Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin-Orange Pound Cake

Pumpkin-Orange Pound Cake...the Midwest meets the Tropics.

Writing a food blog has its perks. Why just a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the coconut coordinator for Kelapo Coconut (wouldn't you love that job title?), asking if I would like to review some coconut oil. To be honest, I've never cooked or baked with coconut oil, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This much I do know--coconut oil has been used in many cultures for generations as a primary source of fat. Back in the 1970's and 80's coconut oil got kind of a bad rap for being high in saturated fats, so most food manufacturers replaced it with hydrogenated oils--aka trans fats. Of course we all know what kind of decision that was, so now coconut oil is back and it's touted as a healthier fat. Confused? I was. At any rate, if you want the nitty-gritty on coconut oil, you can find it on Wikipedia and on the Kelapo website.

So now that I have my sample, what should I make with it?

I posed the question of what I should make with my coconut oil to my Facebook and Twitter friends and they came back with all sorts of good stuff. People use it in cooking and baking, of course, but they also use it to condition their hair and they put it into facial scrubs. Pretty versatile stuff. I am first a baker, however, so in the end I came up with a way to use some pumpkin and some coconut oil all in one recipe.

Pumpkin-Orange Pound Cake

2 ½ cups cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ginger
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; Grease two 8-inch loaf pans.

Sift or whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom and ginger into a large bowl; set aside.

Cream the butter and the coconut oil in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, beating at low speed, then increase the mixer speed to high and beat until pale and fluffy.

I opened the jar of coconut oil and got a wonderful coconut smell.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl sides after each addition. After all the eggs are in, beat several minutes at high speed until the mixture is smooth and very pale. Beat in the pumpkin, orange juice, orange peel, and vanilla.

It didn't look much different than my best buttercream. 

Beating at low speed, add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk.

Check out the beautiful orange color.

Pour the batter into the two greased loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before removing from pans to slice.

 I like to use the foil loaf pans so that I can easily give them away.

Take that Sara Lee...

In conclusion, I really liked working with the coconut oil. It gave the pound cake a subtle coconut taste that worked well with the other flavors. I can't wait to try it in another recipe!

For more recipes using coconut oil, you can visit the Kelapo Coconut blog at  or visit them on Facebook at

Disclosure: I was given a sample of Kelapo Coconut Oil to review, however all opinions and the recipe are my own.


  1. Smooth crumbs..the pound cake looks terrific!

  2. Mmmmm...what a fabulous pumpkin cake! I have a jar of this coconut oil in my pantry...I bet it gave your cake a wonderful boost of deliciousness~

  3. This looks fantastic. I am bookmarking it and trying it this week. I have some coconut oil that I need to use up. Thanks!

  4. Found you through your post on Kelapo's facebook fan page and so glad I did, all of your recipes are fabulous and this one in particular caught my attention. Great use of the coconut oil, I look forward to trying some myself. Thanks for sharing, I am now happily following your site =]

  5. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.