A Recipe for Rain and Spring Oranges Pound Cake


A Recipe for Rain

A Recipe for Rain


I’ve been watching our skies.. searching for a hint of rain

No snow,  just rain



Glorious, spring-laden, life rejuvenating, gurgling rain!

To sprinkle over our gardens and lend a hand to the dormant plants below.

And while I wait.. a meditative morning of solitude in my kitchen..

Cloudy flour-motes powder the air like snow

And icing sugar dusts my floors with sparkling flakes.

Flowers, heady with fragrance dance on table tops

Orange scented blossoms fill my mixing bowl

with spring.

I think tears are like rain.. they refresh and renew.

They appear raw, unexpected and unannounced.

betwixt the melodic notes of a pure voice

the seeking gaze of a lonely heart

the touch of a flower’s petal

With such a deluge of beauty, how could one not spill a tear of joy..

share a tablespoon of love,

a cup or two of tenderness,

or the sweet taste of a memory?

HD version:

Ipad/Iphone version:

March 18, 2012

Dear Ina (Barefoot Contessa),

Your recipes are always a fail-proof choice. But when one writes “1 1/2 cups sugar, divided”, distracted bakers can skip over the word “divided” and end up dumping all of the sugar into the bowl at once. If you wouldn’t mind, please separate out these ingredients and list them in the order they’re to be used. While you’re at it, separate out the glaze ingredients as well.

Just a Smidgen

Now I know that none of you will make this same mistake, because I’ve typed the ingredients up separately for you. Despite this, the cake didn’t taste too sweet. So if you do things the right way… well…  it will be the perfect “not-too-sweet” slice of Orange Pound Cake to sit down and savor with your cup of tea for tears in the late afternoon.

Spring Oranges Pound Cake

Spring Oranges Pound Cake

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Spring Oranges Pound Cake



1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature

1/3 cup grated orange zest (3 large or 6 small oranges)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Orange Syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Glaze (optional)

1 cup confectioners' sugar (icing sugar), sifted

1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice


Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is creamed, light and fluffy. Beat in each egg, one at a time. Beat in the orange zest.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a measuring cup, mix together 1/4 cup orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla extract.

Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed butter, alternating, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans, smoothing the tops of the batter. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, combine the 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup of orange juice in a small saucepan. Heat on low until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, remove from the pan onto a wire rack (place a sheet of wax or parchment paper underneath). Spoon the syrup overtop. The top may be pieced delicately to allow the syrup to saturate more of the cake.

To glaze, allow the cakes to cool completely. Combine the confectioner's sugar with the 1 1/2 tbsp of orange juice in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add a few drops of orange juice to get a pouring consistency. Pour over the cake and allow the glaze to dry and set before slicing.




  • Choc Chip Uru - March 17, 2012 - 11:46 pm

    A beautiful and funny post with the most respective letter :)
    The pound cake looks like it was born from spring – so delicious and extra sweet is how I like it :D

    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:53 am

      Yes… I must have been tired… dumped all the sugar in and skipped the orange syrup…ReplyCancel

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial - March 18, 2012 - 12:05 am

    Such a beautiful post, Smidge. I adore the gentle pinks! And the pound cake looks delicious – good to know it will work with or without the extra sugar! :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:54 am

      Thanks… and I think I should have added a few drops of orange blossom …:)ReplyCancel

  • hotlyspiced - March 18, 2012 - 12:36 am

    I do love pound cake and yours looks so delicious with the icing dripping all over it. As for us in Sydney, we’ve had more than enough rain thank you very much, in fact, we’re almost drowning. I’ve lost count of the number of rainy days we’ve had but the dry days I can count on one hand. How wonderful to be welcoming Spring xxReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:54 am

      Oh, dear, next time I’ll write a poem for sun and maybe it will bring you some:) xoReplyCancel

  • Rhoda Kirwan - March 18, 2012 - 12:48 am

    This looks so light and fluffy. Making me very hungry! Once again Smidge a beautiful post.ReplyCancel

  • restlessjo - March 18, 2012 - 12:56 am

    Beautiful poetry, beautifully presented. Yes, it’s hard to imagine that kind of dryness when you live in England’s green and pleasant land but rain’s been a pretty scarce commodity here too just lately.ReplyCancel

