It’s A Winner
This citrusy pound cake is one of my most requested recipes. When I asked my family what to include on the blog for holidays, this was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, due to forgetting my laptop at home over the break, I wasn’t able to post this recipe in time for Christmas. But fortunately, this is a great dessert any time of year!
It was the winning dessert in my company’s bake-off last August, and I’ve made it for birthday parties and church potlucks as well. Each time, it’s gotten rave reviews. I think people are happy to have homemade bundt cakes like this because they’re hard to find anywhere else. Starbuck cake slices and grocery store offerings just don’t compare to what you can make at home in surprisingly little time and basic ingredients.
The original recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman, one of my favorite people I don’t know yet. It’s her take on the classic American 7-Up cake. What sets it apart is the heavy dose of fresh citrus zest throughout. Her recipe is excellent as is, but I liked the idea of incorporating ginger and more lemon and lime juice in the glaze for an extra zing.
What you get is crisp-crusted cake with a delicate interior. The tart glaze is a nice foil to the buttery, sweet cake. I’d say it’s a bit more tender than a traditional pound cake, which makes eating big hunks disturbingly easy. This recipe calls for a lot of zest and grated ginger which gives the cake a bold lemon-lime flavor followed by a subtle ginger kick.
You can use ginger beer, ginger ale, 7-p, generic lemon lime soda…whatever carbonated soft drink you like. I think the soda is more about leavening; creating bubbles in the cake vs. flavor. That said, I used Sanpelligrino Limonata when I made this last week and I think it did give it more of a lemony kick. Perhaps? Regardless, feel free to play around with the soda addition and flavors like I did. It’s pretty fun to try new combos.
Cake Baking Tips
If you’ve never made a bundt cake or cake even, this recipe is a great place to start! Here are a few tips I’ve learned for successful cakes.
- Set the eggs and butter out ahead of time so they come to room temperature. I put them close to the vent of my pre-heating oven if I’m short on time.
- Scoop the flour into the measuring cup, don’t dip the cup into the container of flour. You want to make sure its not too tightly packed
- Use “Baker’s Joy” or “Pam Baking Spray” to coat and prepare the pan. They both contain oil and flour. If you don’t have any, you can coat it with vegetable shortening then flour. Don’t use regular cooking spray! It will burn onto your pan.
- Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl when you’re mixing so everything is incorporated.
Ginger Citrus Pound Cake
This bold and bright bundt cake will be a hit wherever you serve it.
You will need the zest of 3-4 lemons AND limes for this recipe. You can store the zested citrus in a container or bags in the fridge for the good part of the week to use in other dishes or drinks. Lemonade anyone?!
- 3 sticks butter
- 3 cups of sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of soda (ex. ginger beer, lemon lime or Sanpelligrino Limonata)
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 1 Tbsp lime zest (about 2 limes)
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger (approx. 3 inch piece)
- Baking spray (NOT cooking spray see Tips above for more info) Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest, dried for at least 30 minutes
- 1 Tbsp lime zest, dried for at least 30 minutes
- extra zest to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Bundt cake pan (10 cup capacity)
- mixer with paddle attachment(s) (hand or stand)
- large mixing bowl
- 2 medium bowls
- measuring spoon
- measuring cup
- fork or whisk
- a few toothpicks
- large spoon
- juicer (optional)
- Zest the lemons and limes. Set aside 1 Tbsp zest of each. Peel and grate the ginger. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven with clearance for the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 325 deg F.
- Add the 3 cups sugar and 3 sticks softened butter to the mixing bowl and beat them together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Crack the 5 eggs into a separate bowl and add them to the sugar mixture, mixing after each egg.
- In another bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt with a fork. Add this to the mixer bowl in three parts, mixing after each addition. Go slowly so flour doesn’t spray everywhere.
- Slowly add the 1 cup of soda to the mixer bowl mixing until everything is combined. Add 1 Tbsp of lime zest, 1 Tbsp of lemon zest, and 2 Tbsp of ginger and mix to distribute.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Coat the bundt pan with BAKING spray. Spoon the batter into the pan. Smooth the top with a spoon. Tap the pan against the counter a few times to make sure the batter settles into all the nooks and crannies.
- Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake for 1 hour 10 to 1 hour 15 minutes. It should be a deep golden brown. You can test it by inserting a toothpick near the middle of the cake. It should not be totally clean but you don’t want it wet either (see the picture in the guide). Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, go around the edge of the pan with the dull edge of butter knife to make sure no parts are stuck to the pan. You can shake it side to side in the pan to make sure it releases. Turn the cake over onto a cooling rack or cake plate and lift the pan off gently. Let the cake cool.
- Make the glaze when the cake is nearly cooled by combining the 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp combined zest and 4 Tbsp combined juice in a bowl with a fork or whisk. If it’s very thick, add a few drops of water. Use large spoon to drizzle it over the cake. I like to coat as much of the surface as possible. Sprinkle on additional zest on top if you like.
- Let the glaze set for a few minutes then enjoy!