Orange and poppy seed cake

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with citrus cakes. Every time I try one, I usually end up disappointed and find the taste too strong. With this orange and poppy seed cake, I tried to find my perfect balance of flavours. The fruit is present without being overwhelming, and it contrasts perfectly with the richness coming from the butter and the milk.

If you’re patient, I promise you this cake is ten times better the next day.



For the cake :
– 130g of softened unsalted butter (Take it out of the fridge 30 mins before starting or microwave it in a bowl for about 30 seconds)
– 120g of granulated sugar
– 3 eggs
– 3 tbsp orange juice (the juice of 1 orange)
– 1 1/2 tsp of orange zest
– 1/2 tsp of orange blossom water
– 1 tsp of vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp of poppy seeds
– 220g all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 170ml of cow milk (you can use a plant-based milk if you prefer)

For the glaze & toppings :
– 4 tbsp of icing sugar
– 1 tbsp of orange juice
– 1 tsp of orange zest


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease the bottom and the sides of a loaf pan with melted butter or vegetable oil and line it with some parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the softened butter and the sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

3. Keep mixing on medium speed and add the eggs one at a time.

4. Then add the orange juice, the orange zest, the orange blossom water, the vanilla extract and the poppy seeds and mix again.

5. In a small bowl, combine the flour and the baking powder. Return to your large bowl, bring your mixer to low speed and pour in half of the flour mixture and half of the milk. Continue mixing and add the remaining milk and flour until combined.

6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes (check if it’s completely cooked by inserting a toothpick, if the center comes out clean, it is ready).

7. Let it cool for about 30 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.

8. Make the orange icing glaze : in a bowl, whisk in the icing sugar with the orange juice until it is well combined.

9. Pour the glaze on the cake and top it with some more orange zest.

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