Orange-Barley Pound Cake

Photo: Jonathan Lovekin
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 50 mins
1 9-inch loaf

Rich, buttery pound cake is always a crowd-pleaser, but this velvety version will have friends and family eyeing another slice. Its secret weapons? Cream cheese for a subtle tang, low-in-gluten barley flour for a delicate crumb, and orange zest, which adds a scrumptious spin on flavor. Martha made this recipe on "Martha Bakes" episode 808.


  • 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup barley flour, such as Arrowhead Mills

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 navel orange

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 teaspoon orange liqueur


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in lower third. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. With a vegetable peeler, peel zest from half of orange into about 5 strips; squeeze and reserve 2 teaspoons juice. Pulse zest strips with granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground.

  2. In another bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth. Add orange-sugar mixture; beat on high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, on medium. Add flour mixture; beat on low until just incorporated. Pour batter into pan; smooth top with a spatula.

  3. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour, 15 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let cool 30 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; let cool completely on rack, about 2 hours.

  4. In a bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, reserved orange juice, and liqueur until smooth. Spread glaze over cake; sprinkle finely grated zest from remaining orange half over top.

Cook's Notes

This loaf will stay fresh for two days at room temperature when covered -- not that it'll last that long.

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