  • thecompletecookbook - March 18, 2012 - 1:05 am

    What a lovely post Smidge and such beautiful photos too. I could go a slice of that lovely cake now with a nice cup of tea.
    :-) MandyReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:55 am

      It does need a little cup of tea.. especially this morning, a bit chilly here..ReplyCancel

  • Bridget - March 18, 2012 - 2:07 am

    Beautiful words and thoughts and a recipe too. A perfect post!ReplyCancel

  • Chica Andaluza - March 18, 2012 - 2:41 am

    What a beautiful post to wake up to on a sunny Sunday morning – the words, the sentiments (we need rain here desperately), the beautiful photos, a video (clever you), lovely music and a gorgeous recipe. Heaven :) Loved that shot of your gorgeous pu lickign the spoon – does that mean he was the cook?!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:57 am

      Oh.. I knew you meant pup.. one has to type fast to get to everyone’s blogs in a day:) Yes.. little pup is my little sous chef.. must get him a cap one day! (the spatula does go into the dishwasher after, however…)ReplyCancel

  • Chica Andaluza - March 18, 2012 - 2:41 am

    You knew I meant to write Pup and not Pu right?! Oh dear…I need another coffee ;) ReplyCancel

  • saffronandhoney - March 18, 2012 - 6:21 am

    Wonderful slideshow, and such a wonderfully warm post for Sunday morning, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • thekalechronicles - March 18, 2012 - 6:32 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pound cake with 1/3 cup orange zest. It must taste delightful.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:58 am

      One of my patients thought it was a bit strong, but I liked it. Another time I’ll try a few drops of orange blossom water.. have you ever used that?ReplyCancel

  • Kristy - March 18, 2012 - 6:36 am

    That bread looks delicious. And I guess I’m not the only one that overlooks the “divide” sometimes. ;) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:59 am

      I had to laugh when I typed it out.. I dumped in the sugar but then skipped straight over the syrup part and went right to the glaze.. crazy day I guess! It still turned out.. that’s Ina for you!ReplyCancel

  • ChgoJohn - March 18, 2012 - 6:41 am

    What a nice post, Barb! We here have enjoyed a relatively snow-free winter but now we look to the skies for rain. What a weather year we’re having! I enjoy pound cake and yours, with both a citrus-y syrup and glaze would be delicious! I think it’s time to break out the loaf pan. Thanks, Barb!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 8:00 am

      It’s a very strange year, isn’t it.. if we have a few more of these in a row it will become very worrisome! Thanks, John, and have a wonderful Sunday! Still haven’t sat down to put up my map! If those bloggers would just slow down posting every day I’d have a little more time!! xoReplyCancel

  • niasunset - March 18, 2012 - 8:16 am

    What a beautiful post again… So beautiful words, flowers and cake… Thank you dear Barbara, with my love, niaReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 8:54 am

      Good morning nia! Thanks so much!


      • niasunset - March 18, 2012 - 9:16 am

        Good Morning dear Barbara, but in here it’s been evening :) You are welcome, have a nice day, with my love, niaReplyCancel

  • Karista - March 18, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Smidge, Ive done the same… Often. LOL! I agree, writing the recipe a little differently would help this distracted chef. :) Beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Malou - March 18, 2012 - 9:47 am

    Wow! Nothing beats this presentation…I felt like being in a dream where I did not want to wake up. ;-) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:28 pm

      That’s how I feel when looking at your photos… this means a lot to me:)ReplyCancel

  • Just Add Attitude - March 18, 2012 - 10:13 am

    A Recipe for Rain is a beautiful poem. And I am with you on tears refreshing and renewing. I am going to a photography class but I am having difficulty grasping some of the concepts – I am in awe of your images they are really lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - March 18, 2012 - 10:33 am

    Looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • chefconnie - March 18, 2012 - 10:40 am

    Very tasty looking cake. If I wished for rain up here in the mountains we would get some stupid amount of heavy spring snow. Praying for lots of warm weather.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:30 pm

      Isn’t that the truth.. we are supposed to get a bit of snow tonight.. so the plants are in taking shelter:)ReplyCancel

