Clementine Pound Cake

February 2, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Food52 Review: 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&MThe Editors

Serves: 10-12


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|Cardamom|Fruit|Milk/Cream|Serves a Crowd|Winter|Dessert

Reviews (90) Questions (5)

90 Reviews

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 :-)<br />
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.
Author Comment
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???<br />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<br />sticks butter in weight (g or kg or pound :-)<br />) please. Thanks.
Renata L. March 19, 2013
HELP! I made this cake and loved the flavor but not the look. I ve made it twice, followed directions exactly, even took Antonia James advice for the extra long creaming method (or "shampooed cat" consistency), but it always goes up very fast and the deflates to a hole in the center. Is ti because Im cooking at an altitude of 7 thousand ft over sea level? Is the temperature of my oven to high? Does anyone now what Im doing wrong and how can I correct this problem? The taste is amazing anyway but I also want it to look nice...
TheWimpyVegetarian March 19, 2013
Hi renataliralarios! I bake a LOT at around 7 thousand feet above sea level, and it definitely sounds to me like that's the issue. If you bake something exactly the way it's outlined for sea level, it typically will overrise and collapse under it's own weight. Which is exactly what happened to you. When I'm using chemical leaveners like baking soda or baking powder, I typically cut it in half. It looks to me like the rise in this cake is coming from the air being whipped into the butter, and the eggs (the whites, actually). For you, the extra long creaming method getting to the shampooed cat consistency is what is likely the problem. I would try this again and not cream it extra long. Just get it smooth - not fluffy. There are others here who are bigger baking experts than I, but I do have a lot of experience with high altitude baking. Also, was it dry? That can happen at high altitude too.
TheWimpyVegetarian March 19, 2013
In fact, you've motivated me to make it tomorrow. I've had Julie's cake on my list of things to make for too long. I'm at about 6800 feet, and will let you know how it goes for me, and we can compare notes :-)
Renata L. March 20, 2013
Great TheWimpyVegetarian! I look forward to hearing from you!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 20, 2013
Hi Renata Lira, I made it, and it was amazing. It rose and held. So I'm guessing too much creaming at our high altitude was the issue. I just mixed until the it was smooth, and then added the eggs one at a time, etc. And it's perfect. Such an incredibly delicious cake. Great job Julie!!!
Renata L. March 21, 2013
Thanks for the advice TheWimpyVegetarian! Im trying it again today! Just one last question: ¿Did you mix by hand, with a mixer, or a combination of both?
TheWimpyVegetarian March 21, 2013
I mixed with my Kitchen Aide standing mixer using the paddle attachment. Once it was completely smooth, I beat it on high for about 30 seconds and stopped. Then added the eggs one by one according to the directions. I also used extra large eggs, as I always do when baking at high altitude, to compensate for the drier air here. The other change I made was to cut the flour back by 2 tablespoons for the same reason. It makes for a nice moist cake. #dessertforbreakfast I'd love to hear here how it goes for you.
Blissful B. January 16, 2012
I made this cake over the weekend. Delicious! I followed AntoniaJames advice for traditional poundcake's extra-long creaming method. I also reduced the cardamom by 1/2. The result was a tall, moist cake with a beautiful crumb and a perfect balance of flavors. Thank you so much! Like tinabeans, my cake was done in an hour, so I recommend everyone check the cake early.
tinabeans December 27, 2011
excellent flavors. i skipped the cardamom because we didn't have any, but it still tasted great. very nutty and citrusy. also, i baked this for only 1:05 and it got really hard and crunchy around the edges, which is something i rather like but i realize isn't standard for poundcake :D <br /> <br />thanks for the lovely cake.
Made this yesterday for a dinner party last night - and just love love loved it. Easy and perfect flavors. Thanks so much for a great recipe!!
Oh, I meant to add that I made a strawberry conserve to go with it and it was a wonderful combination.
Rivka June 18, 2011
Cake's in the own now. I havent licked this much batter in years - divine! Planning to serve with fresh strawberry compote. Very excited.
Golab May 26, 2011
Made this last weekend! It literally disappeared off the plate in minutes. I took your advice and spent a good deal of time on the creaming process and it came out beautifully. Thanks so much SavvyJulie! Will be making this again & again ...