Fresh oranges were once an expensive treat in the mountains and other parts of the rural South, reserved for Christmas and other special occasions. Today they’re so commonplace we often take them for granted. Yet they can still add color, flavor, aroma, and an exotic nostalgia to the dessert table, as this simple pound cake illustrates. Made with The Old Mill Self-Rising Flour, it’s no-fuss baking at its finest, for the holidays or any time of year.
- Solid vegetable shortening and flour for greasing the pan
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 large orange
- Up to 1 cup carton orange juice
- 3 cups sifted Self-Rising Flour
- 1 Teaspoon of Orange Zest
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon reserved orange zest
- Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan with solid vegetable shortening and flour, and set aside.
- Separate your eggs. Set the egg yolks aside and in a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until soft. While the mixer is running, gradually add the sugar, and beat until the mixture is creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture, one at a time, and beat on medium-low until well combined before adding the next yolk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
- Zest the orange, and add 1 teaspoon of the zest to the butter and sugar mixture. Reserve 1/2 teaspoon or more zest for the glaze. Cut the orange in half, and juice the orange into a measuring cup. Add enough more carton orange juice to measure 1 cup. Alternatively add the sifted flour and orange juice to the mixing bowl, beating on low speed until combined and smooth, 1 minute. Set aside.
- With clean beaters, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the beaten whites on top of the batter, and with the rubber spatula, fold the whites into the batter until the batter is smooth. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pan in the oven.
- Bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and place the pan on a wire rack to cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Place the sifted confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in the orange juice and zest until smooth. Set aside.
- Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan. Give the pan a good shake to loosen it, then invert it once and then again so that it rests right-side up on the rack. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a long wooden skewer or chopstick. Carefully spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it soak into the cake before adding more. Let the cake rest 1 hour, then slice and serve.