Almond Cake with Orange-Flower Water Syrup

By • May 1, 2010 • 50 Comments


1,380 Save

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&MA&M

Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup natural yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (separated)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon 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.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

Tags: breakfast, exotic, keeps well

Comments (50) Questions (10)

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2 days ago Francisco

How do you make the Orange-Flower Water Syrup?

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1 day 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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about 1 month 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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about 1 month 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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2 months ago Diane Wolk

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

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2 months 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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2 months 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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2 months 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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2 months 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!

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2 months ago prissyboo

Yes, this nice little sweet loaf of cake still dips in the middle, each and every time I bake it. The trench is less severe when I beat the egg mixture longer. Would sincerely like to hear from amusebouche as to whether or not she has ever avoided the dip, and if so ... HOW??? Like amusebouche, I have convinced myself that the cake is healthy : )) and it is so much fun to bake!

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2 months ago Nargess

I just made this cake and the middle has Sunk miserably!!! I noticed a comment by Prissyboo said she made it 25 times and it sinks every time!!! Still too warm to eat so don't know how it tastes, but presentation is as important to me, so sinking is not good! Maybe if I use AP flour like the original recipe.

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5 months ago tulip549

This is a good cake. I added a teaspoon of cardamom powder also. Very tasty.

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5 months ago jevyn

I really like this cake. This is a nice simple cake that will impress people. I used coconut sugar instead of white sugar, vanilla extract with bourbon, and blanched almond pieces. I also only used half the syrup. That ended up being just the right amount. I was afraid of it being too sweet.

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8 months ago prissyboo

THANKS SO MUCH!!! WILL GIVE IT A GO!

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8 months ago Diane Wolk

Had no problems getting the cake out , well buttered and flowered the tin let it cool for thirty minutes or so .

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8 months ago prissyboo

Diane, thank you for sharing the tube pan info. I had considered a Bundt pan, but feared the cake might not release properly. Were you able to take the cake out of the tube pan intact, or did you cut slices while the cake was still in the pan?

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9 months ago prissyboo

Diane, I have made this cake perhaps 25 times ... usually use the loaf pan called for. Have made it in glass, as well as regular. Regardless, the cake ALWAYS dips or sinks in the middle. Tried it in a round cake pan, with SLIGHTLY better results. This being considered, I would recommend using two pans, rather than one large pan. See no reason the recipe could not be doubled.

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8 months ago Diane Wolk

I doubled the recipe and baked it in a lage flute tube tin .turned out beautiful .
Everyone loved it . Had a little batter left so made cup cakes .

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9 months ago Diane Wolk

Want to make this cake for a party . Can I dubble the recipe and use a larger tin ?

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10 months ago Jessica Tang

What a delicious cake! The almond meal gives the cake a very soft, marzipan-like texture. I also added amaretto for added flavor into the syrup. I used Greek Fage 2% yogurt and that seemed to work just fine. Definitely will make it again!

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11 months ago prissyboo

Forgot to add that I have not tried sour cream. The Greek Fage yogurt is excellent. Use the 2% fat, not the non-fat. The small container is short by about an ounce ... not to worry. If you choose to go in a different direction ( not making an orange flavored cake ), then add 1/2 tsp. more extract. If adding fresh pitted cherries, add about 1/2 tsp almond extract in addition to the 1 tsp. vanilla. You may glaze with any simple powdered sugar recipe. This cake is so versatile, and quite delicious served with coffee or tea. NOT EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD WANT FOR DESSERT.

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11 months ago prissyboo

Just whisk almond meal into rest of dry ingredients.
Best to use electric mixer when beating eggs and sugar, otherwise your cake will sink in the center. Also better to test with a toothpick, not a knife. If you intend to add the orange glaze, put a good tsp. of orange zest in the cake batter ... without this, the cake has very little orange flavor.

