Mini Orange Pound Cakes

Makes 4
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds (optional)

Line the bottoms of 4 (3" x 5 ½" x 2") nonstick metal loaf pans with parchment paper cut to size. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Measure milk in a 1-cup glass measure. Stir in zest, orange extract and vanilla; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 min.); gradually add sugar, beating until smooth (about 3 min.). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately add flour and milk mixtures until batter is smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in poppy seeds, if desired. Spoon 1 cup batter into each pan; bake in a preheated 325° oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out moist but clean (35-45 min.). Cool in pan on rack for 30 min.; run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Invert onto wire rack; cool completely.