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Orange Blossom & Almond Pound Cake

Dessert, Recipes

If Jonas Laughlin is in North Carolina on his birthday, his mother always makes him her pound cake, which is the basis for his versions, including this orange-blossom-and-almond variety. To make his mother’s original recipe, replace the orange flower water with four grams of vanilla extract, replace the 50 grams of almond flour with an extra 50 grams of cake flour and leave out the orange zest. “I wanted to bake the aria,” he says,  “and that’s what I started working on.” 

Orange Blossom & Almond Pound Cake
Recipe courtesy of Laughlin’s Bakery

Cooking spray with flour 
Light-colored, 8-cup-capacity Bundt cake pan 

251 grams butter, room temperature
167 grams cream cheese, room temperature
444 grams sugar
1 gram salt 
222 grams eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten 
4 grams orange flower water 
4 grams almond extract
210 grams cake flour, sifted 
50 grams sifted almond flour or finely ground toasted almonds 
6 grams orange zest, finely chopped 
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 315 F and spray Bundt pan with cooking spray that contains flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese with the sugar and salt on medium speed for 2 minutes. The mixture should look light and fluffy.

With the mixer still on medium speed, begin adding the eggs gradually in four or five parts, waiting 30 seconds between each addition and scraping the bowl with a spatula just before the final addition. (The batter will appear to curdle. Don’t panic, it’s fine.) 

Add in the almond extract and orange flower water and beat just until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl once more. 

Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly (but continuously) add in the flour and ground almonds (or almond flour). This should only take about 15 seconds. Once the last streak of flour disappears, stop the mixer and finish thoroughly mixing the batter by hand. Stir in orange zest. 

Transfer the batter to the Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drop the pan 20 times on the tabletop to get out air pockets. 

Bake for approximately 65 to 75 minutes, checking the cake for doneness only after the 60-minute mark. (If you open the oven door prior to that, the cake will likely fall.) The cake is done when a small knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake’s thickest central point. 

Once done, allow the cake to sit in its pan for 10 minutes, and then turn it out carefully onto a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving. Finish with powdered sugar if desired.