Ina's Orange Pound Cake

I am a Food Network Junkie. It is on the TV in my house 90% of the time, I owe part of my passion for food and cooking to that channel. Since deciding to stay home and raise kids, it's all I watched and what I did not learn about cooking from my mother I picked up from that channel.  One of my all time favorite cooks on there is Ina Garten. AKA The Barefoot Contessa.  I L O V E her. I want to spend a few weeks hanging out with her and Jeffrey, I want to sit with them and eat Jeffrey's favorite Friday night roast chicken while sippin Martini's, we can play bridge afterwards with her lovely friends. And for dessert we could have her coconut cupcakes or macaroons and sip hot chocolate...doesn't that sound wonderful? A little scary maybe? Like a bit stalkerish? Okay I really am not a stalker (not) but I do love her and I have all of her cookbooks. Everything I have made of hers is AMAZING! Today I want to share her Orange Pound Cake recipe, not only is it delicious, but the recipe makes not one but TWO cakes, you can freeze one for another day or give it to a friend or neighbor or eat them both we usually do :) Make this, you will love it.

2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup grated orange zest (6 oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Glaze (optional)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2 inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the orange zest.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the orange juice, the buttermilk, and the vanilla. Add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour, Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

While the cakes bake, cook the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, let them cool 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans and place them on a baking rack set over a tray. Spoon the orange syrup over the cakes and allow them to cool completely.

To glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice in a bowl mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Add a few more drops of juice, if necessary, to make it pour easily. Pour over the top of cakes and allow glaze to dry. Wrap well, store in frig.

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