Citrus Pound Cake

So, I needed a dessert to go with the chicken enchiladas I was making this past Sunday. Well, I don’t know if “needed” is the right word, but we definitely wanted something sweet to end the meal. I have been eyeing the pound cakes from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and since margaritas are enchiladas’ natural partner, I kept thinking lime, so I decided to do a little tweaking. There is an optional glaze within the recipe that I was too tired to make when it was finally time for dessert, but I don’t know that we missed it, as this cake was full of flavor and sweet enough without it. What I also liked about this recipe, that I appreciate with all baked goods, is that the recipe was forgiving if one didn’t follow it exactly step by step. I have a problem not reading recipes before I make them and then stepping on my own toes, and this was definitely no exception. I will be keeping the addition of lime to the original recipe, as it added a tart element that is a nice contrast to the sweet. Oh, and it goes great with some ice cream and strawberry sauce.


Good . . .

Better . . .



Note: This recipe yields 2 loaves that freeze beautifully, just save the glaze for later if you’re deciding to freeze.



  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated citrus zest, I used a combination of lemon, orange, and lime
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed citrus juice, I used a combination of lemon, orange, and lime
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Optional Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed citrus juice.



  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ – inch loaf pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and 2 cups of the granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the zest.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup of the citrus juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (mine took 55 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. While the cakes bake, cook the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar with the remaining ½ cup citrus juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes. Take them out of the pans and place them on a baking rack set over a tray. Spoon the citrus syrup over the cakes and allow the cakes to cool completely.

*To glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and citrus juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Add a few more drops of juice, if necessary, to make it pour easily. Pour over the top of one cake and allow the glaze to dry. Wrap well, and store in the refrigerator.


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