Orange Blossom Cake with sweet cherry glaze combines a firm yet light, tender buttery sponge with seasonal, sweet cherries. It's a classic pound cake with a sophisticated flavour, finished off here with an elegant cherry glaze. Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea - you decide!
I love a good old fashioned pound cake. It’s one of those recipes that has to grace the pages of any bakers recipe book. It’s a go-to staple when a classic, unfussy recipe has to be called upon. Dress it up with berries and a dollop of whipped cream, marble chocolate through it or leave it as is and serve with a cup of tea. This little pound cake is deceptively versatile.
I have you covered for year-round loaf cake or pound cake recipes; however, you like to call them. From my Spring-fresh Earl Grey Yogurt Loaf Cake to my Autumnal Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Loaf and my Chocolate Orange Pound Cake, perfect for the festive season, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Back to our Orange Blossom Pound Cake. As is traditional with pound cakes, the butter content is high and the crumb a little tighter than a regular sponge cake. With the addition of sour cream, the cake remains moist and tender and makes for a perfect breakfast bite. The orange blossom is fragrant and subtle. It doesn't have the punch of a standard orange cake flavoured with orange zest and juice, but that's not the taste we are going for here. The orange blossom flavour can almost be smelt at the same time it awakens your palate. The cake is refined and sophisticated and sits in balance with the natural cherry glaze.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Straight forward to make. The steps required to make this pound cake are simple to follow.
- Sophisticated twist. Want an upgrade on your regular pound cake? Well, this is it. Level up with orange blossom water and make a natural cherry glaze.
- Perfect for all times of the day. Pound cake makes a delicious start to any day but also accompanies an afternoon cuppa too. Let's not discount a slice of cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert!
- Cherries - Pick the juiciest freshest cherries that you can as they'll be used in the cherry syrup but also to decorate your beautiful pound cake
- Sugar and water - The water helps the cherries to soften and extract their flavour and juice and then evaporates whilst the sugar melts to form a cherry syrup. This takes about 15 minutes, or you can reduce the syrup for a further 5-10 minutes for a thicker syrup.
Orange blossom pound cake
- Butter. Use unsalted butter and ensure it's at room temperature to cream fully with the sugar for an optimal tender texture.
- Sugar. Granulated sugar works well but if you have caster sugar on hand then go for that too. You just need to beat it for long enough in the butter to dissolve.
- Eggs. Room temperature, large eggs are best. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge then just pop them into a bowl of warm water for ten minutes and you'll be good to go.
- Flour. Plain (all-purpose) flour is best. No need for self-raising flour here.
- Baking Powder. Along with the eggs, the baking powder helps give the sponge the perfect lift.
- Salt. Use fine salt within the batter to help season the sponge. It helps to balance out the sweetness.
- Sour Cream. It provides moisture to the cake but you can substitute it with Greek yogurt or creme fraîche.
- Orange Blossom Water. Don't mistake it for orange extract. It has a totally different taste and you would need way less extract.
- Vanilla Extract. Sweetens the batter with that familiar vanilla taste. Alternatively, use vanilla bean paste.
- Cherry syrup - A couple of tablespoons of the syrup on the glaze works wonders. The vibrant pink colour changes depending on the type of cherries you use. The colour and taste is lush!
- Powdered icing sugar - Pass the confectioners' sugar through a seive first so that you dont have a lumpy glaze.
A pound cake is very straightforward to make using the creaming method of beating the butter and sugar together then add the eggs, then alternating between the dry and wet ingredients. The extra step needed here is making the cherry syrup for the glaze. It is 100% up to you whether you go the extra mile and make the syrup. But if you want an elevated dessert, then the effort is well worth it.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
1. Make cherry syrup. Add cherries, sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. You'll want to simmer the cherries for 15 minutes or so until the mixture reduces to a syrup. Pass the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the syrup. You can add the softened cherries into the pound cake later on if you like (I'll point it out when you do this) (Image 1 & 2)
Set the cherries and syrup to one side.
Orange blossom pound cake
1. Cream butter and sugar. After preheating your oven to 160°C (320°F), prepare your 23x13cm (9x5inch) loaf pan by greasing it with butter and lining it with parchment paper.
From there, add your room temperature (this is a must!) butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together until pale. This takes a good five minutes. (Image 3 &4) We're aerating the butter and dissolving the sugar into the butter by beating it for this length of time. Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.
(Note- the image above has lemon zest in with the butter and sugar. Please ignore this- there is no lemon zest in the recipe)
TIP: To check that you have creamed the butter and sugar sufficiently if you smear a blob between your thumb and finger, there should be no grit. This means the sugar has fully dissolved into the butter.
2. Add eggs. Next, we're going to add the eggs one by one (room temperature, again a must), mixing well after each addition (Image 5 & 6). Scrape that bowl down all around. The mixture may look a little curdled at this point but don't worry; it will come together again.
3. Add wet and dry ingredients. In one bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt = dry ingredients (Image 7). In another bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange blossom water and vanilla extract together = wet ingredients (Image 8).
Then add half of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. (Image 9). Add the wet ingredients into the batter and mix again. (Image 10) Note: if you wish to add the softened cherries from the cherry syrup that we set aside earlier, then this is the point to add them into the batter. Don't add the reserved syrup, though. Finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients and mix until a few flour streaks remain. The batter will have a lovely dropping consistency. (Image 11)
4. Pour into pan and bake. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and level off with an offset spatula (Image 12). Bake on the middle shelf for 55 to 65 minutes.
