Almond and Spice Pound Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing

How to make spiced yellow pound cake.

I am not a big fan of light and fluffy cakes. Give me a cheesecake, brownie cake, fruitcake, ice cream cake, butter cake… if it is a moist, dense cake - then I am happy!


If you are like me and you like all types of dense cakes (or you prefer to only eat the frosting off of traditional birthday cake) then you will love this super dense, yellow cake recipe.


My husband goes crazy whenever I make this cake, which is usually in the spring because of the vibrant flavor and bright yellow color. The saffron not only is a natural yellow food coloring, but it also adds the exotic flavor. 


People always comment on the unique flavors when I serve up this spiced almond cake, but as for me personally... I am particularly fond of the texture. It is dense and moist with an almost creamy center, and if I didn’t know better, I would guess this to be a pudding cake! 


And now, for the icing: Smooth like satin, rich, decadent…  I could go on. 


Pour a snifter of Amaretto for sipping with this indulgent dessert and call it a day!

Nutritional Information 

and Macros Per Piece:

Nutritional information for homemade dense yellow pound cake recipe.
Easy to read macros chart for dense spiced pound cake recipe.


1 Cake (16 Pieces)


Total Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

(Prep: 30 Minutes / Cook: 1 Hour / Inactive: 20 Minutes)




  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup instant dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract



  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 drops cardamon essential oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Dense yellow butter cake photo.


  1. Prepare a loose-base ring cake pan by buttering and flouring it: Rub all parts of the inside of the pan with a half tablespoon of butter, then toss in all purpose flour, a spoonful at a time. Shift the pan around and keep adding flour until all sides are coated, then invert the pan and gently tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  1. Melt 3 1/2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, then remove the pan from the heat. Be careful not to brown the butter! Once melted and off the heat, add the saffron to the butter and stir to mix it throughout. Set aside. (Hint, the saffron can be easily crushed into a powder by rubbing it between your thumb and forefinger over a small ramekin.)
  1. While the butter is melting, sift together the cake flour, dry milk, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl.
  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on slow speed, cream together 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks) and sugar until just mixed. Then with the mixer still on slow speed, add the eggs (one at a time) followed by the saffron butter, olive oil, and almond extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients while keeping the mixer on and at the slowest speed possible. (There are two reasons for this; one, over mixing will produce a cake with gluey streaks and two, you don’t want all your dry mix flying out onto your counters and floor!) Once the dry ingredients are just mixed throughout, immediately turn off the mixer.
  1. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan. The batter will be thick. Once it is all in there, gently smooth it out with the spatula. Set the cake pan on a sheet tray and place it on a rack in the center of the oven and bake at 350F for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  1. While the cake bakes, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and cream cheese for the icing in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream together on medium to high speed for a minute or two. Slow the speed and gradually add in the honey, essential oil, and powdered sugar. Once the sugar is mixed through, increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until well blended and smooth, about another minute or two. Set aside.
  1. When the cake has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly in the pan for about 20 minutes. Carefully remove it from the pan (it will still be pretty warm) and invert it onto a cake plate. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a sharp fork, going down about  a half and inch to an inch into the cake. This helps the icing melt down into the cake for extra flavor and moisture.
  1. Spoon the icing onto the warm cake and spread it evenly over the top and sides with an offset spatula. The icing will become more liquid as it heats up, but will eventually solidify again once it has seeped into the cake a little.
  1. After the cake is iced, sprinkle the top with sliced almonds. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before slicing.
  1. Serve with snifters of Amaretto on the side. The Amaretto can be poured over the cake, or simply sipped alongside it.

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