This Orange Blossom Cake combines a firm yet light, tender buttery sponge with fragrant orange blossom water. It's a classic pound cake with a sophisticated flavour, finished off here with an elegant orange blossom glaze. Perfect for every occasion!
I have you covered for year-round loaf cake recipes. From my Spring-fresh Earl Grey Yogurt Loaf Cake to my Autumnal Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Loaf and my festive Chocolate Orange Pound Cake, 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 glaze on top.
I love a good old-fashioned pound cake. It’s one of those recipes that has to grace the pages of any baker's 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 it with a cup of tea. This little pound cake is simple, elegant and deceptively versatile.
❓ What is Orange Blossom Water?
Orange blossom water is a culinary flavouring distilled from the fragrant blossoms of the orange tree. It has a distinctive citrus-floral aroma and adds an unmistakable subtle orange flavour to a variety of recipes.
Particularly popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, its also well-used throughout Persian, Turkish, Arabic and French cuisine too. It works well in both savoury dishes, in particular white fish and meat, and of course, sweet dishes too.
I adore adding it to a simple vanilla-based recipe for that hint of difference. Add it sparingly, a teaspoon at a time to crepes, French Yogurt Cake or Madeleines.
🌟 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 a sweet glaze. You get to dress it up as much as you like.
- 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!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Whilst the list of ingredients is basic, I've included a couple of notes worth reading below.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Cherry Almond: Sub ½ a cup worth of flour with almond flour and decorate in a sweet cherry glaze. The combination of almonds and cherries is unreal.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
A pound cake is very straightforward to make using the creaming method. I've included process images so that you can see how the batter should look.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the Orange Blossom Cake
STEP 1. Cream butter and sugar. After preheating your oven to 160°C (320°F), prepare your 2lb loaf pan 23x13cm (9x5inch) 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 bowl and cream together using hand-held electric beaters, until pale. This takes a good five minutes (Images 1 & 2).
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.
STEP 2. Add eggs. Next, we're going to add the eggs one by one (room temperature, again a must), mixing well after each addition (Images 3 & 4). Add in the orange blossom water and vanilla extract and mix in. Scrape the bowl down all around. The mixture may look a little curdled at this point but don't worry; it will come together again.
STEP 3. Add wet and dry ingredients. Into the mixing bowl, sift in half of the flour and add in the baking powder and salt (Image 5). Beat on low speed until just combined.
Add in the sour cream and mix in (Image 6).
Sift in the remaining flour and fold through with a rubber spatula until a few flour streaks remain (Images 7 & 8).The batter will have a lovely dropping consistency.
STEP 4. Pour into pan and bake. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and level off with an offset spatula (Image 9). Bake on the middle shelf for 55 to 65 minutes.
The baking time is quite long, so the cake will develop a lovely brown colour on the outside (Image 10). However, if the cake is browning too quickly on top, then loosely tent it 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 Orange Blossom Glaze
STEP 5. Make the glaze. Sift powdered icing sugar into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water and 1-2 tablespoons of milk (or water) and whisk until the desired consistency is reached. If you like a super thick glaze, then add less milk/water. If it's too thick then add in more (Image 11).
Drizzle the glaze over your cooled pound cake (Images 12 & 13 below). Leave it simple of decorate it with fresh cherries or any fruit, slice, serve and enjoy! This Orange Blossom Pound Cake is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea mid-afternoon!
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- 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 baking time, and the top can brown too much. Loosely tent with aluminium foil will slow down over-browning.
- Check the 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.
📋 Recipe FAQs
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.
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 baking time is needed.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: It's best to store your Orange Blossom 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.
🍊 More Orange Recipes
If you tried this Orange Blossom Cake Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Orange Blossom Cake Recipe
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or hand held electric beaters
Orange blossom pound cake
- 220 g unsalted butter, , room temperature
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300 g plain flour (all-purpose), sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 120 ml sour cream
Orange Blossom Glaze
- 125 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1-2 tablespoon milk or water
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. Add in the orange blossom water and vanilla extract and mix in. 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. Sift into the mixing bowl half of the flour, then add in the baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed until mixed.Add in the sour cream and mix in.Add the remaining flour 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. 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.
Orange Blossom Glaze
- Make the glaze. Sift powdered icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange blossom water and milk and whisk until the desired consistency is reached. If you like a super thick glaze, then add less milk If it's too thick then add in more milk.Drizzle the orange blossom glaze over your cooled pound cake, 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.
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Can you substitute for GF flour?
Hi Olivia, I haven’t tested this recipe with Gluten-free flour so I can’t one hundred percent be sure....but I don’t see why not!