This orange pound cake is a modern twist on a traditional recipe, resulting in a bright, zesty citrus flavour with a softer and lighter texture that still maintains the distinct dense, tight crumb of a classic pound cake. This recipe is super easy for bakers of all levels and is also dairy free! This is the perfect cake served alongside tea or coffee for a morning or afternoon treat.
Pound cake is a popular dessert that originated in Northern Europe in the 18th century and was known for its simplicity – a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Today, pound cake has evolved into various flavours and styles, including today’s recipe for orange pound cake.
This orange pound cake is a delightful twist on the traditional pound cake, with a zesty citrus flavour that is perfect for that mid-afternoon sweet craving or treat with a cup of tea. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and happens to be one of my all time favourite cakes.
Modern recipes for pound cake have evolved a bit with the base ingredients remaining the same while the quantities have shifted. The result is still a dense, tight crumb that is distinguishable from a standard butter or vanilla cake, but the end result is softer and lighter than its ancestors. Plus this recipe variation is also made dairy free using a couple of simple ingredient substitutions.
Whether you are an experienced baker or a beginner, this recipe is easy to follow, and the end result is super delicious, you’ll want to make it again and again.
This recipe uses the ingredients you would expect from a traditional pound cake with a few substitutes to make it dairy free.
- Dairy-free butter – adds richness, flavour and helps create the velvety texture of this pound cake. I use Nuttelex as a dairy substitute as I find it yields the best results which is an Australian product, but any good quality vegan butter alternative will work.
- Sugar – white sugar adds sweetness and moisture to the cake.
- Eggs – binds the ingredients together and provides structure helping achieve that dense pound cake texture.
- Vanilla – enhances the flavour.
- Oranges – both the juice and zest are used to give the cake a delicious orange flavour.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
- Baking powder – helps the cake rise and become light and soft.
- Dairy-free milk – I like to use oat milk but any dairy free milk alternative will work.
This orange pound cake is super simple to make, requiring only one bowl. You’ll also need an electric mixer, a spatula and a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
To start, preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line the loaf pan with some oil spray and baking paper.
Prepare by juicing one of the oranges to get around ¼ cup of fresh orange juice, and keep it aside. We’ll use it for both the cake and the glaze later.
Now, in a large bowl, take the dairy-free butter and sugar and cream them together using an electric handheld beater. Keep mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the mixture becomes pale and creamy. Then, add in 2 tablespoons of the fresh orange juice along with the zest from two oranges, and mix it all together.
Sift in the plain flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt directly into the bowl, and slowly start to beat it into the batter. Gradually add the dairy-free milk while mixing until you get a light and creamy batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched. Don’t worry if the cake has a beautiful crack down the middle when it’s done – that’s completely normal!
Once it’s done, take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake is completely cool, make the orange glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and whisk it all together to combine. Ensure there are no lumps of sugar in the mixture.
To make this process a little less messy, place a piece of baking paper under the wire rack to catch any excess glaze, and drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake until it’s fully covered. If you like, sprinkle some more orange zest on top to finish.
To serve, cut the cake into slices.
Yes, this recipe uses substitutes to traditional dairy products meaning it does not contain any dairy products and is suitable for those with a dairy allergy or intolerance.
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and placing it in a freezer-safe bag or container.
I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but if you want to try a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend instead of regular flour it should work fine. Other gluten free flours may not work.
I haven’t tested this recipe with an egg-replacement so I can’t say if it would work or not. As the eggs play an important role in the texture and structure of the cake I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I would recommend using my vegan lemon poppyseed cake and replacing the lemon with orange and omitting the poppyseeds.
More easy cake recipes:
Orange Pound Cake
For the orange pound cake:
- ½ cups dairy-free butter (125gms)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- zest from 2 oranges
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
For the orange glaze:
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with oil spray and baking paper.
- Juice an orange so that you have about ¼ cup of fresh juice and set aside. This is for both the cake and the glaze.
- In a large bowl, add dairy-free butter and sugar and cream together using a handheld electric beater. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until light and creamy. Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice and the orange zest and mix until just combined in the batter.
- Sift directly into the bowl, plain flour, baking powder and salt and slowly start to beat it in to the batter. Add in milk bit by bit as you are combining the dry ingredients until all milk is used and batter is light and creamy.
- Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched. It is perfectly normal for the top to have a beautiful crack down the middle when the cake is done. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10-15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the orange glaze: Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of orange juice and whisk to combine ensuring there are no lumps of sugar. Once cake is completely cool, place a piece of baking paper under the wire rack to catch the excess glaze and drizzle it over the top of the cake until the top is fully covered. Top with a sprinkle of more orange zest if desired. Let icing set and then slice and enjoy!
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.