citrus poundcake

‘What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.’ – TS Eliot, Four Quartets

Somehow we’re back to blood oranges. A year ago I made doughnuts with them, and quick bread. I’m not quite sure where the time went – months have flown by, with so many changes, yet somehow it is all a blur.

This Bundt cake is adapted from Yossy’s beautiful book Sweeter Off the Vine (the doughnuts mentioned above are found among its pages, too). I find myself taking far too many trips to the refrigerator to sneak another sliver; the sweet, tart flavors and pieces of citrus flesh scattered throughout the cake (Yossy describes them as ‘jammy pockets’) are worth any extra indulgence on my part. If you don’t have Sweeter Off the Vine, I highly recommend it. It’s a stunning collection of recipes and photographs, and everything turns out delicious.

citrus bundt cake

Citrus Bundt Cake
My changes from Yossy’s cake were to use blood oranges instead of Meyer lemons in the cake. I also added 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not noted in the recipe here). I store this in the fridge because I like to eat it cold, but it can be stored at room temperature.

Cake
1 medium grapefruit
2 blood oranges
3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter softened
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup (225g) sour cream at room temperature

Glaze
2 medium Meyer lemons (regular lemons will work, too)
3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF (160ºC). Butter and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan very thoroughly.

To make the cake
Scrub the grapefruit and blood oranges with warm soapy water to remove any excess wax, then dry the fruit. Put the sugar into a medium bowl and zest the grapefruit and blood oranges directly into the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until evenly distributed and fragrant.

Supreme the grapefruit and oranges: Cut the tops and bottoms off of all the fruits, then cut the white pith away from the outside of the fruit. Over a bowl, carefully cut the wedges of fruit away from the membrane, letting the fruit and juices fall into the bowl. Remove any seeds that have fallen in and gently break up the fruit into 1?2-inch pieces.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add half of the sugar and zest mixture and turn the mixer up to medium high. Mix for 2 minutes, then add the remaining sugar and mix for 4 minutes, making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula periodically. The butter and sugar should be very light, fluffy, and fragrant.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each addition. Periodically stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

On low speed, add the sour cream (and vanilla, if using) followed by the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the fruit segments and juices. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.

Bake the cake until it is golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold it onto a rack to cool a bit more before glazing.

To make the glaze
Zest and juice the lemons. Add the zest, confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Whisk in about 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thick, but pourable. If the glaze seems too thick to pour, add a few more drops of lemon juice.

When the cake has mostly cooled, use a skewer to poke a few holes into its surface. Drizzle half of the glaze on top of the cake, let it soak in for about 20 minutes, then whisk the remaining glaze until smooth and pour it over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.

Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

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23 Responses to citrus bundt cake

  1. This cake looks right up my alley! I love the idea of those jammy pockets. Will have to try before blood oranges go out of season! xoxo

  2. Genevieve says:

    I love that T.S. Eliot poem. And I love all of Yossy’s work! It is always so beautiful. This cake sounds right up my alley- I love citrus in baked goods <3

  3. Sara Forte says:

    Oh man. My mother in law gave me a bundt pan for Christmas and I still haven’t taken the tags off because we don’t often have a reason for that large of a cake. I thought I may just give it away. Alas, here is your cake and it looks so dreamy. I need to keep the pan. You and Yossy are my most trusted baking go-tos. And I probably should own a bundt pan regardless of storage real estate issues.
    Anyway. Can’t wait for an excuse to make this.

    • Sarah says:

      You need to keep the pan. 😉 And I would say that there is always a reason for that large of a cake, ha. You could always see it as an excuse to share with the neighbors? xx

  4. Suzanne says:

    This recipe sounds fantastic and your pictures are just gorgeous. Can you clarify the step where you add sour cream and milk because I don’t see milk in the ingredients list? Also, is this the step where you added the vanilla? The last line of the recipe says the cake can be stored airtight at room temp but you write that you get it from the fridge – is this just a personal preference for cold cake or does it need to be kept in the fridge? I’m looking forward to making this as soon as I can get my hands on some blood oranges. Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Suzanne – the milk is a typo, sorry! It’s just sour cream. And I do add the vanilla with the sour cream (I fixed both in the post, thanks for pointing that out!). I do keep mine in the fridge because I like eating it cold, but it stores just fine at room temp. I hope you like the cake – let me know how it turns out for you.

      • Suzanne says:

        I finally got the blood oranges and I’m making the cake this afternoon! Thanks so much for answering!

      • Suzanne says:

        Oh my goodness, the flavor of this cake is outstanding! One of my daughters gave it a 5/5 and the other a “strong 4 1/2” and that was despite it being slightly underbaked. (My history with telling when bundt type cakes are done is a bit spotty.) I would never have thought of putting grapefruit in a cake, such a good idea!

  5. I need this cake in my life- and this bundt pan. I will have to make this in the short amount of time that blood oranges are still hanging around.

  6. beautiful, sarah! i’ve had this recipe bookmarked in yossy’s cookbook for ages. this might just push me to actually make it this weekend. xo

  7. bella says:

    I love yossy’s work and your variation sounds delightful! that t.s. elliot poem is one of my favorites as well!

  8. That’s when you know it’s a winner- when you keep going back for sliver after sliver, when maybe you should have just cut a couple of full pieces. Although slow slivers are more satisfying somehow, I think. You’re back to blood oranges and down here we’re back to the last of the stonefruit – saving this recipe for when winter arrives though! And that is a BEAUTIFUL cake tin <3

  9. Oh how I wish I had a slice of this right now for an afternoon snack. I’ve loved everything I’ve baked from Yossy’s book and I am now going to have to add this to the list!

  10. Heidi says:

    This cake looks so amazing but I have a question about the pan. The Heritage pan is my favorite because the pattern is so striking, however, every cake I have made in it tends to be very dry at the top of the swirls. Have you noticed this and/or can you give some advice on how to avoid it? If I remove the cake from the oven sooner, the center is still very wet.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Cake is delicious! I did a little less sugar (like 1/2 cup less) because I felt like it was a lot and it came out just to my liking. The fruit pieces create an interesting texture which I found some people like and some people dont but overall the flavor of citrus is definitely there and the cake is moist and tasty!

  12. Savitha says:

    Sounds exciting !!!
    Just loved it :):):)

  13. I absolutely adore all kinds of citrus cakes. This sounds heavenly and I’m hoping I’ll be able to give it a try before orange season is over for good (soon, too soon). xx

  14. Kathy says:

    I’m an experienced baker and this cake was an epic fail for me today! It fell while it was cooling and was raw inside after 75 mins and the bottom crust browned.

    With 6 eggs, I think this cake needs baking powder added as a 1/2 tsp of soda just isn’t enough leavening for the weight of the batter.

    The crust that did cook tasted yummy, though. Glad other’s had luck with it, but I won’t attempt this again. 🙁

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Kathy – I’m so sorry you had trouble with the cake! I did rise fine for me with just the 1/2 teaspoon of soda, and I’ve made it a few times now with no problems. Do you live in a high altitude area? Or is your oven temperature maybe off a bit? That could affect the outcome of the cake, too. Thanks for coming back and letting me know! And happy baking to you. 🙂

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