The bake time is quite long, so the cake will develop a lovely brown colour on the outside. However, if the cake is browning too quickly on top, then loosely tent with aluminium foil halfway through the baking time. Once baked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
TIP: The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes with a few moist crumbs. If there is batter on the toothpick, then more bake time is needed.
1. Make the glaze. Sift powdered icing sugar into a bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of reserved cherry syrup and whisk until the desired consistency is reached. If you like a super thick glaze, then add less syrup. If it's too thick then add in more cherry syrup. (Image 13)
Drizzle the cherry glaze over your cooled pound cake (Image 14), decorate with fresh cherries and flaked almonds, slice, serve and enjoy! This Orange Blossom Pound Cake is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea mid-afternoon!
The flavour variation possibilities for pound cakes are endless. But here are some of my favourites.
- Lemon Blueberry: My friend Heather, Browned Butter Blondie fame, is the queen of cakes and her Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake looks perfect.
- Classic Vanilla: Leave out the orange blossom in the batter for a classic vanilla sponge. Top with a simple vanilla glaze for a classic take on the trusty pound cake. My French Yogurt Cake is a fine example of beautiful simplicity.
- Chocolate Chip: Aimed at the kids, their eyes will light up when they see this! Leave out the orange blossom and add ¾ cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips into the batter. Once baked drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Butter, eggs, and sour cream all have to be at room temperature before making the cake.
- Cream the butter and sugar sufficiently. To get a light fluffy sponge, the key is creaming the butter until light, and the sugar has completely dissolved. You can check this by rubbing it between your thumb and finger.
- Don't overmix. Once the last addition of flour has been added to the batter, mix until you can just see a few streaks. This prevents over-mixing which in turn creates a tougher sponge.
- Tent with foil. Pound cakes have a long bake time, and the top can brown too much. Loosely tent with aluminium foil will slow down over-browning.
- Check cake is done. The best way to check if your loaf is done is to insert a toothpick and if there are a couple of moist crumbs on it, then it's perfect.
Frequently asked questions
The orange blossom actually comes from the orange tree. It kind of makes sense right? All those beautiful white flowers are distilled to then make the orange blossom or orange flower water.
The smell is intoxicatingly fragrant and it's a popular fixture in French, Italian or Moroccan houses and hence in their cooking, particularly desserts and baked goods.
Orange blossom water, as mentioned above, derives from the petals of the orange tree. The taste and aroma are both delicate and floral, imparting a soft yet complex taste to your dessert.
The orange extract comes from the actual orange fruit itself, the zest or the flesh itself. The taste, therefore, has a much more intense orangey flavour. A little goes a long way in your bakes.
Some mainstream supermarkets will sell it, either in their baking aisle or in the speciality section. Waitrose in the UK sells Neilsen-Massey Vanilla's brand of Orange Blossom Water.
If you can't find it in-store then I recommend it online. Amazon sells my favourite Orange Blossom Water by Cortas. You can see the bottle in my ingredients shot above.
Good question! This simple cake was developed in the 1700's and consisted of four ingredients that most households would have been able to afford at the time, eggs, butter, sugar and flour. To keep things simple, each ingredient was weighed out to one lb. With most folk being illiterate, this recipe was easily passed on and remains a popular cake today.
How to store and freeze
To store: It's best to store your Orange Blossom Pound Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
To freeze: Wrap well in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
Tools you’ll need
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment: My stand mixer is easily accessible and so I prefer to use it for all recipes that need butter and sugar to be creamed together. However, if you dont have one then an Electric Handmixer will do the job just fine!
- 2lb loaf pan 23x13cm (9x5inch): The perfect size for your pound cake
More recipes with orange you may like
If you tried this Orange Blossom Pound Cake Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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Orange Blossom Pound Cake with Cherry Glaze Recipe
- 120 ml water
- 60 g granulated sugar
- 150 g fresh cherries , pitted and sliced
Orange blossom pound cake
- 220 g unsalted butter, , room temperature
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 300 g plain flour (all-purpose), sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 120 ml sour cream
- 2 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 ml cherry syrup
- 125 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
- 140 g fresh cherries, to decorate
- Make cherry syrup. Add cherries, sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. You'll want to simmer the cherries for 15 minutes or so until the mixture reduces to a syrup. Pass the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the syrup. You can add the softened cherries into the pound cake later on if you like. This recipe won’t require all the syrup in the pound cake or glaze, but it would be delicious to pour some of the syrup on your cut slice of pound cake when serving.
Orange blossom pound cake
- Pre-heat oven and prepare pan. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and grease with butter and line with parchment paper a 2 lb loaf pan 23 x 14cm (9 x 5.5-inch). Ensure the sides of the parchment paper overhang the sides to then use them as a sling to lift the cake from the pan.Cream butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes until light and creamy.
- Add eggs. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg. Ensure that you scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. The mixture may look curdled, but this is normal so don't worry.
- Add wet and dry ingredients. In one bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt = dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk the sour cream, orange blossom water and vanilla extract together = wet ingredients.Beat in half the dry ingredients into the batter, then add the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients (and the softened cherries if you choose to include them), and mix until a few flour streaks remain.
- Pour into pan and bake. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and level off with an offset spatula (Image 12). Bake on the middle shelf for 55 to 65 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly on top, then loosely tent with aluminium foil halfway through the baking time. Once baked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze. Sift powdered icing sugar into a bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of reserved cherry syrup and whisk until the desired consistency is reached. If you like a super thick glaze, then add less syrup. If it's too thick then add in more cherry syrup.Drizzle the cherry glaze over your cooled pound cake, decorate with fresh cherries and flaked almonds, slice, serve and enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This post was originally published in August 2019 but has been updated with new photos, content and updated recipe.