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Slices of Colonial Williamsburg Queen's Cake on a cutting board with blue and white striped towel
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5 from 3 votes

Williamsburg Queen's Cake

Queen's Cake, a dense buttery pound cake studded with currants and bursting with citrus flavor, is one of Colonial Williamsburg's most popular desserts!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Pound Cake in Loaf Pan, Queen's Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 1 loaf (about 12-14 thin slices)
Calories 316.8kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dried currants


  • Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and orange zest. Mix well.
  • Sift together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.
  • Toss the currants with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. Fold the currants into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes – 1 hour, 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Tent with foil during the final 30 minutes if the top of the cake starts to get too brown while it’s baking.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice thinly and serve!


  • The dried currants are nice in this pound cake because they're small, making it easy to cut thin slices. If you don't have currants, though, you can substitute with raisins. Dried cranberries would be delicious during the holidays!
  • When zesting the orange and lemon, be sure that you're only scraping off the outer layer of the peel (this is where the essential oils and delicious flavor can be found). Be careful not to grate any of the white pith from the fruit, because that is bitter and definitely not what you want in your cake.
  • Make sure that ingredients are all at room temperature before preparing the batter.
  • You can prepare the cake in mini loaf pans to share with friends. The little fruited pound cakes would be a perfect Christmas gift for neighbors. Smaller cakes will bake much faster, so start checking them at about the 45-minute mark.


Serving: 1/14 of the cake | Calories: 316.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.8g | Protein: 4.1g | Fat: 15.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.6g | Cholesterol: 101.8mg | Sodium: 177.6mg | Potassium: 51.8mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 25.2g