Pound cake is quite honestly one of my favorite kinds of cake to make.
The basic recipe is always pretty straightforward and easy to follow, then it bakes up in a standard loaf pan. There’s no fancy layering or frosting process, and the glaze is simply drizzled on top with minimal effort.
Once you’ve got the basics down – which anybody can pull off, from the newbie baker to the seasoned pro – then it’s time to explore tasty flavor combinations.
If you love all things citrus with a touch of sweetness, this is the recipe for you.
This particular recipe packs a triple punch of citrus flavor from a lovely combination of clementine and orange. There’s clementine juice and zest in the batter, and there’s also orange zest in the homemade white chocolate glaze on top.
The base is rich, dense, and absolutely bursting with sunshine in every single bite.
Once you try the recipe and get to see for yourself how easy it is to make from scratch (that’s right, there’s no pre-made mix involved!), you’ll be hooked. And after you have that first taste, you’ll start craving it all the time.
The first time I made this recipe, I had just returned from an epic trip to Europe with my husband. It was magical. But after some time away, I found that I was really missing my kitchen at home.
Cooking and baking are big parts of my life, just about every single day, so it felt strange to be without that for a few weeks.
When I made this dessert, I instantly felt a little more at home. It’s a recipe that you can make so easily, and it disappears even easier.
I gave half of it to my mom after that first bake, and she gushed nonstop about it for weeks.
This is hands down the best recipe to make for a small gathering, whether it’s dessert, something sweet to enjoy at a special tea time gathering, part of a brunch spread, or even the central focus of a leisurely breakfast at home (hey, no judgment over here!).
It practically jumps off the plate with that triple burst of citrus, and everyone will be asking you for the recipe after the first bite.
If you’re ever invited to a meal with short notice and you need to come up with something to bring to share, this is the recipe to turn to. Or if you’re craving something to enjoy at home as a special treat, it’s perfect for those times too.
No need to find something fancy – simple is always better in my opinion, and usually more tasty too (not to mention a whole lot less stressful to prepare, right?).
After you’ve baked it a couple of times according to the recipe, you could even make this dessert entirely your own and experiment with the flavor profile and add-ins. Consider adding:
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped cranberries, walnuts, or almonds
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
All of these additions can be beaten in on low speed just before you pour the batter into the baking pan.
I encourage you to try new combinations, depending on the flavor profile you’re going for. Chocolate chips are on my list next – who doesn’t love the combination of citrus and chocolate? White chocolate, orange and cranberry is another popular trio, and the addition of warming spices is perfect for fall.
You can even mix up the citrus if you like. I’ll offer my suggestions for that a little later in this article, so make sure you keep reading through to the end!
I have a feeling that you will bake this countless times and it will become a well worn – but never boring – beloved family recipe.Print
Moist orange pound cake, made with fresh clementine juice and topped with a sweet white chocolate glaze, will bring a burst of sunshine into your home.
For the Cake:
- 14 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), divided
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice of 1 clementine (about 3 teaspoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (6 ounces)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (5.25 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon clementine zest (from about 3 clementines)
For the Glaze:
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (4.6 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipped cream
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- Cut remaining butter into small pieces. Set aside.
- Place milk, eggs, vanilla, juice, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and beat well with a fork, about 30 seconds.
- Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add clementine zest. Beat at medium speed, then begin adding the remaining butter a few pieces at a time. Make sure to incorporate well after each addition before adding more.
- Slowly pour in the milk mixture, beating constantly until just combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. Heat chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute on high power, stirring halfway through.
- Stir together white chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, and orange zest in a bowl. Stir until well-combined.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled cake and serve.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: orange, clementine, white chocolate, pound cake
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Allow the butter to soften at room temperature, and be sure to use unsalted butter for this recipe.
Zest enough clementines until you have 1 tablespoon total. You will need about 3 clementines. I like to use a microplane for this, but you could also use a citrus zester.
Zest an orange until you have about 2 teaspoons total. You will use about 2/3 of the fruit, depending on the size.
Juice one of the clementines that you zested. You should have about 3 teaspoons total.
Sift 1 1/2 cups of cake flour.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Use one tablespoon of butter to grease a standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
Chop the remaining butter into small pieces and set them aside.
Step 2 – Make Batter
Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, clementine juice, and nutmeg to a medium-sized bowl. Beat the mixture together well with a fork for about 30 seconds, until combined.
Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the clementine zest and beat on medium speed until combined.
Beat in the remaining butter a few pieces at a time, making sure to incorporate it well after each addition.
Slowly pour in the milk and beat until just combined.
Step 3 – Bake and Make Glaze
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. If it is not releasing from the pan easily, try running a knife around the edge of the pan.
While you are waiting for it to cool, heat the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds on high power. Stir the chocolate, then microwave for 30 more seconds and stir together once more.
Add the melted white chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, and zest to a medium-sized bowl. Stir until combined.
Step 4 – Decorate and Serve
Once the cake has fully cooled, drizzle the glaze over the entire top of it, letting it drizzle down the sides.
Let set for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Can I Swap Out the Citrus?
So maybe the clementines available at the grocery store didn’t look like they were in peak condition, or you’re not a huge fan of citrus flavor.
Not to worry!
You can certainly change up the citrus if you would like for this recipe.
If you prefer to keep it all orange, you can use the juice (freshly squeezed) and zest of whatever variety you like instead of clementine in the batter. Navels and Valencias are two popular favorites.
You could also use orange juice and zest in the batter, then add lemon zest instead of orange to the white chocolate glaze.
Any combination of clementine, orange, and/or lemon would work in this dessert, and I’d encourage you to experiment with blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit, key limes, or yuzu as well. Whatever you choose, know how to store them at home once you buy them!
Just make sure the juice is freshly squeezed for the best flavor, and stick with the amounts called for in the ingredients list when you make your substitutions.
For more baking inspiration, check out these cakes from Foodal next:
Are you a pound cake pro? What’s your favorite type of citrus fruit? Share your tips and favorites in the comments below. And once you try the recipe, be sure to come back and rate it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by on March 9, 2015. Last updated on November 1, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.