Orange and Poppy Seeds Cake

Orange and poppy seed cake

I’ve always wanted to bake a cake with poppy seeds. Often seen in lemon cakes, I wanted to give a twist to another flavor. Orange season was ideal, so here is my new recipe. With a syrup to be super-moist.

A few information on the recipe:

  • No butter but olive oil, not a lot of oil though since I used only 50ml (1.7 oz).
  • Adding greek yoghurt brings a lot of vibrant orange-red color) because the season is short but the recipe works very well with regular oranges. Please choose organic oranges because we use zests.
  • For zests, I recommend two very useful utensils. First a microplane grater or any other very fine grater that allows to make very fine zests, kind of like grated parmesan, it really is a modest investment that you won’t regret. Second a zester that allows you to make strips. If not, use a knife and make strips avoiding to remove the white part under the orange skin, then mince.
  • I have a preference for brown sugar but it’s up to you.
    And finally the recipe can be prepared without poppy seeds. For the record, poppy seeds have a high content of good fatty acids that provide good quality fats for the body and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also have a high iron value to fight anemia and have a good amount of zinc helping to regenerate tissues, slowing cellular aging.
  • Use the mold of the shape you like / have and adjust baking time according to the size: loaf, poundcake, bundt, individual muffins or cupcakes….
Orange and poppy seed cake

Orange and Poppy Seeds Cake

Often seen in lemon cakes, I wanted to give a twist to another flavor. Orange season was ideal, so here is my new recipe. With a syrup to be super-moist.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Cake or tart
Cuisine French
Servings 8


  • 3 eggs
  • 125 gr brown sugar eventually caster sugar
  • 40 gr poppy seeds
  • 200 gr flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 11 gr baking powder
  • 100 gr yoghurt such as greek yoghurt
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • +/- 2 to 3 oranges = zest of 2 oranges + 100 ml of juice

Soaking syrup

  • 1 orange for zests
  • 2 to 3 oranges for juice
  • 15 to 30 gr Sugar


Prepare the cake and bake

  • Preheat your oven to 170 ° C.
  • Start by making very fine orange zests (ideally with a microplane grateand combine with sugar. Leave for a few minutes to enhance orange flavors. Add eggs, beat until the mixture get smooth and whitens.
  • Meanwhile combine flour with salt, poppy seeds and baking powder.
  • Add this mixture to the egg-sugar mixture, combine.
  • Then add greek yoghurt, olive oil and orange juice one after the other combining each time.
  • Grease your baking mold, pour the mixture in and bake for 40 minutes at 170 ° C, until the blade of a knife comes out dry.

Prepare and pour syrup over hot cake out of the oven

  • Just before the end of the cake baking time, prepare the soaking syrup. Heat orange juice with sugar. Make thin strips of orange zest (ideally with a zester). Pour them in a saucepan with 15g of sugar and wet with water. Cook until all the liquid evaporates and zests get candied. Pour over orange and sugar syrup over candied zests, combine. Syrup is ready.
  • When the cake is baked, unmold it and place it in a dish. Pour the hot syrup over the still hot cake. Soak the cake on all sides by pouring the remaining syrup with a tablespoon.
  • Arrange the cake in a clean serving dish and serve.


The main steps: Combine all ingredients (eggs + sugar + zest, then dry powders then greek yoghurt, oil and orange juice). Bake. Then prepare syrup to pour over the cake when taken out of the oven.
If needed, please refer to the conversions and measures article here
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Bon appétit !

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