Citrus Almond Pound Cake

When I saw this recipe in Mark Bittman’s NYT column, I knew I’d have to try it immediately. Not only is the cake made in the food processor, which in past experience has yielded a dense, tender, moist and tight crumbed cake, but it uses almond paste.

Looking at the recipe and reading reviews, I was concerned that my food processor might not have the capacity to accommodate the batter and it also crossed my mind that if the whole cake didn’t get eaten I would have wasted money on almond paste. The solution, since we are a small family of 3, was to make half the cake.

citrus almond pound cake

foil loaf pan

This version of the recipe is made in an 8×4 inch loaf pan. Up until this weekend, I didn’t own a pan that size and technically I still don’t. What I ended up buying was a 3-pack of foil 8×4 inch loaf pans which I’ll probably use over and over until they turn white or until I remember to order a metal one on-line. At any rate, that pan size worked perfectly and I kind of liked the option of not having to turn it out of the pan (even though I did) or being able to put a lid on it and give it away (the foil pans are lidded).

As for the cake, my first thought upon taking a bite was “tastes like mail-order”. The texture, flavor, sticky topping and to some extent, the little foil loaf pan reminded me of the type of cake I might pay $20 for to have delivered. It was that good – quite citrus-y, but that’s why it’s in the title.

pound cake texture

Citrus Almond Pound Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Citrus almond pound cake made in a food processor.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3.5-ounce almond paste (half a tube)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed,
  • 3 large eggs plus 2 tablespoons of lightly beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups cake flour (3 oz)
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour small loaf pan (mine was about 8 inches, but a slightly larger one would be okay).
  2. Put lemon juice, orange juice and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
  3. Put almond paste and remaining 1 cup sugar in food processor and process until well combined; add butter and continue processing until light. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time along with zest and vanilla, and continue to process until smooth.
  4. Mix the cake flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, then add the flour, baking powder and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times — just until the dry ingredients are integrated (be careful not to over process, or the cake will become tough). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 47 minutes. WRemove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly.
  5. Pour the citrus soak (mine cooled into kind of a syrup) over the cake and let it sit for about 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the cake releases from the pan easily. Cut into slices.

If you’re a pound cake fan and like the flavor of almond paste and citrus, you have to try this one.

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  1. says

    I am going to have to try this. I love almond paste and I have some in my pantry!

  2. Shannon says

    Do you think it’s possible to make this without a food processor? I’ve been successful with using almond paste in the past, by basically using brute force and whatever kitchen items I could find to help break it up (the two-fork method, pastry blender, potato masher, my own fingers). Sounds like that might work here as long as I incorporate the almond paste into the sugar well enough…

  3. says

    I have a similar recipe and it was the first time I used almond paste. My KitchenAid mixer worked great. It’s very dense and I could only eat a small amount. I made it a week before my guests arrived so I froze it and when I served it the cake was so moist.

  4. says

    Katrina, almond paste has an interesting flavor and texture. My favorite use for it is in a Christmas pastry I learned about a few years ago.

    Also, Taste of Home’s most recent Halloween supplement has a sugar cookie recipe that calls for it. Looks like a good one. The cookies are on a stick so they must be sturdy.

    Steph, you could use part of your almond paste for this and another part in those sugar cookies since you are now a sugar cookie expert.

    Carole, the cake is the perfect size for 2. I hope you try it.

    Shannon, my friend Bonnie makes an almost identical pound cake using her KitchenAid so I’m sure this one would work. In fact, I think Mark Bittman adapted this from a Flo Braker recipe which used a stand mixer. I think what the food processor does is it helps prevent too much air from being whipped into the batter giving you a denser cake.

    Bonnie, I forgot to mention this cake freezes well so thanks for noting that.

    Hi Pearl, it’s good to see you blogging again!

  5. says

    Your cake looks even better than the one in the NYT’s article. Theirs looks too crusty to me. Yours looks just right.
    Do you know why they now make aluminum foil pans with those deep grooves on the sides? There have been times that I’ve thought of going that route to take something to a potluck, but those deep grooves make me worry about uneven baking or roasting along the sides. Your cake certainly looks evenly baked along the sides so maybe I shouldn’t worry about it.

  6. says

    That pound cake looks sooo good! I wish I could have some of that now. I must try this one day because you made it sound so good. I went to a supermarket and I noticed that almond paste is really expensive though. 🙁

  7. says

    Okay, I am definitely going to try this after I make my Texas sheet cake, which will hopefully be this week. Looks tasty!

  8. says

    well that’s perfect! i only have a food processor, not mixer–not yet. i keep saying i will get one but never do.
    i love bittman. did you get his app “how to cook everything”? it’s priceless, i use it as a go to when grocery shopping.

  9. Betty says

    I’ve never bought almond paste. We always make our own for Christmas baking and a friend of ours tried to use store bought almond paste in the same recipe and it melted and ran out of the pastery. Is there some way to adapt our more sturdy almond paste to this recipe? We make it with ground almonds, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and eggs.

  10. says

    This looks great, similar to the Tartine/Flo Braker recipe that many (inc me) have blogged about. I did wonder if a cooked glaze would be better, as Bittman does, so now I have to try this one too!

    I have stopped buying the almond paste in a tube, it dries out. The canned one (solo brand) goes on sale occasionally, I try to keep one on hand.
    Great post!

  11. says

    Hi Anna!
    I’m so glad you posted this — I had seen that recipe and even cut it out, but I balked at the almond paste amount — it is so expensive.
    What a brilliant idea to halve it and make it in a smaller pan. Sounds so delicious. I’ll have to try it some time. Thanks for making it and the review!

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