Citrus Pound Cake

Citrus Pound Cake
This intensely aromatic cake has triple the citrus power: bits of candied orange peels, freshly grated orange and lemon zest, and an orange juice glaze. (Giulia Scarpaleggia)

Pound cake is one of the most versatile cakes, and a blank canvas you can improvise upon, choosing your favorite flavors and aromas. At the end of winter, I love to spice my pound cake with citrus zest and cinnamon, a memory of long-gone holidays, and stud it with my homemade candied orange peels.

Using mascarpone instead of butter makes the cake moist and soft. Mascarpone is also lighter than butter, as it contains half the calories and fat.

The mascarpone and candied orange peel, whose flavor is enhanced by the generous amount of grated orange and lemon zest, make for a rich, intensely aromatic cake that you can serve for breakfast, to begin the day in a good mood; as an afternoon snack, along with a steaming cup of Earl Grey; or as a dessert, drizzled with vanilla custard.

Serves 8
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Grated zest of 2 organic oranges
  • Grated zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 large pinch cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
For the Orange Glaze
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Sliced candied orange peel, to decorate
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale. Add the mascarpone and stir until completely incorporated.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, orange and lemon zest, and cinnamon. Whisk until perfectly incorporated, then fold in the chopped candied orange peels.

Let the cake batter rest in the fridge for a few hours, so that the candied orange peels won’t sink to the bottom while baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, transfer to the oven, and bake for about 55 minutes, until it is puffed and golden brown.

While the cake cools, make the orange glaze by mixing together the orange juice and the powdered sugar until smooth. When the cake is cooled, drizzle with the orange glaze and decorate with slices of candied orange peel.

Giulia Scarpaleggia is a Tuscan-born and bred food writer, food photographer, and author of five cookbooks, including “From the Markets of Tuscany.” She is currently working on her sixth cookbook. Find her online at her blog,
Related Topics