Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray's Etrog Cake

Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray's Etrog Cake


2 etrogs (or 2 lemons)
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed etrog juice or lemon juice
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (3 to 4 oranges), divided
3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
Orange and blood orange segments, for garnish


Make a citrus seasoning mixture:

• Grate the zest of the etrogs with a rasp or citrus zester, being careful to get all the zest off of the citrus without cutting into the pith below the skin.

• Whisk together the lemon juice and lime juice in a small bowl; whisk in the etrog zest. Reserve 1 tablespoon of this mixture to use later for the glaze.

Mix the batter:

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

• Spray a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper or rub the pan with butter and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.

• Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

• Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the 1¼ cups of the sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the unreserved portion of the citrus mixture.

• Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating just to combine; add ½ cup orange juice, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture, another ½ cup orange juice, and finally the last of the flour, mixing only until just combined after each addition.

• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.

• Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze:

• Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup orange juice and the reserved 1 tablespoon of the citrus mixture in a small saucepan.

• Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the sugar is completely dissolved.

• Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Let the glaze cool.

• To serve, slice the cake and place on dessert plates; drizzle the glaze decoratively over each portion – we like to use a ladle to do this. Garnish each plate with a few orange segments if you wish.