Be sure to glaze this cake while it's still warm so that the syrup is easily absorbed.
For the Cake
- 15 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 cups sifted cake flour
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. grated orange zest
For the Glaze
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 6-cup loaf pan with 2 tbsp. of the butter; set aside. Put milk, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and beat until well combined; set aside.
Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk. Add zest, beating on medium speed, then add remaining 13 tbsp. of butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, waiting until each is completely incorporated before adding more.
Slowly add milk-egg mixture, beating constantly, until batter is just mixed together. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. (Lightly cover cake with a piece of buttered foil during baking if it begins to get too brown.) Allow cake to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold. Using a skewer, poke holes all over top of cake.
For the glaze: Combine sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce glaze by half. Brush some of the warm glaze over top of cake, reapplying glaze until cake is saturated.