A moist, buttery orange blossom pound cake with cherry glaze that is perfectly dense but not dry and crumbly. It's a classic and finished off here with this beautiful cherry glaze made from fresh cherries that greatly compliments the fragrant orange blossom sponge.
I love a good old fashioned pound cake. It’s one of those recipes that has to grace the pages of any bakers recipe book. It’s a go to staple when a classic, unfussy recipe has to be called up on. Dress it up with berries and a dollop of whipped cream, marble chocolate through it or leave as is and serve with a cup of tea, this little pound cake is deceptively versatile. As a result this recipe is one that you can make for your family and friends and you know that they'll enjoy it.
I’ve been using orange blossom water for years, primarily when I make my crepes and it’s one of those pantry ingredients that you don’t want to run out of when baking. I added orange blossom water to the sponge so that it it could impart a beautiful perfumed aroma to the cake and it compliments the cherries wonderfully. I wanted to create a cake that was firstly simple to make and secondly simple to decorate. Furthermore, it still had to taste delicious. I think we ticked all the boxes!
What is Orange Blossom Water
Are you quizzically asking yourself the question of what the hell is orange blossom water?
Well I’m here to tell you a little bit about it as for me it is one of my favourite additions to baking.
So what is it?
The orange blossom actually comes from the orange tree. Kind of makes sense right? All those beautiful white flowers are distilled to then make the orange blossom or orange flower water.
The smell is intoxicatingly fragrant and it's a popular fixture in French, Italian or Morroccan houses and hence in their cooking, particularly desserts and baked goods.
Whats the difference between orange blossom water and orange extract?
Orange blossom water, as mentioned above, derives from the petals of the orange tree. The taste and aroma are both delicate and floral, imparting soft yet complex taste to your dessert.
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.
If you are struggling to find Orange Blossom Water in your local store, then try ordering online the Nielsen-Massey brand ... they are my favourite brand when it comes to extracts or flavoured waters such as this. (this is unsponsored, I just love them! Look on amazon here.
Orange Blossom Pound Cake with Cherry Glaze ins and outs
I’ll take you step by step in how I make this pound cake and you’ll also learn how to make cherry glaze. The combination of orange blossom and cherries is divine. Both sweet yet delicate flavours, they’re the perfect addition to this buttery sponge cake.
The cherry syrup
You can’t miss out on this step. Seriously the cherry syrup is divine and the recipe makes more than what you need. For the excess I strongly recommend drizzling it on your slice of pound cake. Or if you want to save it up then drizzle it on chocolate ice-cream ... or your morning porridge. Whatever you do ... don’t throw it out!!! I’d be heart broken if you did.
- Alright, so to make it is easy. Add the pitted and sliced cherries, water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. The cherries will have softened and the sugar, water and cherry juice and pulp will have created a beautiful syrup.
- Now you need to sieve it. Place your sieve over a bowl and pour the contents of the saucepan into the sieve. Stir the cherries gently so that the syrup runs through the sieve into the bowl. TIP don't press the the cherries firmly down on the sieve otherwise you’ll pulverise them and be left with a bunch of skins
The orange blossom pound cake
Onto the pound cake. Pound cakes have a distinctive denser texture than a regular sponge cake, but when made correctly they remain moist and soft.
- For this one, start by beating the butter until it’s pale and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar beating continuously until fully combined.
- Next add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
- Dry ingredients: In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Wet ingredients: Whisk together milk, vanilla extract and orange blossom water.
- Alternating between the wet and the dry ingredients, beat them into the butter mixture until all have been combined.
- Pour half the batter into a greased and lined tine, then spoon the softened cherries and a couple of spoonfuls of cherry syrup onto the batter. Swirl it through with a butter knife or spoon and then pour the rest of the batter onto the top and smooth.
- Next bake for 60 mins and I swear the aroma coming out of your kitchen will have you twiddling your thumbs willing it to cook quicker! Once golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, then remove from the oven and allow to cool on a metal cooling rack.
The cherry glaze
SO that beautiful cherry syrup that we made at the start and used some of it in the batter... well we’re using it to hero the glaze.
I din’t use artificial colours in my baking and it constantly amazes me of the colours that fruit such as cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries create. I mean seriously ... could it be a prettier pink? Nope!
- In a bowl whisk 2 tablespoons of cherry syrup and the icing sugar until smooth. Thats it! Pour it all over your cooled pound cake and decorate with more beautiful, juicy cherries.
My pot of thyme was flowering at the time of my shoot so i snipped a couple of spins and flowers to add even more prettiness to this divine cake.
For more delicious recipes check out these:
Strawberry Lemonade Cake. Recipe found here.
Coconut Raspberry Sponge Cake. Recipe found here.
Earl Grey Cupcakes with Blackberry Curd Filling. Recipe found here.
Orange Blossom Pound Cake with Cherry Glaze
- 240 ml water
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 225 g fresh cherries , pitted and sliced
Orange blossom pound cake
- 220 g unsalted butter, , room temperature
- 340 g granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 300 g plain flour (all-purpose), sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 120 ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp orange blossom water
- 30 ml cherry syrup
- 240 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
- 115 g fresh cherries, to decorate
- Thyme sprigs and flowers, to decorate, optional
- Bring water, sugar and cherries to the boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Simmer for ten minutes so that the cherries are softened. Strain the syrup and set the syrup and cherries aside separately. This recipe won’t require all the syrup in the pound cake or glaze, but it would be delicious to pour some of the syrup on your cut slice of pound cake when serving.
Orange blossom pound cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and grease with butter and line woth parchment paper a 2 lb loaf pan 23 x 14cm (9 x 5.5-inch). In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg. Ensure that you scrape down the sides and base of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt (dry ingredients). In a small jug whisk milk, vanilla extract and orange blossom water together until combined (wet ingredients).
- Beat in the wet and the dry ingredients into the sugar/butter/egg mixture, alternating between the two until they are all combined.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the softened cherries onto the batter and then spoon a couple of tablespoons of syrup. Swirl the two into the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the pan and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean and the sponge springs back when pressed lightly on top. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for ten minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered icing sugar and 2 tablsepoons of cherry syrup until combined. If too thick then add more syrup, one teaspoon at a time.
- To decorate
- Once the pound cake has fully cooled, pour the cherry glaze over the top of the cake and allow to set for ten minutes before decorating with cherries and thyme sprigs. Slice up and enjoy with an extra drizzle of cherry syrup if you like! 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.