Orange, Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Pound Cake

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In these last days of winter, it can be hard to find inspiration for new recipes – I’m tired of starchy winter vegetables, and it seems like there’s nothing in season. It’s times like these when I like to turn to citrus. Navel oranges are at the peak of their season and offer a refreshingly bright note amid winter’s heavier flavors. While this orange pound cake can be enjoyed any time of the year, I especially love the reminder that nicer weather is around the corner.

This rich cake was inspired by one of my favorite breakfasts – Greek God’s Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Orange yogurt. I love the way the spicy, musky notes of the cinnamon and vanilla balance out the tangy citrus, and thought they would be a good way to jazz up my standard pound cake recipe. I really loved the way this came out — the sugars from the fresh orange juice caramelized and created a delicate “crust” around the cake, which is dense and tender.

This cake is perfect straight out of the pan but for an extra-special treat, try lightly toasting it under the broiler or in a hot pan.

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Kitchen Tip: Ever wonder how bakeries get their loaf cakes to crack in a perfectly straight line across the top, rather than in a haphazard mess? Simply use the edge of a knife to draw a line of melted butter across the top of the cake before you put it in the oven — like magic, the crack will form right where the line was drawn. When tasting for doneness, do not insert your tester into the crack — since no crust forms here, the cake will be moister and may lead you to think that the cake isn’t ready. Instead, insert your test about an inch to one side or the other.

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Orange, Vanilla Bean & Cinnamon Pound Cake

  • 1 stick Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Navel Oranges, Zested and Juiced
  • 1 container (6 oz) plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Vanilla Bean

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a mixer to cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs and zest.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a third bowl, combine the orange juice and yogurt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix gently — just enough to combine without over-mixing. Add the wet ingredients and stir gently. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients. (The batter should be thick and wet, like in the photo above.)

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Yields 16 servings.
Approx. 165 calories, 6 gram fat, 26 gram carbohydrate, 2 grams protein

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Comments

  1. I love the texture yogurt gives to cake and I love Navel oranges. Hmm, I have a feeling I will like this cake.

  2. RavieNomNoms says:

    That seriously sounds like one amazing pound cake!

  3. Saw this on foodgawker and had to stop by. What an amazing flavour combination. It sounds truly delicious.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. do stop by and enter my $80 Amazon giveaway :)

  4. What an amazing flavor combination – bookmarking this recipe!

  5. Delicious! i’ve been obsessed with pound cakes, lately, so I’m always looking for more flavors to try :)

  6. awesome tip about the line!!! mine usually just crack where ever it feels like it.
    and great flavors! yumm!

  7. That sounds like a fantastic combination of flavours, as much as I like bright, zingy citrus flavours on their own I really do love the idea of bringing in a little bit of a spicy touch. I’ve heard a version of the butter trick before which suggested piping a thin line of butter down the centre which always seemed like a bit too much faffing about for me, but just using a knife to draw melted butter down the cake seems like a much easier way to achieve the same effect so thanks for the tip!

  8. Citrus definitely makes my world go round in the winter, especially grapefruits! I do love a good orange-y dessert and this pound cake sounds just wonderful! Especially with only ONE STICK of butter! Score.

  9. Thanks for the tip on how to get such a neat-looking loaf. The flavor combination sounds incredible!

  10. This looks great! Thanks for the tip on how to check for doneness. I always insert my toothpick in the crack so that I don’t poke a hole in the pretty crust.

  11. Oh yum! I can’t wait to try this. I’d love for you to submit this recipe to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  12. Lauren this look specially yummy! gloria

  13. What an absolutely gorgeous cake and wonderful flavours. And what a great tip about the top of the cake! Must try that!

  14. Love the idea of anything cinnamon in a cake. It’s a wonderful thing to add in recipes and I hear it helps burn more calories too:) I can’t believe one slice of this pound cake has only 6 grams of fat. This is a great recipe to add to my recipe book.Thank you!

  15. Oh yum! I love the line at the top of the cake (and your tip of course!). My fave part about this post is that I have every single ingredient right now in my kitchen!

  16. Oh, I can’t wait to try this! I’ve added it to my meal plan for the week! Thanks so much! I just found your blog recently and I love it! I’m your newest fan and I gave you a shout-out on my site as well. I can’t wait to see what recipes you’ll showcase next!

    Thanks!
    Mandy

    http://www.learn-laugh-cook.blogspot.com

  17. I made this yesterday to bring to a friends house and everyone loved it. It was easy to make also.

  18. I made this cake this weekend and it was delicious. Kids and adults both liked the cake. Thanks.

  19. Kim at Quit Eating Out says:

    Love your site and reading through your recipes! I’m your newest FB, Twitter and Google follower. :-)

  20. This sounds absolutely divine! Wanted to try it right away but am out of yoghurt. Will try it out tommorrow. Already shared your recipe on my FB page Gracecakes N Pastries. Will give you feeback as soon as d cake is cooled n tasted:)

  21. Oh, be still my heart.
    I can’t go through the rest of your blog any more, you’re killing me. I wonder if I can sneak in a small slice of this into my diet :-S

  22. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts says:

    Lauren,

    Thanks for giving me the link to include in my upcoming Band Fruit Fundraiser Recipe Round Up! It will be published on 12/4/2013!

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