citrus vanilla pound cake with summer berries

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake with Summer Berries

Well, hello again. I hope you are having a lovely summer. My girls and I are making the most of the remaining days before they start their sophomore year of high school. The past month we enjoyed a weekend at the beach with good friends, a couple great concerts in town, fun in Sunriver with cousins, a big family reunion with lots more cousins, and a couple of lake days. We also very much enjoyed this Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake, and I’m excited to share the recipe with you.

The Chicks concert with the fam!

As always, I’m ready to get into the routine of fall now that summer is winding down. I’m planning to launch the cookbook in the spring of 2022, so I’ll need to do lots of cooking to get the last of the recipes entered and photographed. I’ll keep you posted as I go!

Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, though. There are still many things to savor from what’s left of summer. It is prime harvest time, and the farmer’s markets and stands are bursting with fresh produce, including all kinds of berries. I took the featured photo about a month ago, when strawberries were at their best, but try blackberries, raspberries, or even slice up some peaches or other stonefruit to top the buttery pound cake in this recipe.

(If this post looks a little familiar, it’s because it is a revamp of a blog post from 2012 that was in dire need of a makeover.)

For a quick summer dessert when your favorite berries are in season, double the recipe and put one of the cakes in the freezer. It’s the perfect ending to a great summer dinner party. If you’re looking for an entree, try Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Stone Fruit with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette or Lime and Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs.


Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake with Summer Berries

(6 – 8 servings)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, softened to room temp

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour, sift before measuring

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 tsp lemon zest (peel, yellow part only, finely grated)

2 cups fresh berries, assorted, cleaned, and stemmed

1 TB sugar

1 TB fresh lemon juice

powdered sugar (optional)

whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

mint leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 325º F.

Coat an 8-inch round cake pan or a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake

Add eggs, one at a time; mix well after each addition.

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake

Add flour and salt; mix well.

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake

Add orange juice, vanilla extract, and lemon zest; mix well.

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Citrus Vanilla Pound Cake

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. The cake should be golden on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Remove the cake from the pan and allow it cool while you prepare the berries. Use a cooling rack or set it on parchment paper on a plate or countertop. 

Place the berries in a large bowl and add sugar and lemon juice. Let them sit 20 -30 minutes so they form a light syrup to soak into the cake.

Cut the cake into wedges, and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar if you like.

Top the cake with the berries, then garnish with whipped cream or ice cream and mint leaves.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

— John Lubbock