Almond Cake with Orange-Flower Water Syrup

By • May 1, 2010 64 Comments

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Author Notes: I'm currently studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, so I thought it appropriate to make a classic French yogurt cake to keep around for breakfast. In France, orange-flower water and almond meal are both a bit easier to come by than in the States, so I wanted to create a cake that would take advantage of "local" ingredients. I took a classic recipe, replaced half the flour with almond meal, topped the cake with slivered almonds, and then made a simple syrup inspired by Ina Garten's syrup used for her lemon loaf cake. The results are fragrant and moist, and even feel a bit virtuous (the almond flour and yogurt add protein of course). The cake keeps for days in the fridge. Feels perfect with the arrival of spring. - amuseboucheamusebouche

Food52 Review: This almond cake bakes up a lovely golden brown, perfumed and moistened by the orange-flower water syrup. Almond meal lends the cake a hearty texture yet it remains light and sweet. It would pair nicely with tea and a dollop of creme fraiche or unsweetened whipped cream. - A&MThe Editors

Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup natural yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (separated)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons orange flower water
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (not toasted)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Combine eggs, yogurt, 1 cup sugar, oil, and vanilla.
  2. Whisk together flour, almond meal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add gradually to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top, and bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out of the center clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, make the syrup: juice the orange and mix with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and orange flower water. Heat in small saucepan over stovetop until sugar has dissolved (5-7 minutes).
  5. When cake comes out of the oven, let stand 10 minutes, then use toothpick to poke holes over the top and pour the syrup over. The syrup may puddle at the top- don't worry, it will sink in. Allow to cool before serving.

Tags: breakfast, exotic, keeps well

  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
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Comments (64) Questions (10)

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3 months ago Angella

Didn't add any sugar to the orange juice as I don't like very sweet cakes.

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3 months ago Angella

Just a suggestion prissyboo about the sinkage as I had no problem.

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3 months ago prissyboo

Also ... the sinkage has nothing to do with the syrup, because I almost NEVER add it!! I don't want an extra 1/2 C of sugar : ))
Rarely will I put the orange juice, but when I do, I use a toothpick only around the outermost edge of the cake ... then either use a demitasse spoon or a pastry brush to control where the OJ goes.

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3 months ago prissyboo

Forgot to add that a brownie pan also works well!!
I have completely given up on the loaf pan.

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3 months ago prissyboo

Part of the problem is that the directions say to " combine ".
Beating the heck out of the sugar and eggs is a must ... as one would with many other cakes. It also helps to use 1 1/3 C. flour and only 2/3 C. almond meal.

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3 months ago Angella

Unfortunately had no orange flower so did not get the flavor others spoke about. I beat the wet ingredients well before adding to dry. Had no problem with sinking. It was beautiful when it came out of the oven. Most reviewers complained about the middle sinking. Could it be that the orange syrup was poured on too hot?

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3 months ago katzenjammer

I was excited to try this since I'm addicted to all things orange-flower, and it baked up just beautifully. I substituted fromage blanc for the plain yogurt since it's what I had on hand, and I also whisked up the egg and sugar pretty vigorously before adding the other ingredients. No problem with dipping!

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4 months ago prissyboo

It is important to use your own good judgement. Do not just " combine " the first few ingredients. BEAT the eggs and sugar first, then the yogurt, oil, etc. Use 1 1/3 C. all-purpose flour, and 2/3 C. almond meal. Test cake with a toothpick, not a knife. Bake in a round pan, as the classic children's French yogurt cake is baked. I have had success using these tips. Good luck : ))

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4 months ago Iap

I too have a sinkhole in the middle of about 1.25inches. Baked following the recipe exactly, and in a 9x5 loaf pan. Unfortunate that it bakes so unevenly for the quality of ingredients used.

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5 months ago marymary

The first time I made this, I didn't have orange blossom water, but my cake concoction turned out soooo good anyway (see previous comment). This time I subbed flax flour instead of almond since I was out and got a banana bread consistency, but still delicious. I was pleasantly surprised at the delicate flavor of the water; I was afraid it would taste too perfumey, but it didn't. (I added a squeeze of fresh lime juice to cut the sweet a little, as well.) I will use the syrup for other desserts, as well. Everyone loved it - even my picky husband. P.S. neither cake sunk, as others have experienced. The first time, I made it in a metal round pan; this time in a glass 9x5 loaf pan.

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5 months ago Stacey Snacks

This is the nicest loaf cake, plenty of batter to fill a normal size 9" pan.
Not much sinking for me, just delicious, citrusy, almondy and moist (are those words). Love this cake!

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9 months ago Alison McQueen

This cake is delicious. The almonds complement out the orange flower water beautifully. I suspect that even those who don't like floral flavors will like this. Like others, mine sunk in the middle, but this didn't affect the taste or the texture. This is a new favorite.

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10 months ago Neelam Goyal

This looks like a very interesting cake. I would love it try it out. Can I use buttermilk instead of yogurt?

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11 months ago marymary

I had a fresh batch of almond meal on hand and wanted to bake a cake for my mother-in-law in the hospital. I used the basic cake recipe (without the syrup) and added milk and a little blueberry kefir in place of plain yogurt. I frosted with 7 minute boiled frosting and topped with sprinkles for lack of sliced almonds. The cake is so moist! She loved it. I will definitely try the water syrup in the future. Thanks!

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about 1 year ago Francisco

How do you make the Orange-Flower Water Syrup?

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about 1 year ago Nargess

I buy mine.. Persian supermarkets will have them and perhaps indian food shops as well. In persian it is called "Bahar Narenj" meaning blossom orange :)

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over 1 year ago Danica

Is it possible to substitute the orange flower water with rosewater or rose essence? If so, what could replace the orange juice?

This looks delicious and moist!

Thank you.

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over 1 year ago amusebouche

hmm, I might be careful with rosewater, since it has a stronger floral flavor than orange flower water. skip the OJ and just use a 1/2 cup of water or so. Interested to see how it turns out!

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over 1 year ago Diane Wolk

Sorry yes doubling the recipe .and useing a fluted tube pan .

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over 1 year ago prissyboo

Diane, there is so little batter. Are you using a SMALL Bundt pan ( not to be confused with the Bundtlette size ) or are you doubling the recipe? Are you using the traditional ( original ) Bundt pan, ending up with most of the pan empty of batter? This recipe would leave my classic size Bundt pan 3/4 empty of batter. No cake is going to rise that much! I also have a tube pan, but this amount of batter would leave my tube pan almost empty!!!

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over 1 year ago Diane Wolk

You can try bundt or tube pan as I call it .
This is the best way to stop sinking in the middle
Have made it lots.
Just remember to butter and flour the pan well
And cool it in pan for 30min or so

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over 1 year ago J.Ch

Based on other people's reviews, how can you prevent the cake from sinking??? Seems like it happened to a lot of you. Would love to try this recipe.

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over 1 year ago amusebouche

Hi Prissyboo! I have never had problems with this cake dipping in the center, but I think it's because I always bake it in a 9x5 loaf pan. Not sure what would cause it to sink so significantly, but if you stick right to the recipe it should work well! Good luck!