Almond-Orange Pound Cake
Bursting with the sweet flavor of almond paste and tangy orange zest and speckled with poppy seeds, this exceedingly moist pound cake is then gilded with a sugary citrus glaze. Inspired by a recipe from Flo Braker, it is the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
- 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (7 oz./220 g) almond paste, at room temperature
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, cut into small chunks
- 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pans.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla just until combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the almond paste on low speed until it breaks up, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream, beating until incorporated. (If you add the sugar too quickly, the paste won’t break up as well.) Add the butter, a chunk at a time, beating just until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Continuing to beat on medium speed, drizzle in the egg mixture. Mix in the orange zest and poppy seeds. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, stirring after each until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, orange juice and sugar.
Place the wire rack holding the cakes over a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil. Invert the cakes onto the rack and place top side up. Brush the warm cakes with the glaze. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, then cut into slices and serve. Makes 2 pound cakes.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).