Serves a Crowd

Clementine Pound Cake

February  2, 2011
11 Ratings
  • Serves 10-12
Author Notes

When you make this cake, you have to let it cool completely. All the way. It will be tough. You’ll want to cut into the rich goodness immediately. You’ll want to taste the citrus on your tongue, feel a bite of the cake melt in your mouth. But you must be patient. Just trust me on this one. You don’t want a crumbly cake, now do you?

With this dessert, you only need a small piece. It is that rich. And that delicious. A little goes a long way. - SavvyJulie —SavvyJulie

Test Kitchen Notes

SavvyJulie showcases both citrus and cardamom by setting them against the backdrop of a pitch-perfect pound cake: the crumb is tender and melting, while the rich brown crust is paper thin and brittle as an eggshell, crunching pleasantly between your teeth. The perfume of the clementine zest and juice permeates the entire cake, and the cardamom (which we recommend you grind fresh) makes the party official. While this would be great with a dollop of ice cream, it certainly doesn't need it. Toasting a slice for breakfast can't be a bad idea. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon clementine zest, from about 2 clementines
  • 4 tablespoons clementine juice, from about 2 clementines
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Heat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3? loaf pan.
  2. Cream the butter, olive oil and sugars together until smooth.
  3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of the flour, followed by the salt, vanilla, cardamom, clementine zest and juice.
  5. Add the milk and the rest of the flour. Beat until the batter is smooth and consistent, but do not over-beat!
  6. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the edges are browned and just pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife or spatula around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan, and flip onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Miss_Karen
  • Martha Castillo
    Martha Castillo
  • Donna Hayes
    Donna Hayes
  • Idalu
  • Mikhayla

97 Reviews

nita May 16, 2020
This question was asked before, but I didn't see an answer - There is no leavening agent mentioned. Is this correct?
HenOfTheWoods December 25, 2020
Kaja1105 January 1, 2021
Yes, there is a good discussion of this in some of the older comments, but since there is no leavening agent, it is important to thoroughly cream the butter and sugar. I use a hand mixer (but a stand mixer is great too) and cream the butter and sugar for at least three minutes, then I'll mix at medium speed for at least a full minute after adding each egg. You want a light-colored, fluffy mixture. The resulting cake is fabulous!
Hyun March 21, 2020
I decreased the white sugar by 1/4 cup and it is still very sweet and delicious. I put in less cardamom than the recipe asks (about half), but the flavor is still there. I wanted to make sure the cardamom wouldn't overpower the cake. This is an excellent pound cake recipe and I will make it again!
Miss_Karen August 12, 2019
I have to agree with the high altitude issues. I'm at 6035.... I have found that reducing the sugar helps a LOT. (2 TBSP. per cup.) I also have to increase the flour about 2 TBSP. Mixing the zest of the citrus with the sugar is a good hack as well. I will have to keep the creamed butter/sugar in mind for my other baking endeavors....Thanks!
Jordyn_99 July 29, 2019
I have used this recipe twice as a base for different flavors now, first using lavender and nectarines and second using lemon and blueberry. Love it, hope to make many more cakes with this.
Martha C. January 28, 2019
Followed the recipe exactly as written. I'm very disappointed at the end result. Very dense and heavy, and little to no clementine taste.
Loripops April 10, 2018
Can i make this in a Nordic Ware specialty oaf pan?
Mary M. March 21, 2018
How many cups of batter does this recipe make? I am looking to make a stand-up lamb cake... the mold requires a 6-cup batter recipe. Thank you
Donna H. June 17, 2016
Way too much sugar. Way way too much. It was cloying. I know that pound cake by it's nature is very rich, due to the amount of butter and sugar involved, but not good at all, I'm sorry.
Idalu October 30, 2015
I have made this cake a few times akready and it is delicious and light. I reduced sugar to below 1 cup and it is just to my taste. Have also tried with lemon but that didn't work for me, could be that milk and lemon don't agree with each other.
Mikhayla September 27, 2015
Made this today for my family and what a hit!! I added some Blood Orange infused Olive Oil to the mix and oh boy delicious. Served it with some cream and strawberries. Thanks @savvyjulie! Yum :-)
liz December 14, 2014
I doubled this and put it in a Bundt pan. Was that a mistake? It smells good...
julita84 December 9, 2014
Made this yesterday night, had some friends over, and they all just loved it! It disapearded within 30 minutes. Served it with mint tea...will definitely be doing it again soon, as it is clementine season!
kxr173 June 25, 2014
Made this recipe tonight to serve sliced w\summer berries & whipped cream. It's light & moist, looks beautiful, smells great & overall is just wonderful! I didn't have oranges on hand but luckily I had orange olive oil & King Arthur Flour's 'fior di Sicilia' extract (used 1/2 tsp.- try this stuff if you haven't already in your baking!) Those substitutions worked perfectly. The citrus flavor came through & thankfully, the lack of extra liquid from the oranges didn't affect the texture or taste of the cake. The cardamom was that thing which made them go "hmmm.... yum!" Thanks for a most delightful pound cake recipe @savvyjulie!
SKaito January 28, 2014
Made this today in my new convection oven and it is delicious! Love the cardamon and orange zest/juice flavors. While baking, the wonderful aroma filled the house. Dairy congests my sinuses so I used coconut-almond milk, which was fine. Used regular orange [we eat a lot so have it on hand]. And used vanilla extract made by a friend. Covered the top at 1hr. since it was golden brown [rack was 2nd from bottom]. This recipe is a keeper. One question about why the to top of the cake flakes so, it's kind of crunchy flakey. Why flakey top? Otherwise, love this recipe.
SavvyJulie February 3, 2014
The crunchy/flaky top is largely due to the brown sugar and olive oil in the recipe. Glad you enjoyed!
lolaphong December 10, 2013
Trying this cake and noticed there is no leavening agent???
Is this correct?
msigur November 27, 2013
I'd love to send this as part of a Christmas gift. Any idea how long this cake will retain its freshness?
farida K. August 3, 2013
I have lots of lemon--can I use lemon instead of clementine
seaandcake July 7, 2013
This was incredibly easy to make! I used Valencia oranges instead of clementines because it's all I could find. I also went easy on the cardamom and added more vanilla. It smells like a 50/50 bar!
Simone H. July 6, 2013
Thanks a lot cookbookchick, will try this recipe, I'm sure my family loves it.
Simone H. July 6, 2013
I'm really love this page but need some help. How much are 1 1/2
sticks butter in weight (g or kg or pound :-)
) please. Thanks.