Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

A pleasure to eat, this orange poppy seed drizzle cake has a soft, moist and delicate crumb. It’s deliciously moreish and one of my favourite afternoon tea treats, it gets rave reviews.

It’s delicious for breakfast, afternoon tea or whenever you want a treat alongside a cup of tea! The citrus flavour is just like adding a burst of sunshine to your day and if you liked this recipe you might like my Lemon crinkle cookies or Moreish lemon biscuits.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


  • EASE: Easy.
  • GREAT FOR: Breakfast or afternoon treat.
  • TASTE: A sweet pungent citrus sponge with poppy seeds.
  • TEXTURE: A soft moist delicate sponge with little bites of poppy seed.
  • QUANTITY: 12 slices
  • TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes

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    For this orange poppy seed cake recipe all you need are these 10 ingredients:

    • Neutral-tasting oil (coconut, vegetable or sunflower oil) – creates moisture, makes the cake light and lengthens the cake’s life span.
    • Medium eggs – build structure and richness to a recipe. Make sure they are at room temperature before use.
    • Oranges – natural flavouring.
    • Caster or granulated white sugar – adds sweetness and structure.
    • Pure vanilla extract or paste – adds flavour and enhances the other ingredient flavours in the recipe.

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.

    • Natural or Greek yoghurt – adds moisture and creaminess to the finished cake.
    • Plain or all-purpose flour – to build a structure.
    • Baking powder – increases the volume and lightens the texture during baking.
    • Poppy seeds – add flavour and texture.
    • Powdered / Icing sugar – adds refined sweetness to the bake.


    I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your cakes. It might seem counterproductive, but it’s not. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bringing out the best characteristics of any recipe. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouth’s ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue, triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.
    I recommend Maldon Sea salt flakes or Cornish sea salt for baking.


    This recipe also works great with other citrus fruits, try lemon, lime or grapefruit.

    • Poppey seed alternatives – If you are not so keen on poppy seeds, they can be left out or substituted for mixed peel, raisins, sultanas, currants or chocolate chips.
    • Glazing – This cake also tastes amazing when glazed with orange marmalade. Simply warm the orange marmalade in a small pan or in the microwave before brushing over the cake.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    Serving: one cake slice

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.


    This cake will keep well in an airtight tin for 4-5 days.

    Freezing: Wrap the unglazed cake in a layer of clingfilm or in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature. Finish the cake by making the glaze and drizzle over the defrosted cake before serving.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    For this recipe, it is optional to use a stand mixer, but it can be made without. Other recommendations include:

    Easy to use – simply slice the lemon in half and then place it inside the dome with the cut-side facing down- Bring the two handles together to start juicing- The juicer will turn the lemon inside-out to get every last drop.

    These spatulas are so useful for baking. I use them everyday and not just for baking. Good rigid handles, excellent for scraping out bowls, dishes and frying pans. The large spatula is not flat, it has a raised centre, which makes it very strong.

    Perfect for banana bread, lemon drizzle, pound cake and traditional loaves.

    The Gourmet Larder is an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    The orange zest in this recipe gives it the wonderful orange flavour! I always use organic oranges where possible, which are free from growth hormones, chemical herbicides and fungicides.

    Sudden temperature changes can cause cakes to sink in the middle, to prevent this avoid opening the oven door before 3/4 of the baking time, even if you need to rotate your cake.

    Stay in touch with me through social media on FacebookPinterest, Twitter and Instagram for all of the latest updates!

    Orange Poppy Seed Cake

    Orange Poppy Seed Cake

    Preparation:15 minutes
    Baking:1 hour
    Total:1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings: 12 slices
    Tools you’ll need:
    • A 2lb loaf tin (see equipment suggestions on blog page)
    A pleasure to eat, this orange poppy seed drizzle cake has a soft, moist and delicate crumb. It's deliciously moreish and one of my favourite afternoon tea treats, it gets rave reviews.


    • 100 ml neutral-tasting oil (coconut, vegetable or sunflower oil)
    • 3 medium eggs (150g total)
    • 1 large orange (juice and zest)
    • 200 g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste
    • 100 ml natural or greek yoghurt
    • 1 pinch fine sea salt
    • 225 g plain flour (all-purpose)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

    Orange glaze:

    • 100 g icing sugar (US powdered sugar)
    • 2 tbsp orange juice


    • Preheat the oven to 170°C fan / 375°F / Gas 5 and grease and line the base of a 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
    • Zest and juice the orange, reserving 2 tablespoons of the orange juice for the glaze.
    • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, salt, vanilla, yoghurt, orange zest and juice, until combined and the sugar has dissolved.
    • Sift the flour and baking powder over the top of the egg mixture and gently fold in with 2 tbsp of poppy seeds.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
    • Baking: Place in the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes until golden and risen – the cake should split along its top. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes and repeat as necessary.
    • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 6 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out and place back on the rack, over a shallow tray.
    • Orange glaze: Start with combining 1 tbsp orange juice with the icing sugar, adding more orange juice as needed to get a glaze that is thick but not too runny. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Remove the tray from underneath the rack and pour any excess glaze back over the cake. Return the tray underneath the cake, then leave the cake to cool completely before serving.
    KEYWORDS cake recipes, fruit recipes, orange recipes

    Orange Poppy seed Drizzle Cake


    If you tried this Orange Poppy Seed Cake or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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    Orange Poppy Seed Cake

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