The Washington Post

Orange Blossom Honey Cake

Orange Blossom Honey Cake 8.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Sep 14, 2022

This fragrant, floral cake with a tender crumb and a subtle sweetness is like a little black dress of desserts in that it’s somehow as appropriate for intimate gatherings as it is for celebratory meals. It would also make a lovely accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee or tea. A honey-based glaze, in addition to the yogurt and almond flour, helps to keep the cake moist. Food writer Aleksandra Crapanzano writes in her cookbook “Gâteau” that such simple cakes are the norm in France, which might explain why the French bake so often. She recommends serving this cake with a dollop of crème fraîche.

If you don’t have any oranges, you can use another citrus, such as Meyer lemons or clementines.

Active time: 45 mins; Total time: 1 hour

Storage Notes: Store, covered with a clean tea towel, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Where to Buy: Orange blossom water can be found at well-stocked supermarkets, Middle Eastern markets or online.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes one 9-inch cake

  • For the cake
  • 1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan (may substitute with vegan butter, such as Miyoko's brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (85 grams) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 2 large oranges, preferably organic; see Headnote)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (160 grams) mild honey, preferably orange blossom or wildflower
  • 1 cup (227 grams) whole-milk plain yogurt, at room temperature (may substitute with crème fraîche or plant-based plain yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • For the syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) mild honey, preferably orange blossom or wildflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)


Make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides and line the bottom with a round of parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until thoroughly combined. If the almond flour is clumpy, break up the clumps with the whisk.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and orange zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and briefly beat again to incorporate. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, drizzle in the honey, and mix to combine. Add the yogurt and orange blossom water and mix to combine.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients in two to three batches, just until no streaks of flour remain.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and use a small offset spatula to smooth the top. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is deep golden brown on the edges and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before unmolding onto a large plate.

Make the syrup: While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Drizzle in the honey and stir in the vanilla and zest. Remove from the heat and stir in the citrus juice. Right before glazing, stir in the orange blossom water; you should have about 3/4 cup (180 milliliters).

Glaze the cake: While the cake is still warm, drizzle with half the glaze all over the cake (you can add the remaining glaze, if you like, but start with half of it first). Let the cake cool completely, then slice and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, if using.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Gâteau" by Aleksandra Crapanzano (Scribner, 2022).

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 slice, using half of the syrup for the whole cake), based on 10: 305

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 7g 35%

Cholesterol: 74mg 25%

Sodium: 213mg 9%

Total Carbohydrates: 45g 15%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 30g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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