Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites

Eeeck! I’m late to this week’s Fiesta Friday! I have been uber busy this week, what with our yearbook deadline coming up on Monday. This is my first year putting together the school yearbook, and although it has been great fun, it has also been loads of work! I’ve been running around like a mad woman this past week trying to get last minute photos and personal quotes from the students and staff. Everyone has been extra supportive and a few camera shy students even let me take their photos!

Anyhow, here is what I’m bringing to the party this week: Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites. I was at the store a few weeks ago and saw these funny looking oranges:

Sumo Orange Pound Cake

They were listed as Sumo oranges and were going for $3.99/lb. Since I had already paid and was on my way out, I didn’t purchase any, but I Googled them when I got home. Apparently Sumo oranges were first developed in Japan over 30 years ago by a man who wanted a hybrid of Japanese Satsumas and California oranges. The official website boasts that Sumo oranges (named after the top knot worn by sumo wrestlers) are “quite probably the sweetest citrus you’ll ever eat” and I became giddy with excitement at the thought of trying them.

Well, color me disappointed because they were quite probably NOT the sweetest citrus I have ever eaten. Now, I know I can be picky (I don’t think Cuties and Halos are sweet at all), but I’ve had honey tangerines much sweeter than these sumos. Plus, I guess I expected more from nearly $4/lb. oranges. Oh well. I guess that’s why they went on sale this last week for $2.49/lb. I shoulda held out!!

Anyhow, the silver lining is that I made good use of them by trying them out in a new recipe. When life gives you sour oranges, bake them into a cake and all will be well. These little orange pound cake bites were delicious. But also dangerous because it’s so easy to pop a few (dozen) in your mouth without even realizing it. The staff at work seemed to enjoy them. They were so tasty I received another marriage proposal from a colleague. There’s a running tally of which recipes are marriage proposal quality. So far there are four!

Sumo Orange Pound Cake Bites


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar (I used organic cane)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange rind, grated
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar



Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter mini muffin tins and set aside.

SiftΒ  2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl add 1 2/3 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 8 oz. cream cheese. Using a mixer beat at high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add 2 large eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1/4 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons orange rind, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. The batter should be smooth and thick at the end.

Spoon the batter into the mini muffin tin and bake 15-18 minutes (depending on the size of your tin), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with only a few moist crumbs on it.

Let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.


Bring 1/2 cup orange juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the grapefruit juice is reduced to about 3-4 tablespoons.

Stir in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. Spoon over the mini pound cakes and garnish with leftover orange zest.

Two out of the three oranges were extra juicy.
Two out of the three oranges were extra juicy.
These are so fun to eat!
These are so fun to eat!
Mmm...glaze...all over the carpet. Can't even blame Bailey. I had butterfingers and dropped the entire bowl of icing upside down on the ground. Argh.
Mmm…glaze…all over the carpet. Can’t even blame Bailey. I had butterfingers and dropped the entire bowl of icing upside down on the ground. Argh.






  1. What beauties! I bet these little bites will go great with afternoon tea or coffee, and even better as an after-dinner treat. I just recently had a Minneola tangelo, which is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. I thought it had just the right amount of sweetness. I’ve never heard of the Sumo, but am curious to find some and try them to compare!

    • Ngan, I also had them as before-dinner treats. Hah! I kept popping them in my mouth every time I walked through the kitchen. I should rename them “Crack Cake”!

  2. These look scrumptious Patty! I love the smaller size too. Out of curiosity, what delicacies warranted the other three proposals???

  3. Oh.. Hahahaha!! I just saw these the other day at my beloved wegmans, and I thought at the time that they were pretty ugly, but I really didn’t stop to look at them.
    I LOVE your creativity .. They’re darling little cakes… Little bites of sunshine!
    Congrats on the marriage proposals!! πŸ™‚

  4. I was privileged enough to have the first taste at school because I was afraid Paul would eat them all in one breath.They were very yummy, and the oranges are cute. Patty, do I know any of these proposals?

    • Yes, everyone is afraid of Paul eating all the goodies! And yes, you’ve been there for a couple of them! You don’t remember these highly significant moments of my life?!?! πŸ˜‰

  5. Maybe because I am so focused on the goodies. I will have to listen in more to these proposals. Maybe I can help with choosing the best.

  6. How very cool! I have never seen these Sumo Oranges – I must live in the wrong part of the world. But hey, more importantly, marriage proposals? I think there is a reality TV show in the making!! Who should we contact? Are you up for it?

  7. Thanks for the info on sumo oranges. You never know about citrus; sometimes I buy oranges one week and they are delicious and then go back the next week and they are not sweet at all! Beautiful recipe and pictures as always. Bailey looks guilty or maybe he is saying “can I clean it up” – ha!ha! πŸ™‚

  8. Those pound cake bites look so good, and I love orange-flavored things! I haven’t tried sumo oranges, but the honey tangerines you mentioned sound wonderful!

  9. Lol, that’s hilarious, proposal-worthy recipes! So, you’ve been fighting off suitors all this time? Lol… Sumo oranges look so cute with the little knobs on top, but not as cute as your perfect tiny cake bites, or Bailey. He looks a little guilty in the photo, or maybe just worried that he was going to be blamed. These cakes, by the way, would be perfect for a Spring party. Will do! XOXO

    • The sumo knots were a lot of fun to rip off. My dad started to peel one off but I had to yell at him to stop because I hadn’t taken pictures yet! And Bailey often looks guilty. It’s because he’s aways up to something naughty. πŸ˜‰

  10. These look amazing Patty! Such elegant-looking little cakes! I’ve never seen sumo oranges over here, but imagine the recipe could be quite easily adapted for other citrus to used in their place… Have a great weekend! Margot

  11. Those are gorgeous! And pound cake I’ve never had. Or at least it’s something I’ve never seen over here. Will have to try this at some stage.
    Oh, and you think you’re late for F&F. I still haven’t arrived! Hopefully Angie hasn’t noticed!?

  12. Looks delicious Patty! And your photography is wonderful! I loved your last pic with the spoon on the ground….that is so me every time I cook! πŸ™‚

  13. Patty, these little, precious cakes look incredible!! You are such an incredibly good baker! All the little treats I have been seeing on your blog lately. And of course, your photos are simply stunning as always, putting these beautiful sweets into the right spotlight, wonderful! πŸ˜‰ thanks for sharing!

  14. Those oranges look really cool! Such a shame that they didn’t taste as wonderful as you (and me just reading it!) were hoping! Great looking cakes though!

  15. Marriage proposal quality? That I have to try! Not that I need a marriage proposal, but this sounds just fantastic. And hey, a spare marriage proposal or three can’t be bad. I was also late to Fiesta Friday but snuck past Angie while she was looking out for Johnny, phew! πŸ˜€

  16. 4 marriage proposals for cakes – wow, you are in dangerous territory, make sure your colleagues don’t make them when the would be wives are around, you might suddenly be given lots of cyanide laced cookies πŸ™‚ – look beautiful the cakes, I assume the sumo topknot describes the citrus fruit, and the sumo cake describes the effect on ones waistline when one has popped half a dozen into ones mouth, because they were so good!

  17. I can do better than that when nobody is watching sure πŸ™‚ – regarding the cyanide cookies, on this one I have to disagree, pretty in a cyanide cookie is only skin-deep, it’s all about the inner values!

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