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11 months ago Nargess

should we put the almond meal trough a sieve like we do flour? and has anyone used sour cream in place of yogurt? thanks in advance :)

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12 months ago vids

really delish. made with dried cranberries to give me an illusion its healthy. it was soooo good. thanks

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about 1 year ago amna

Made it with GF flour and a quarter tsp. of xanthan gum; it was fantastic! A huge hit! Great recipe :)

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11 months ago Nargess

amna, do you use your own made GF flour? if so, what flours and amounts do you use? thanks

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about 1 year ago Carol Bahrami

I doubled the recipe and made two, one for my family and one to take to family. I was very happy with the result. The cake I took to family today was far more moist then the one we ate fresh last night. I love this recipe and will certainly use it again.

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over 1 year ago prissyboo

A wonderfully versatile cake. Have baked it about a dozen times in the past five months. Sometimes add orange zest to batter, orange zest and cranberries, chocolate chips, blueberries, you name it! For the glaze I sometimes use Amaretto or a French orange or peach liqueur ... sometimes with powdered sugar. And like amusebouche, I have convinced myself that this cake is pure health!!! Another fabulous thing is that one whisk can do it all ... no need for an electric mixer. My only sorrow remains that each and every time I have baked it, the center of the cake falls in while cooling. I have given up on that!!! All in all a wonderful, quick, satisfying cake to both bake and serve.

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over 1 year ago QueenOfGreen

Currently baking this for the DC cookbook launch party!

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over 1 year ago ubs2007

I'm excited to make this. Anyone know where I can find the orange flower water syrup in Manhattan?

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over 1 year ago ortolan

I made almond milk this morning and then found this recipe. I used my freshly made almond meal instead of dried/ground meal, and I added a 1/2 cup of the fresh almond milk to the orange flower syrup. Great recipe!

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about 2 years ago Naomi Manygoats

It looks great, but where do you get almond meal, or rather what is it? Can you make it by grinding up almonds?

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about 2 years ago kak10956

i was able to find almond meal at whole foods but its the Bobs Red Mill brand which is sold in many supermakets these days

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11 months ago Nargess

almond meal is almond flour. Yes you can get it by grinding up some raw almonds

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over 2 years ago Cookie16

I'm so pissed my new loaf pan hasn't shipped right now —This looks decadent and divine! Fool proof and fancy? Um, yes please! ;) Can't wait!

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over 2 years ago monkeymom

This cake is amazing! Moist and light and so easy to make. I added 1/2 tsp almond extract and skipped the syrup altogether. So good.

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about 3 years ago Franca

Not only can I say that this cake is delicious but its fool proof as well. I completely forgot to add the oil. It was still ridiculously moist, not to mention delicious. Did I mention I forgot the sliced almonds on top as well? I don't know where my head was at, probably talking to one of my kids as I was trying to follow the recipe!. I did make small minor changes, I don't particularily care for anything orange so I replaced it with lemon. Fantastic!! Thanks for posting!!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

I had saved this and finally made it yesterday. It's a lovely looking and delicious cake. Thanks!

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over 3 years ago DanaD

I made this last night as written except that I added a cup of cranberries. The almond flavor is amazing and the cake stands quite well on it's own. The syrup and almonds make it more of a dessert, but munching on that last bit of cake this morning with my coffee was just as nice. The orange flower water is a bit strong so definitely don't add more than the recipe calls for. Next time I might use a bit less.

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over 3 years ago DanaD

I want to add that a month later, I still can't forget this cake. I may make it Christmas eve!

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I am just discovering almond meal, and this a great recipe to try! Congrads :)

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations on the Wildcard win, this looks lovely. I'm saving it and hope to try it soon. Thanks for the recipe.

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

I'll take mine with tea, a good French vanilla tea while looking out a window in the heart of Paris while it rains, because this looks like it would make you smile at first bite even on a cloudy day. Great looking recipe, thanks for sharing.

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over 3 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations! this is a perfectly lovely cake!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Saved and will make soon! Sounds delicious.

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

I have all the ingredients for this one. Excellent!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations! Love this!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Wonderful and Congratulations! I was just pondering what to do with some almond flour that I have stored and haven't used...yet.

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This looks delicious! Congrats on the Wildcard win, amusebouche!

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almost 4 years ago chez danisse

This looks so wonderful! I will be making my own, soon.