Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

With Easter round the corner, the hunt for a sumptuous cake is on. There are so many traditional cakes we associate with Easter like the Simnel Cake, the Bee sting cake and lots of others in every part of the world.

My easter this year is in India with family. And I am down with flu.

But I have a crackling cake recipe to share with you that I baked few weeks back to share for Easter. It’s not the most handsome looking cake, but I can bet you this tastes absolutely delicious and is a total winner.

I have adapted this cake from an original recipe by Martha Collins which was a Lemon and Poppy seed cake. I made changes to it by incorporating orange and also by reducing the flour and adding almond flour for a more rustic and mediterranean taste. The changes have just come out great in the final outcome. The poppy seeds add a very nice crunch. The cake has a mellow yellow which is only because of butter, orange and eggs, no colours are added. The addition of almond flour and essence gives a wonderful earthy flavour and highly recommend it.

The original cake recipe features on Waitrose website.

So let’s dive in and get baking.


  • 225 gms butter softened at room temperature.
  • 225 gms caster sugar
  • 175 gms self raising flour
  • 50 gms ground almond
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp black poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp orange zest OR zest from 2 large oranges/4 medium oranges
  • Icing/powdered sugar to dust the cake
  • Whipped cream or creme fraiche to serve (optional)


Preparing ingredients

  • Heat a non stick pan on medium heat. Add 2 tbsp black poppy seeds and gently toast them for few minutes.
  • Extract orange zest from 2 large oranges or 4 medium oranges. It should be about 2 tbsp.
  • In a bowl add flour, baking powder and cooled down poppy sides. Whisk them together and set aside.
  • Line a round baking tin 9cm with parchment paper. Butter the sides as well.

Preparing cake batter

  • Preheat oven at 180 C fan for 10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl add butter and sugar. Beat till pale and fluffy with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition for few seconds.
  • Add orange extract and beat to combine.
  • On very slow speed add the flour mixture in 3 parts creating a smooth batter
  • Lastly add the orange zest and milk
  • Combine it to mix it well
  • Transfer to the baking tin. Tap few times to release any air pockets. Place the tin in the center of the oven, Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Check once after 30 min by inserting a baking skewer in the middle. If it comes clean you can remove the cake. If it is still wet or clumpy it needs some more time. Mine baked in 40 minutes.
  • Remove and let the cake cool down.
  • It was an absolute beautiful brown color with an amazing crust.
  • After completely cooked down (almost 20-30 minutes) I dusted it with powdered sugar and little bit of shredded orange zest.
  • Serve with cream. I served with creme fraiche. However I think whipped cream is a better option.

Final thoughts on the cake : I really love this cake, which is great for an afternoon tea, easter or even a birthday. You can create a sugar glaze for it but I avoided to add more sugar to my cake so only used the dusting. You can also use the original recipe with lemon if you don’t like Orange. You should use Black Poppy as White Poppy will not give the desired flavour and look as well will be different.

If you love baking from scratch, you will love my Blueberry and Almond cake. Or also try Lemon and Blueberry Drizzle Bundt cake.

Let me know if you try this cake and how it turns out.

Wish you a very happy Easter and  Bank holiday weekend. Until next time, eat healthy.

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