Make Ahead

Almond Cake with Orange-Flower Water Syrup

July  2, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf
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. - amusebouche —flourish food

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.
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86 Reviews

Flourgirl January 24, 2024
Great tasting, simple cake. It’s even better the day after it’s made. I used a 9” round and it was done in 28 min, which was much faster than I expected. Reviews said 40 min. So, glad I checked early. Perhaps it was because I used Fage Greek yogurt and it’s thick. Thank you to reviewers that said to cut the sugar. I used 3/4 c in the cake. I added a scant tsp almond extract and the zest of one orange. I didn’t have sliced almonds so dusted the top with almond flour. I used maybe half an orange, juiced, and a bit of sugar and just microwaved it briefly, then added a couple drops Wild Orange DoTerra essential oil. I didn’t poke holes in the cake, but just brushed a couple coats on. Really nice! I think it would be lovely with a raspberry sauce.
riceball December 29, 2022
Agree with the tips to reduce the sugar (and I have a sweet tooth). 3/4 cup sugar for batter and 1/3 cup for the syrup. For the yogurt, I only had 0% greek yogurt so used about 2/3 cup yogurt with 1/3 cup heavy cream. Mixed liquids in sequence (egg, sugar, then dairy, and lastly oil) but no fancy technique and didn't have any sinkage. (used 5 x 10" loaf pan in a Cuisinart toaster oven for 40 min). Juiced satsuma mandarins (what I had on hand) and steeped with a few rinds along with ground cardamon seeds from 2 pods, and a tsp of orange blossom honey to give some complexity. The syrup especially when using high quality citrus with aromatics has a bright floral intensity that compliments the subtle, earthy vanilla cake base surprisingly well. While this is a very forgiving recipe, note that the citrus, aromatics, extracts and/or liqueurs you may use to create the syrup will be the dominant flavor. To maintain a crisp top to the cake, I ended up serving the syrup on the side. But curious as to how long and how well the cake keeps when it's soaked in syrup.
aclincol July 2, 2021
Lovely cake, very easy. I liked the orange flower - it added a floral note that was nice w the citrus. I did take off about 20% of the sugar w good results. It took some 60 min to bake (because I used a Pyrex perhaps?). Thanks for the recipe!
Cheryl May 24, 2021
Excellent and easy. Omitted orange flower. As per other reviews: Used slightly about 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup in the cake. Also used 2/3 c almond flour (1/3 whole wheat flour to replace it). Used 1/2 c chopped almonds and 1/2 tsp each vanilla and almond. Looks just like the picture (slightly sunken middle) but moist, sweet, and almondy. Great texture.
Sugar F. August 1, 2020
This recipe is just to die for, I can’t stop making it! Seriously magical.
NN March 27, 2020
i did exactly as the recipe said - no beating of eggs and sugar vigorously or anything and the cake turned out absolutely perfect. the syrup is an excellent addition but i didn't end up waiting long enough for it to soak thru - i should have because it's so heavenly. the cake is very moist nonetheless. so easy to make esp since i always have all the ingredients at hand!
thanks so much for this perfect recipe. made it in 15 min!
Atlanta A. March 19, 2019
is it possible to sub bananas for the eggs in this recipe? chia or flax in place of the eggs?
Elaine W. February 6, 2019
Followed the recipe exactly. Simply scrumptious. Perfect in every way. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
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.
erin April 18, 2020
I have made this several times since my initial comment. It's a wonderful cake. I add the orange zest to the cake batter and skip the orange flower water in the syrup.
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.
SashaAlexander March 10, 2020
Would you still use the juice of one orange if you substitute the rose water? Could you taste the rose water if orange is used?
cosmiccook March 27, 2022
I have rose syrup--more intense than water--how much do you recommend so as to not overpower the cake?
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.
Ceres16 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:

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.

Once I've actually tried this recipe, I'll see what happens in my not always trusty oven and report back.
beejay45 March 27, 2020
Just reviewed the recipe photo here and see it has massive sinkage, so maybe that's the way it's supposed to be? Who cares, really, when it tastes so good?
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.