Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

I come to this place every few years.

The what do I want? phase. The place I seem to end up after I absentmindedly allow the people-pleaser in my heart to overtake the independent gypsy in my soul. Remember my fuck stupid food manifesto? The place I was in when I found this Ira Glass quote and decided that I needed to figure out how to have more faith in myself and my journey.

I’m back there, in a way, asking myself two questions this time: what do you want? and how long with you doubt yourself before you learn the lesson?  

A tremendous amount of growth has happened in my life, personally and professionally since I wrote that first post. I do this crazy job full time now, including weird jobs like this one and this one. I’ve realized that I wanted growth more than I wanted blog traffic. That loving what I do is more important than a huge paycheck. That reality TV isn’t for me. I’ve learned a few more things about how to wade through what feels like staggering blindness as I try to move towards a goal that often feels like a moving target.

-Don’t confuse what other people want with what you want. They aren’t the same thing.

-Know what “success” means to you, ignore other people’s definitions, they don’t apply to you.

-Doing something for money doesn’t make you a sellout, it makes you a person who can pay the bills. But know your limits. And stick to them.

-Failure isn’t bad, it’s necessary. If you’ve never failed it just means you’ve never swung for the fences. Just fail forward, closer to your goal than you were before. If you’re a step closer, it’s a win.

-Strive for “better than yesterday” not for “perfect”

-Comparison is the thief of joy. If you’re going to engage in comparison battles, compare down, not up. Compare to achieve gratitude for your situation not envy of someone else’s.

-Celebrate even the small wins, with cake and beer.

Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

Yield: 6-8 servings


    For the cake:
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) orange zest
  • 1 cup (226g) sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons (12g) vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (58g) orange juice (about ½ of a large orange)
  • 1/3 cup (74g) wheat beer
  • ¼ cup (60g) heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cups (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons (2g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons (3g) salt
  • For the ganache:
  • 10 wt oz dark chocolate (60% cacao)
  • ¾ cup (180mL)heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (60mL) stout beer
  • 1 teaspoon (1g) espresso powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add the orange zest and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for two minutes on medium-low speed to mix the zest with sugar to help release the oils from the orange rind.
  3. One at a time add the eggs, mixing well between additions until the eggs are very well combined with the sugar.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter.
  5. In a medium bowl stir together the vanilla extract, orange juice, beer and heavy cream.
  6. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. A bit at a time add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, alternating between the two until everything has been added and gently combined.
  8. Grease and flour a 9X5 loaf pan, pour the batter in an even layer.
  9. Add the pan to the oven, lower the temp to 325F.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched.
  11. Remove from oven, allow to cool before removing from pan.
  12. In the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water add the ganache ingredients. Stir frequently until just before the chocolate chips have completely melted and combined. Remove from heat, continue to stir until smooth and well combined. Pour in an even layer over the cake.
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10 thoughts on “Vanilla Orange Hefe Pound Cake with Espresso Stout Ganache

  1. This was a beautiful read that spoke to me. Looks like we’re in the same place and I hope we both come out of it with answers. Or at least a compass.

  2. Best new year post…without even intentionally being so. Thanks for this (and the cake!); these lessons are crucial for me to keep hammering into my head.

  3. LMAO Either I’ve been browsing too many baking blogs or I need to lay off the stout. I saw the log!! on the recipe image on your homepage and thought “huh.. that’s an interesting cake. buttercream or fondant?” Anyway I just found your blog and I love it. Now that I can legally drink I feel I should learn to appreciate it.
    Regarding your thoughts, I’m sure with those lessons under your belt you will have a great new year. The answers will definitely come.

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