Bursting with the sweet flavor of almond paste and tangy orange zest and speckled with poppy seeds, this exceedingly moist pound cake is gilded with a sugary citrus glaze. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
Almond-Orange Pound Cake
3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
5 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (7 oz./220 g.) almond paste, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar
1 cup (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 the 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 a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, 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. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Continuing to beat on medium speed, drizzle the egg mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the orange zest and poppy seeds. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring after each until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack while you make the glaze.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange juices and the sugar.
Place the wire rack holding the cakes over a sheet of waxed paper or 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.
For more great rolls and other baking recipes be sure to check out our latest book, Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw.