Almond Cake with Orange-Flower Water Syrup

Test Kitchen-Approved

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. - amuseboucheflourish food

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)
In This Recipe


  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.
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Reviews (74) Questions (10)

74 Reviews

erin July 28, 2018
Enormously irritated that I made this to use up some ground and flaked almonds to clear out space in my cupboard, and it's so good I now have to go and buy more ground and flaked almonds to make it again. Lacking orange blossom water I used some amaretto with the orange juice in the syrup (and only a couple of TBS sugar since amaretto is so sweet) and it worked beautifully, although I'll add the orange zest next time, too.
Linda K. January 7, 2018
When I make this cake, I am going to use the Clementine Simple Syrup saved from making Candied Clementine/Orange/Grapefruit/Lemon Peel. Will let you know how that turns out.
olivia.k January 7, 2018
Anna Biton, it absolutely would work with rose water. I've made a rose water syrup for a similar almond flour and semolina cake. It's very Mediterranean/Greek. I think Egyptians call it basbousa.
Anna B. January 7, 2018
Would it work with rose water instead of orange blossom water?
Metrocitygirl January 5, 2018
Has anyone tried to do this gluten free? Curious if you can sub all purpose gluten free flour for regular wheat flour? Maybe I’ll just go for it and see what happens.
Gen16C December 1, 2016
Great recipe. Beat the eggs and sugar for 2-3 min. Used half sour cream half buttermilk. Baked in 9" cake pan for 40 min. Made only half the syrup. Regretted it. It needs all of it for a denser texture.
Kerry G. November 28, 2016
Easy to make. Everyone loved it! I used a 8" square pan and it baked perfectly. I also used zest of one orange in batter, and only the juice in the sugar syrup ... no orange flower water on hand (plus used only 1/4 cup sugar in syrup). Even my sugar-hound 8-yr old thought it was plenty sweet enough).
Tracy September 4, 2016
Super delicious cake! I used sour cream instead of yogurt since that's what I had on hand. The next batch I'll substitute almond flour instead for almond meal. Everyone thought the cake had poppy seeds!! Lol!! The homemade orange blossom syrup was delicious and added the exact special touch to this wonderful cake.
Kristen February 4, 2016
This has been my go-to recipe when I need a cake made in a quick pinch. I like how easy and fast it is. Sometimes I even mix everything in one bowl using only a spoon with very good results. I have made this cake over a half dozen times. Here are my most current adjustments:<br /><br />I use store bought almond meal and use the zest of the orange in the cake batter. I use almond extract in place of vanilla. I don't use orange blossom water at all. I bake it in. 9" pan or in muffin trays and I have no problems with sinkage.
beejay45 September 17, 2015
Haven't tried this yet, but for those who got the sinkage, could it be oven temp? Have any of you tested your oven's accuracy? Also, my gran always separated the eggs and beat the egg whites until they just held soft peaks, then folded them into the already combined wet and dry ingredients. It gives everything a bit of lightness and might also add some structure here.<br /><br />Once I've actually tried this recipe, I'll see what happens in my not always trusty oven and report back.
Angella March 23, 2015
Didn't add any sugar to the orange juice as I don't like very sweet cakes.
Angella March 23, 2015
Just a suggestion prissyboo about the sinkage as I had no problem.
prissyboo March 23, 2015
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 : ))<br />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.
prissyboo March 23, 2015
Forgot to add that a brownie pan also works well!!<br />I have completely given up on the loaf pan.
prissyboo March 23, 2015
Part of the problem is that the directions say to " combine ".<br />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.
Angella March 23, 2015
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?
katzenjammer March 23, 2015
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!
prissyboo March 1, 2015
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 : ))
Iap March 1, 2015
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.
marymary February 14, 2015
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.