Candied Citrus Cake

Bright, comforting, and zesty, this candied citrus cake uses some of Louisiana’s best citrus: lemons, oranges, and pink grapefruit.

Candied Citrus Cake
Yields 1
A show-stopping cake.
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  1. 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  4. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  6. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
  8. 1 cup whole buttermilk
  9. Lemon Curd Filling, recipe follows
  10. Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows
  11. Candied Citrus Zest, recipe follows
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray 3 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment rounds. Spray again, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Tap pans against counter to release any air bubbles.
  4. Bake until tops are golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Once cooled, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze at least 2 hours. Remove plastic wrap, and spread layers with Lemon Curd Filling. Frost top and sides of cake with Vanilla Buttercream. Garnish with Candied Citrus Zest.
Louisiana Cookin
Lemon Curd Filling
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  1. ¾ cup cold water, divided
  2. 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  5. 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  6. 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  7. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  1. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup cold water and gelatin; let stand 5 minutes. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar mixture, remaining ½ cup cold water, egg yolks, and lemon juice until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil, about 7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture, whisking to combine. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until melted. Strain mixture. Stir in zest.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.
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Vanilla Buttercream
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  1. 5 egg whites
  2. 1½ cups sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. ½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  5. 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer set over a pan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and reserved vanilla bean seeds. Whisk constantly until a candy thermometer reads 140°.
  2. Transfer bowl to stand mixer, and beat mixture with whisk attachment at high speed until cooled and tripled in volume, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add butter, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove whisk attachment, and replace with paddle attachment. Beat mixture at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Use immediately.
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Candied Citrus Zest
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  1. 6 lemons
  2. 2 navel oranges
  3. 1 pink grapefruit
  4. 6 cups cold water, divided
  5. 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  6. 2½ cups sugar
  1. Using a Y-shaped peeler, peel lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, taking off long, thick strips of zest.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and citrus zest. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, reserving liquid.
  3. Return reserved liquid, zest, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, discarding liquid and reserving zest.
  4. In the same saucepan, add remaining 2 cups water and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add citrus zest, and gently simmer about 45 minutes, being careful not to let the sugar caramelize. Remove from heat and drain.
  5. Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Place zest onto parchment, and let dry at least 6 hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
Louisiana Cookin


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