  • yummychunklet - March 18, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    Your pound cake ideas sound and look delicious! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com - March 18, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    That little poem is just beautiful, Barbara. And the parrot tulip photos are gorgeous. Sadly, not a huge fan of pound cake, but it does look wonderful.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:30 pm

      Thanks so much, Eva… I love parrot tulips.. in fact I think they may well be my favorite flower… :) ReplyCancel

  • ceciliag - March 18, 2012 - 3:24 pm

    morning smidge i love pound cake and also find myself putting citrus in everything lately, i grated orange zest into the chicken gravy the other day and it was divine. Just imagine if i had followed that meal with a slice of your cake on the verandah watching the rain!! Oh Rain!! cReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 18, 2012 - 7:31 pm

      Ahhh… good evening now, c! I’m slow to get back to my computer today! I love the idea of orange in a gravy. We did rotisserie chicken on the barbecue so next time.. I’m making gravy!! xo SmidgeReplyCancel

  • Kammie - March 18, 2012 - 7:34 pm

    Beautiful photos & the pound cake looks deliciousReplyCancel

  • Tandy - March 19, 2012 - 12:23 am

    Love the letter to Ina :) ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - March 19, 2012 - 9:09 am

    Beautiful words, beautiful photos, scrumptious pound cake….I’m serious, I want to move into Just a Smidgen. Really. What a wonderful post Smidge. And just what I needed to see this Monday morning….I feel better now :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:03 am

      I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sarah.. hope the rest of your week goes better:)ReplyCancel

  • {Main St. Cuisine} - March 19, 2012 - 11:08 am

    This is such a fantastic post (it’s raining tons here right now) and I wish I had a slice of this pound cake and a cup of Paris tea to go along with it. I’m envisioning myself sitting outside on our front porch listening to the rain. I love pound cake and prefer ones made with citrus over chocolate.

    I always love visiting your site!

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:25 am

      Thanks, Allison.. it was a fun one to write up:) Now Paris tea would be perfect!!ReplyCancel

      • {Main St. Cuisine} - March 20, 2012 - 6:30 am

        I’m not sure if I mentioned your pretty blue plates (I’m only on my first cup of coffee this morning), but they were lovely. I’m always drawn to blue and white china…I love the history of antique transferware.ReplyCancel

        • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:39 am

          I have an antique store in a little town north of us that has this blue flow ware.. I wish I could have bought the whole set. Alas, I am not very “loyal” and, having bought them all, would have wanted to buy other dishes as well… so I limit myself to one or two of each:)ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - March 19, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    Awww, I wish I could appreciate rain like you do…. but I don’t. At least not this week. :) I’m thinking a slice of this cake would make me a lot chipper-er (is that a word??) and ready for spring. :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:04 am

      I hope you have a better week… and feel chipperer (I think it should be a word!) soon:) xoReplyCancel

  • Purely.. Kay - March 19, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    You always have me falling in love with a recipe of yours :). And this recipe is no different. I love it.. and I know my mom will love trying this out too :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:05 am

      I hope she does. My mother-in-law makes cakes like this one… without a recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Geni - Sweet and Crumby - March 19, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    Beautiful poem…beautiful photos and very delicious looking pound cake. I agree, the ingredients should be listed separately if you are putting them in two different times in two different amounts. Thanks for giving us the heads up in your version. That’s why I love bloggers’ recipes. Frequently, I’ll have the original version in hand and the blogger’s post so I can get their advice and hints or tricks and compare it to the original I like to offer those tricks or personal twists on the recipe like you do.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:07 am

      I love your recipes Geni.. you do give great hints when you write them up.. I think you’ve got a great idea to put the two recipes side by side before making something! Have an awesome day!ReplyCancel

  • profiterolesandponytails - March 19, 2012 - 6:21 pm

    I notice that we have the same glasses, which I love to use for flowers too, as well as granola, ice cream and biscotti, and even juice! Such a pretty post Barb. I’ve made Ina’s lemon loaf with the glaze and just loved it…so I’m sure the orange pound cake is really delicious. Any rain today? It’s like summer here in Ontario.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:08 am

