The Anita Bryant Sunshine Pound Cake: Every Pound Cake I Bake, I Bake It For You

Okay, I might be the only game in town that revisits the humble pound cake on a regular basis.  But, you'll thank me.  Honest.  Soon, all of you I Don't Bake people will be riffing on the basic pound cake and coming up with All Manner of Variations because I refuse to let the subject go.  You're welcome.

So, here's how this most recent pound cake came about.  You guys heard about my lovely Auntie Ev, right?  Well, she passed away last Thursday morning, and The Beloved and I went to Pinehurst to meet her son, clean up the house and deal with Funeral Arrangements and such.  Then, their son Ken came and stayed with us Saturday evening before driving back home to Virginia.

This posed a bit of a problem:  what to feed Cousin Ken.  We had some leftover baked rigatoni-type stuff I had made a couple of days before and also 2 bunches of lovely asparagus, so along with a loaf of Italian bread, that took care of dinner.  But I felt that we needed a dessert to round out the meal.  Plus, desserts are comforting when people are sad, and we were all a little sad.  Not so much for Auntie Ev who really wasn't living any kind of life at the end, but for Uncle Ray who was left behind.  And for ourselves a bit because now everything has changed.  Anyway, I looked in the fridge and in the cabinets to make sure I had enough of the Right Ingredients to make a version of Van Halen Pound Cake.  And guess what?  I did.

Remember the base recipe:

  • 20 oz. sugar
  • 12 oz. butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 13 oz. cake flour
  • 10 oz. dairy/liquid
  • leavening, salt, extracts, zests, etc of your choice

And this is how I changed it up.  I'll tell you what I call it in just a minute.

  • 20 oz. sugar
  • 12 oz. butter
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons of Cointreau (just for fun)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 13 oz. cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (added to balance the acidic sour cream and OJ concentrate)
  • a little more than 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 4 oz. sour cream

I used The Creaming Method, as it is the Preferred Method for mixing pound cake.  I creamed together the butter, sugar, zest, extracts and Cointreau.

I added the eggs one at a time.

I whisked together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

I added them alternately with the OJ concentrate and then the sour cream.

Of course, there was plenty of Bowl Scraping as well.

Once all of your ingredients have been incorporated and the batter is thick and fluffy and smooth, scrape it into a sprayed and floured Bundt pan and bake at 325F until it's done.  In my oven, it took an hour and ten minutes.

This cake is extremely moist and somewhat dense due to the extra sugar in the orange juice concentrate.  You could certainly cut back the granulated sugar to 17-18 ounces to keep things balanced.  The cake will rise a bit higher and have a more even crumb.  The Up Side of keeping the sugar at 20 oz. despite the OJ concentrate is that the cake is very moist and keeps well for at least a week.  That's good news if you're baking for only a couple of folks.  No one likes dry pound cake, and this is certainly not dry.

We loved it.  Ken loved it and took some home to his wife.  His wife Candace loved it, too.  I talked to her on the phone the other day, and she said that her usual prerequisites for Loving a Cake are that 1)it be chocolate and 2)it have frosting.  This cake was Unchocolate and Naked, and she still loved it.  High praise, indeed.

For those of you who have been following along with the Saga of the Van Halen Pound Cake, do you see how I changed things up?  And you can do the same thing.  Play with different seasonings, spices, herbs, fats, dairy, sugar, glazes, etc.  Just stick to the basic Recipe Scaffold (I just made that up), and you'll always end up with an edible cake, even if you don't Love It.  And how can that be wrong?

Besides, you will eventually come up with Your Perfect Pound Cake.  Make sure you write down the ingredients and amounts for all your attempts, and behold, you're creating Original Recipes, and you're not even Colonel Sanders!

Do try this particular cake toasted for breakfast.  After all, it contains eggs, orange juice and dairy.  Sounds like breakfast to me.

Oh, I call this guy the Anita Bryant Sunshine Pound Cake.  I don't agree with her politics, but I will always associate her with orange juice.


  1. says

    It’s wonderful to play with basic recipes! And a pound cake is a great way to do that – so many flavors, so little time. I like that you encourage folks to do that – the world won’t end if you don’t follow the recipe!

  2. Co says

    Being from Florida, many assume I can do anything with oranges/orange juice. I do not think i have ever purchased frozen concentrated OJ but will in order to try this recipe!
    Now the teacher in you will say, oh just use fresh and re-balance/calculate the sugar from the concentrate to fresh – but I will leave the math to you! 🙂

  3. Raffaella says

    Hello Jenny.

    I can’t wait to try the pound cake recipe. I have tried two different recipes and they are both good. One of them has a more intense lemon twist.
    One suggestion regarding the OJ you use in your recipe. What can I use instead since I cannot find it here in stores.

    Thanks always,

    • says

      I generally bake it at 325-350F for about an hour. It can take anywhere from 55 min to an hour and 15 minutes–it just depends on the batter temp when it goes in the oven and your particular oven. I usually check mine at an hour, and then give it another 10 min or so. Sorry I can’t be more precise–not all ovens work the same. Do try the cake, though–it’s yummy!

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