2 ratings

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake With Orange Bitters Glaze

Cake with Old-Fashioned flavors
Old-Fashioned Pound Cake With Orange Bitters Glaze
Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

If you love pound cakes, you're going to love it even more with booze inside of it. This recipe has bourbon and liqueur soaked cherries mixed into the batter, then an orange-flavored glaze covering it.

This recipe is by Stacey Ballis and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
1 h 30 m
25 m
(prepare time)
1 h 5 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the cake

  • 12 Ounces unsalted European style butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 Cups light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 6 Ounces orange juice
  • 4 Ounces bourbon
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2-1 Cup Luxardo cherries, rinsed of their syrup, halved and tossed in 1 tablespoon flour

For the glaze

  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2-2 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange bitters
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt


For the cake

Heat the oven to 350.

Beat the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with your hand mixer, until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well mixed after each addition.

Add the juice, bourbon and vanilla; blend into the batter.

It will look horrible and curdled and you will despair that something has gone wrong, but it has not.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients to blend and break up any clumps; add to the wet ingredients and mix well, watching your curdled mess become a velvety smooth batter.

Fold in the cherries gently to mix through.

Line a large loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or spray a nonstick bundt pan with cooking spray.

Add the batter, smoothing the top.

Bake until the top has risen and cracked a bit and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, 75-90 minutes.

This is a dense cake and no one’s oven is the same.

You want a deeply cracked, well-browned top crust, and the skewer must come out clean or the cake will be doughy and taste of raw flour.

If you find after 60 minutes that it seems very raw and liquid still, turn up your heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and test at 75 minutes and again every 10 minutes until done.

For the glaze

While the cake is baking, mix the orange zest with 2 cups powdered sugar.

 Stir in bitters, juice and salt until combined.

Depending on how you measured your sugar and the humidity in the air, you might need more sugar if the glaze is too liquid or more juice if too thick. 

When the cake comes out of the oven and is still very hot, drizzle or gently spread 2 tablespoons glaze over the top, where it will melt in and help seal the cake, then cool the cake in the pan, 15 minutes.

Gently remove from the pan; cool completely on a rack.

Don’t cool the cake completely in the pan or it might stick and break when you try to get it out.

When fully cooled, drizzle as much of the glaze over as you like.