Orange Pound Cake

Orange Pound Cake with fresh berries
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This is so much more than a cake for me

I’m part of pretty close knit family. We’re scattered all over the world, but we make it a point to convene in our hometown, Lahore, every year. It was during these times that my Nani (Maternal Grandmother) would beam with pride as she cooked and baked her days away doing what she loved most. Feeding her family. This cake is something we all grew up eating and was a regular with our afternoon tea. It never occurred to me to get a detailed recipe from my grandmother, and after she passed away I tried for years to get it right. My time at Pastry school helped me crack her recipe.

This isn’t your normal pound cake

Pound cake uses butter as the fat, like this cream cheese pound cake by Sally’s Baking Addiction. My version is based off of my grandmother’s recipe, and she always used fresh cream, skimmed off of fresh milk, in her cakes. When I was trying to crack her recipe, the biggest obstacle was getting the crumb right. I remembered watching her baking this cake once, using a tea cup as her measuring tool. She filled the cup with the fresh cream skimmed off the milk that morning, then filled the rest of the cup with oil. She did that on days when there wasn’t enough cream. I added some oil to my next batch and it came out just like her cake, and I was very happy to say the least. It’s different from a pound cake in that it used two fats, but it tastes great.

How to add flavor to your orange pound cake

How many times have you baked a cake and added the vanilla at the end? That’s what I always did. But when I was in pastry school I learned that you should add the flavor to your fats, and it makes sense. Adding the orange juice and zest into the butter and oil helps intensify the orange flavor in this pound cake. A great way to introduce some texture is by adding a layer of blanched almond halves to the top of your cake before baking it. This is something found in many bakeries across Pakistan. The almonds bake into the batter and add a delicious crunch to every bite of cake.

Orange Pound Cake with fresh berries

Orange Pound Cake

This Orange Pound cake is lighter than classic pound cakes and has a great flavor from the orange zest. This is a great cake to serve with your afternoon tea!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8


  • Oven
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
  • 2 6-inch cake tins


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup oil flavorless
  • 1 orange juiced and zested
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups flour all purpose
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds optional


  • Preheat your oven to 360 F.
  • Add the butter, oil, sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat using your paddle attachment until smooth. Mix in the orange juice. Add the eggs, one at a time. Only add the next egg once the first one is mixed in.
  • Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix just until combined. Add the milk at the end to help get a smooth consistency.
  • Line your baking tins with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray or brush with butter. Divide the cake batter into the two cake tins. Tap lightly on your counter to even out the batter.
  • For the Almonds: If you want to add the optional almond halves, place them in a circular pattern until the top is covered. Don't puch them in, just lightly place them on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 12-15 minutes before removing the cake from the tins.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Variations. If you want to skip the oil you can use all butter instead of half oil half butter. I sometimes use a lemon instead of oranges. I imagine a mixture of lemon and lime zest would taste wonderful. 
Cake tins. I usually make this using two 6 inch cake tins because that’s how my Grandmother made it, but you can use a bundt pan, a loaf pan or a 9 inch cake tin. Adjust the baking time accordingly. It should take 45-55 minutes to bake one large cake, depending not he shape you choose. A 9 inch round cake takes 50-55 minutes to bake. 
Over mixing. If you are using a hand mixer make sure you don’t overman the batter. Mix the flour in until just combined. Over mixing the batter will result in a dense cake.  
Keyword Butter Cake, Orange, Orange Pound Cake, Pound Cake

Have you tried this recipe?

I love hearing your feedback! If you tried this recipe I would love to hear how the oil addition worked out for you in the comments below!

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That is a very interesting recipe! This summer i am definitely going to try making this cake. It looks very pretty as well due to the orange tint.
My mom gets super excited if i try out new recipes from the internet. 🙂 Thnx for sharing !


I’m so glad you like this recipe, I hope you and your mom enjoy baking it!


This looks and sounds amazing. I am gona try in tomorrow inshallah.
Also, quick question : can i use malai like ur nani used to instead of butter??


Awesome, can
t wait to hear how you like it! Yes you definitely can, just replace the 1/2 cup butter with the fresh malai!

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