Citrus is in season and the trees – here in Southern California, at least – are bursting with oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes and other sweet, tangy citrus. Not only do I squeeze oranges to make juice for breakfast, but I find myself making lemonade and lemon bars, generously squeezing limes onto homemade tacos and into all manner of baked goods. The zest from these fruits also makes a regular appearance in my recipes. This Citrus Lover’s Bundt Cake is a cake for anyone who also loves all kinds of citrus fruits because it uses orange, lemon and lime all in one delicious dessert.
Lemon, lime and orange juice are all incorporated into this cake, as well as the zest of all three fruits. They blend together and give the cake an overall citrus flavor, without one fruit dominating the rest. The result is a cake that is tasty and surprisingly complex. The cake has a moist, soft texture and a fluffy crumb, so it’s not too heavy and is a great snacking cake to keep around the kitchen – although it is elegant enough to serve at a brunch or dinner party, as well. The fancier your bundt pan is, the fancier your cake will be. I used my Heritage Bundt Pan for this particular cake.
Freshly squeezed fruit juice is the key to a great cake with this recipe. You’re going to get the most vibrant flavors in both the cake and the glaze with fresh lemons, limes and oranges. You can, in a pinch, use pre-squeezed juice, but try to get the freshest you can and get at least a few fruits for the zest, as that will really punch up the flavor in the cake. I used orange and lemon zest in the cake, where I wanted to make sure that their flavors stood out, but saved the zestier lime zest for the glaze, where it added a little extra brightness without dominating the other flavors. If you want to highlight one fruit over the others, use only that fruit’s juice in the glaze (just orange or lime, for instance), as that will add a nice overlay of that flavor to the whole cake.
Citrus Lover’s Bundt Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed limejuice
1 tbsp lemon juice, pref. freshly squeezed
1 tbsp orange juice, pref. freshly squeezed
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp lime zest
1 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract and zests. Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by the orange juice. Add in additional 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the lemon and lime juices. Stir in all remaining flour, mixing only until no streaks of flour remain visible. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Let cake rest in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, whisk together juices, zests and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if needed to thicken glaze if it becomes too thin. Drizzle over cooled cake.