      I love those glasses.. they’re so pretty with their little bee on the side:) I use them for all kinds of desserts as well. I love her lemon loaf! It’s was one of the first on my website!!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen O'Donnell - March 19, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    Lovely verse, lovely flowers, lovely photos. Your blog is always peaceful and I love that. And as for this recipe, it sounds marvelous!! I love this kind of thing…ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:09 am

      Thanks so much, Gretchen.. I just love having flowers in my home.. if only they were in my garden!ReplyCancel

      • Gretchen O'Donnell - March 20, 2012 - 6:17 am

        I know…and for me, at least, even in the height of spring and summer, my garden is lame. there’s just not enough TIME to do everything I want to do!!!!ReplyCancel

  • kathryningrid - March 19, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    Well, you have to know that all of this good butter and sugar constitutes a perfectly pleasing attraction for *me*.

    As much as that’s true, a good and much-needed rain is has enormous attraction, doesn’t it! Me, I got what I asked for this time. After about 10 days of promised rain here and not so much payoff on that, we started in with intermittent poundings from rain, accompanied by bits of lightning and thunder, and flash flood warnings for tonight and tomorrow. Ha! So far, no evidence our house is going to float away just yet. :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 6:24 am

      Oh… that sounds incredible! I guess the old saying goes, eh? Careful what you ask for? However, I don’t seem to have the same level of influence:) We’re still bone dry but managed to escape a snow storm yesterday, so I should be happy! Have a wonderful day!ReplyCancel

  • Wholesome Cook - March 19, 2012 - 11:30 pm

    An absolutely stunning recipe! I should make a pound cake one day soon, this one looks like it would be perfect for us.ReplyCancel

  • spree - March 20, 2012 - 8:09 am

    Oh Smidge! What a lovely recipe! Even more your words,your poetry,your thought processes, your tender appreciation, your heart that shines through it all! Thank you for such a beautiful start to the day! xoxo (ps, please sign my name to the bottom of your letter to the Contessa!)ReplyCancel

  • Bam's Kitchen - March 20, 2012 - 8:55 am

    Dear Smidge, Happy Spring to you. Are your flowers from your garden? Love your thoughtful words and deliciously light pound cake. A perfect way to end a rainy day with a spot of tea and a slice of your pound cake.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 11:12 am

      Not a chance.. it’s sunny but still so cold here.. I check for any wee little sprout every day.. but to no avail!!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 11:12 am

      Thank you:) Have a wonderful day!!ReplyCancel

  • Sawsan@ Chef in disguise - March 20, 2012 - 9:01 am

    I loved how you compared tears to rain, both are cleansing and purifying .
    Unlike last year and the one before it, we had a good winter season in terms of rain but I know the feeling of looking to the sky and hoping for rain.
    This pound cake looks and sounds amazing, I love citrus flavors in cakeReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 11:13 am

      Thank you.. I’m not sure many noticed that metaphor.. let’s hope for the perfect balance this year!ReplyCancel

  • Mama's Gotta Bake - March 20, 2012 - 12:58 pm

    I agree with you. How many times have I skipped over the word divided. This needs to be brought to Ina’s attention. The cake looks lovely, I’ll give that recipe a try!ReplyCancel

  • Hetterbell - March 20, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful poem, and the photos are great, as always. The cake looks and sounds yummy!ReplyCancel

  • CorkAndSpoon - March 20, 2012 - 6:02 pm

    We’ve got lots of rain coming (want some?), even rained last night. It was very lovely to listen to as I fell asleep…

    I really enjoyed the slideshow (Beautiful photos, as always, Smidge!), made me feel all warm inside thinking of Spring :-)


    • Just A Smidgen - March 20, 2012 - 10:43 pm

      Yes, yes, yes!! Please send some rain!! I’m glad you liked the slideshow. I love making them, but not everyone has the time to take a look:)ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - March 21, 2012 - 9:57 am

    Perfect post for rain, this cake looks spectacular! Gorgeous poetry, as always. Absolutely love this verse…”Let this voice be the splash that spills, Soft upon your tender face”ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Chan - March 23, 2012 - 2:43 am

    What a wonderful poem ! And that pound cake looks delicious too !ReplyCancel

  • [...] followed.We had a couple of days when the dust was almost like a fog,the weather reminded me of Smidgen’s post.Everyone was looking to the sky for rain to clear the [...]ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared.