Gradually brush until it is all absorbed.


  1. Sounds really delicious.
    I re-voted for the Trey's Field of Dreams. I hope the family get the grant.

  2. This cake looks perfect, another winner I'm sure.