Traditional pound cake is made with equal parts butter, sugar, flour and eggs. The result is sweet and buttery – although, unfortunately, it’s as heavy as any cake I’ve ever had. Instead, I like this take on pound cake that swaps out butter for olive oil for a light and fragrant crumb; be sure to use a bright, floral extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor. At my bakery, we make this cake as mini loafs to top with lemon glaze and candied lemon peel. At home, I love to toast slices of it to crisp the edges and then serve it with marmalade, citrus segments, lemon curd and fresh whipped cream. It also makes an amazing alternative to shortcake for spring’s first strawberries.
You can substitute one small pink grapefruit for the orange, if desired. For the citrus liqueur, I recommend Grand Marnier, Cointreau or limoncello. You’ll also need a 10-inch, nonstick angel food cake pan with a removable bottom, although a nonstick Bundt pan can be used in a pinch.
Wrap any remaining cake in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to three days.
Citrus-Olive Oil Pound Cake
Yields | 1 10-inch cake |
- 2½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- ¼ cup citrus liqueur
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large orange, zested and juiced
- powdered sugar (to serve)
- fresh citrus segments (to serve)
- orange marmalade (to serve)
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350°F. On a sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, baking soda and powder and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, liqueur and vanilla extract and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add eggs, sugar and salt and whisk on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil and citrus zest and juice; drizzle oil mixture into egg mixture on medium-low speed until well combined.
Using prepared parchment paper, carefully add ¹⁄₃ of dry ingredients to batter on medium-low speed, alternating with ½ of milk mixture, until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour batter into unfloured and ungreased 10-inch nonstick angel food cake pan. Set pan on a cookie sheet and bake until top is cracked and brown, 1 hour.
Remove from oven and invert angel food cake pan onto a cooling rack; let cool 30 minutes before removing bottom of pan. Run a butter knife around the edges of pan to loosen cake; carefully remove from pan.
Dust top of cake with powdered sugar and serve with fresh citrus segments and marmalade.