Thursday, March 1, 2018

In Grim Times, BAKE! by Rolynn Anderson

When the world goes haywire, I head to the kitchen and figure out what I can bake. I may not be able to design/push legislation ridding the U.S. of automatic weapons; I could be stumped how to fix a scene my editor hates…but I can follow a recipe.  The steps are simple, the process logical, the smells delightful, and the result is tangible.  Most things I make are ready to eat in an hour.  The product instantly makes my husband, guests and myself happy; I am a heroine in my own home.

We have a series of house guests showing up the next two weeks, so I have a good excuse to bake. Since my orange tree is full of fruit, I’ve juiced some for orange juice and baked four loaves of orange pound cake. This cake recipe is a keeper.  A slice of it, slightly warmed along with some ice cream or whipped cream…scrumptious!

So here you go, friends, an easy way to show people you’ve finished something…and in these grim times, a way to make them smile. Barefoot Contessa’s Orange Pound Cake.  Lots of orange zest and juice, four eggs, and buttermilk make this cake especially good.  I like the orange juice syrup drizzled over the still-warm top, as well. Makes two loaves…freezes nicely.
 1hr 5mins
 2 loaves


·       12lb  unsalted butter, at room temperature
·       2 12cups  granulated sugar, divided
·       4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
·       13cup grated orange zest (6 oranges)
·       3 cups  all-purpose flour
·       12teaspoon  baking powder
·       12teaspoon  baking soda
·       1 teaspoon  kosher salt
·       34cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
·       34cup  buttermilk, at room temperature
·       1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.
  3. Cream butter and 2 cups of sugar in a bowl.
  4. Mix in eggs, one at a time; add zest.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  6. In another bowl mix 1/4 cup orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
  7. Add flour and buttermilk mixture aternately to the batter, beginning and ending with flour.
  8. Divide between 2 pans and smooth the tops.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes.
  11. Make syrup while cake is baking.
  12. Syrup consists of remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice.
  13. Cook these two together over low heat till the sugar is desolved.
  14. Spoon over cakes and then allow them to cool completely.
Do you have a comfort food you like to cook or bake to soothe yourself and your family? Here's some comfort reading to go with your orange cake!

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Leah St. James said...

OH YUM, Rolynn! I can almost smell it baking! :-) Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your guests!

Brenda Whiteside said...

This sounds yummy. Love pound cake. I'm not a baker. I used to make pies when I lived in MN. I did enjoy that. For some reason I don't get the urge anymore. I rarely cook and am lucky I have a husband that enjoys cooking. On chilly days, I do make myself squash or tomato soup from scratch. That's the extent of my comfort food.

Jannine Gallant said...

Sounds yummy! I don't bake a lot. I enjoy cooking (usually), but I've never been much of a baker except for cookies. Since the girls are now in college, I've quit doing that. I don't need the temptation or the calories!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Leah, scoping 1/3 cup of orange zest makes the whole house smell good...the baking of the cake...more great smells. Sampling the batter? Oh boy! Our first batch of guests enjoyed the pound cake.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Jannine, I don't bake as much, either, because of the calories. Still, I can't deny myself the pleasure of baking, especially when I'm editing a book. From chaos to a straightforward for the soul!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Now, making pies takes a bit more finesse than whipping up a pound cake. My sister, a former home ec teacher, found the 'perfect' pie crust recipe after 70 some years of searching. What does that tell you about the trickiness of pie-making. What was your favorite pie, Brenda? I do like apple...or peanut butter...or fresh strawberry or...

Brenda Whiteside said...

My pie crusts were troublesome until a friend told me to use the simple or maybe it was basic recipe in The Joy of Cooking and to get a dough cutter. Problem solved. I made great crusts. I always did fruit pies.

Vonnie Davis said...

As you were baking, I bet your husband followed you around with his chin on your shoulder. "Is it done yet?"

Alison Henderson said...

Now I have to go out and count the ripe oranges on my deck. I don't think I have enough for this fabulous-looking recipe because I only have one small dwarf tree, but I do have plenty of lemons and everything I need to bake OG's favorite Meyer Lemon Pie! One of the real treats about moving to California has been ripe citrus in the middle of winter.

Angela Adams said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, I've noticed that my husband, who washes the dishes, leaves the ice cream scoop out in hopes I'll use it to give him ice cream with evening coffee. Men have a second sense about ice cream and pie/cake. If it's in the house, they know it...crave it!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alison, I do have lime trees...the tiny kind...wish I had a big lemon tree! Your pie sounds like a winner! Bake away!

Rolynn Anderson said...

You're welcome, Angela...and I thank the Barefoot Contessa, as well!

Andrea Downing said...

Sounds and looks yummy --I'm on my way! :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Andi, I so wish we could all talk over lemon cake and coffee (or wine). We might be able to solve major world problems more quickly that way!

Diane Burton said...

Yummy. I'll bet your house smells wonderful when you're baking. I rarely cook, although Hubs and I do take turns making dinner--or we go out. Enjoy your guests. I'm sure they'll enjoy your pound cake.