The egg yolks made me do it. Do you ever have an ingredient you feel compelled to use, and end up building an entire recipe around the singular ingredient? That’s how I came about this recipe for an Orange Spiced Pound Cake. I had 6 egg yolks sitting forlornly in my refrigerator, cast aside when I needed just as many egg whites to create a salt crust for a whole-baked salmon. I couldn’t throw them away, so I decided to make a pound cake. It was a bit of an experiment, because normally I use 3 whole eggs in a pound cake, and this time I substituted 6 yolks instead.
Anticipating a yellow-tinged cake enhanced by the yolks, I decided to run with it. Instead of my go-to lemon, I added orange juice and zest which would be visually asserted by the rich cake color. Since oranges are sweeter and rounder than puckery lemons, I added a teaspoon of coriander to ground the orange flavor. The result was a softly sweet and light cake, redolent of orange with a faint hint of earthy spice. Best of all? It had a rich and beautiful color.
Orange Spiced Pound Cake
Makes one loaf
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Butter a cake or loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment and butter parchment. Dust with flour.
Combine sugar and butter in bowl of electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl until thick and lightened. Whisk into the sugar and butter.
Combine buttermilk, orange juice and vanilla in a small bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, coriander and salt together in another bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour to the eggs, mixing well to combine. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, and continue to alternate, finishing with the flour. Mix in the orange zest. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden and a skewer inserted in center comes clean, about 1 hour. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely. (The flavors will develop as the cake cools.)