Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

Elegant and Affordable: Pound Cake with Candied Lemon Zest

Pound Cake with Candied Lemon Peel

Today is my husband’s birthday.  We had a couple friends over to celebrate this past weekend and I, of course, had to make him a birthday cake.  But… birthday cakes in our house never tend to be traditional.  If you can put a candle in it, it’s a “birthday cake”.  Well, you can certainly put a candle in this pound cake!  We found it to be moist and delicious, plus it came from a new favorite cookbook of mine — “The New American Olive Oil” by Fran Gage.  What’s different about this pound cake is that instead of butter, you use olive oil.  It gave the cake a finer texture which really worked out nicely.

This cake is good plain, as well as drizzled with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar!

Pound Cake with Candied Lemon Zestmodified from The New American Olive Oil

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lg eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1-2 ounces Candied Lemon Zest, finely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Stir the vanilla and lemon juice in with the buttermilk and set aside.

Beat the olive oil and sugar on medium speed with the paddle attachment of a stand mixture, or medium speed with a hand mixer.  Combine until slightly fluffy, scrapping the sides.  Note that the mixture will not be as airy as it is with a beaten butter-sugar mixture.

Break the eggs in a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork.  With the mixture running, drizzle the eggs into the oil-sugar mixture a little at a time until it is all incorporated.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture.  Start and end with the flour mixture.

Beat the lemon peel into the batter until just combined.

Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.  Line the inside of the pan with parchment paper.  (This allows for easy removal of the cooked pound cake without any mess or breakage).

Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until puffed and browned (and the toothpick test comes out clean).

Remove cake from oven and let sit on a cooling rack for five minutes before removing from the pan.

If desired top with extra Candied Lemon Zest and serve with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar.



34 comments on “Elegant and Affordable: Pound Cake with Candied Lemon Zest

  1. Delicious! Happy birthday to your husband.

  2. Humble Foodie
    March 12, 2013

    Wow, this pound cake looks fantastic! I am in the same birthday cake boat–I’ve been known to stick candles in tarts and soft cookies in order to serve someone’s favorite dessert in a celebratory way. I’m sure this treat made the occasion even more special!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 13, 2013

      Thanks! Yeah, I’ve put candles in everything to cakes, pies, appetizers, full meals… lol. 🙂

  3. Suzanne
    March 12, 2013

    Happy Birthday to the husband! I love olive oil cakes and pound cake is one of my favorite cakes. Simple and delicious!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 13, 2013

      Thanks so much! And I’ll pass along the birthday wishes!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Leah
    March 12, 2013

    I love that your birthday cakes aren’t the traditional kind – how fun! Happy birthday to your husband. 🙂

  5. This sounds very unique! Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar? I have never done this before.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 13, 2013

      Thanks. Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar is delicious. Has a great chocolatey flavor and is perfect on desserts such as this, as well as plain vanilla ice cream!

  6. Cloches & Lavender
    March 12, 2013

    This looks and sounds so yummy. Geat for spring and summer.

  7. thebestdressup
    March 12, 2013

    ciao! thanks; will make this recipe.

  8. gentlestitches
    March 12, 2013

    Interesting. I often secretly use olive oil for cooking. I am asking myself now “why is it a secret?” I have never heard of that vinegar and will try it. I love anything lemon and that cake looks great. Happy birthday to your husband.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 13, 2013

      Thanks! You’re right — no need to keep it a secret 🙂
      The vinegar is great! Very tasty and the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
      Thanks, I’ll pass on the birthday wishes!

  9. A Ponytail Kind of Day
    March 12, 2013

    This sounds amazing, I love lemon, on my to try list 🙂

  10. Jessica Rice
    March 12, 2013

    This looks amazing!

  11. Time With Thea
    March 12, 2013

    Happy birthday to your hubby! This type of cake goes a lot further than one with a bunch of icing. Pitnerest, here I come!

  12. gotasté
    March 13, 2013

    This is the kind of simple cake I really love. Can I have one for my birthday too? 🙂

  13. the Painted Apron
    March 13, 2013

    Thanks Kenley, I have had lemon thoughts lately, some kind of lemon dessert and was thinking I need to do something with lemons for garnish, this candied lemon peel will be perfect!

  14. petit4chocolatier
    March 13, 2013

    Happy Hubby Birthday! And what a gorgeously delicious cake!! I love lemon and pound cake. Looks stunning 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 15, 2013

      Thanks for the birthday wishes — I will let my husband know 🙂
      And so glad you like the cake 🙂

  15. There’s something called Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar?! Stop the presses.

    Hope your hubby had a very happy birthday. Although, how could he NOT with a yummy lookin’ cake like that? Lovely work, Kenley.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      March 15, 2013

      There sure is!! And it is DE.LIC.IOUS! Great on desserts like this one…as well as just plain vanilla ice cream!
      Thanks for the birthday wishes…I will pass them on to him!

  16. Christine
    March 21, 2013

    I think the buttermilk makes it extra-tasty.

  17. Charlotte
    March 31, 2013

    Great to replace butter with olive oil in this cake!I try to use vegetable instead of butter as much as I can,but never tried in cake.I could follow this recipe for my first try!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      April 1, 2013

      It really worked well and I think you’ll like it. I would be cautious of using vegetable oil instead of olive oil in this though. The extra virgin olive oil gives a very specific flavor, quite different from vegetable oil. 🙂

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