Orange Spice Pound Cake

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The addition of oranges and warm, wintery spices elevates an otherwise ordinary pound cake recipe into something comforting and delicious.

When I saw a cinnamon and orange cake recipe a while back in a magazine, it left me inspired to step out of my comfort zone and experiment with citrus flavours and spices in a cake.

I got stuck in, and after a few failed attempts got this recipe working perfectly. The biggest risk is that it sticks to the bundt tin, so make sure to brush the tin with butter, dust with flour and set in the fridge or freezer while you make the batter.

I initially tried a sour cream pound cake, but it turned out a lot denser than I wanted it to be. I then substituted it with buttermilk, which yields a far lighter crumb. Further, because the orange flavour and spices mask the tang of the buttermilk, it doesn’t impact the overall flavour.

I also played around with sugar ratios and found that using muscavado sugar produced both a gold coloured crumb, and the right level of tenderness for the cake.

The warmth of the spices really gives this recipe appeal during cold, wintery weather – enhanced by the snowy dusting of icing sugar. It’s a simple bake that’ll keep you cozy and happy while it’s stormy outside.

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar.

For the Orange Spice Pound Cake

  • 180g butter, at room temperature
  • 300g muscavado sugar
  • 1 tbs orange zest (around 1 large orange)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 120ml buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tbs vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • 225g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. If using a bundt tin, make sure to brush well with melted butter, then sift flour evenly within the tin, tapping out any excess and set in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help the cake not stick). Alternatively, grease and line a 900g loaf pan or a 20cm round tin.
  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, cloves and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl and combine. Set aside.
  4. Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in a bowl and with an electric mixer or hand beater, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is slightly pale.
  5. With the mixture running on low, start by adding the wet ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients. The wet ingredients will have three additions and the dry ingredients two.
  6. Finally, dissolve the bicarbonate of soda into the apple cider vinegar and stir into the batter. The batter may look a bit split, but will bake up fine.
  7. Bake the cake for roughly 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Dust with icing sugar.

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