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Pouring the syrup over the cake

An Orange Poppyseed Cake from heaven

I have had the recipe for this cake in my collection since the late 1980s.  I originally wrote it down from a recipe book one of my housemates at the time possessed and only ever made it once in all that time… until about a month ago.Orange Poppyseed Cake slice with cream

The original recipe called for a massive amount of poppyseeds, which made the cake almost black and the first time I made it – oh about 10 years ago or more – I didn’t enjoy its poppyseed density.

When I was deliberating what cake to make about a month ago I thought it was time to give it another go, so I heavily reduced amount of poppyseeds and, as it’s also a syrup cake, I reduced the amount of sugar because the syrup adds a whole heap of flavour and sweetness.

So after such a long break and with my tweaks, I baked it for my daughter’s baby shower in early March.  There were a dozen or so wonderful women here and several children.

I think it was one of the children who had the first small piece early on, after which it sat for ages, looking forlorn, with its one piece missing.The cake on the morning tea tableThen someone else had a slice.

“Oh my god!”, came the cry.  “This is the best cake I’ve EVER eaten!”

Within 10 minutes it was demolished.

I’d neglected to take step-by-step photos that first time ’round, so I had to make it again, which I did a few days ago.  My little helper and chief taster just happened to turn up as I was about to put the mixture into the cake tin …

I now take great pleasure to share this rediscovered, reinvented recipe with you.  Enjoy.

Orange Poppyseed Cake

250 grams butter
1&3/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 Cup sour cream
1/4 cup poppyseeds
grated rind 1 well scrubbed orange

Juice of:
2 oranges
1 Lemon
3/4 cup white sugar

Make the syrup by
Putting all ingredients into a saucepan pan.  Bring to boil and simmer gently 3 – 4 minutes.

Make the cake
Preheat your oven to 170C and prepare a 20cm round or square cake pan by buttering it all over and placing a snug fitting base of baking paper in the bottom.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks one by one,  mixing well after each addition.
When well mixed, add the sour cream and grated orange rind.  Turn mixer speed down and mix until evenly mixed through.
Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl, then fold through the butter mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold them through the mixture with the poppyseeds.

Folding through egg whites and poppyseeds

Folding through egg whites and poppyseeds

Spoon the mixture into a 20cm round or square cake pan, that has been buttered and the base lined with baking paper (parchment).

Spooning the mixture

Spooning the mixture with my little helper

Bake your cake for 45 minutes-1 Hour, checking after 30 minutes to make sure it’s not burning on top.  Remove from the oven and stand for 10 minutes before turning out.

Place the cake right side up onto a large serving plate and straight away pour all your syrup all over it.  I poured through a sieve this time.

Pouring the syrup over the cake

Pouring syrup ... with quality control

Serve either warm or at room temperature with freshly whipped or double cream.  You can also dust with icing sugar for presentation too.  I didn’t do that for this cake.

The first slice

The first slice ...

Orange Poppyseed cake served with cream
... served with cream

0 Responses to An Orange Poppyseed Cake from heaven

  1. thehungrymum April 4, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    This looks so wonderful. I love poppy seed syrup cakes, too. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  2. Jenna June 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    My cake is currently in the oven! Fingers crossed that it gets the thumbs up from the family tomorrow.

  3. Tom September 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    I’ve always loved a really good orange and poppy seed cake and honestly this is the best recipe I’ve ever found. Extremely moist, easy to make and just absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for sharing this! Just one question, would you be able to share a recipe for an icing that might go with this instead of the syrup?

    • Marti Cuatt September 15, 2015 at 9:40 am #

      Hi Tom, thanks for the comments. I really must make this cake again, as it’s been a while. Having never iced the cake I’ve just had a quick search for an icing recipe and a glaze seems to look good on it. It’s runny and drizzles down the side. This one’s from BBC Good Food. You could substitute the lemon rind for orange rind and do half, half orange/lemon juice. I think it would work really well, so if you make it, let me know how it goes.

      200g unsalted butter, softened
      1 unwaxed lemon, rind grated, juiced
      300g icing sugar

      Melt the butter and place in a bowl with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Beat with an electric beater until smooth, then drizzle over the cake.

      Alternatively, an orange infused cream cheese / sour cream style of icing may work and I do one on an amazing carrot cake I haven’t made in forever. Might have to be the topic of my next blog post, so stay tuned.

  4. Linda May 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    I have had a birthday cake request for orange and poppyseed cake specifically with cream cheese icing. I thought if I still did the syrup but just didn’t put too much sugar in the icing (and a bit of lemon in there too) it wouldn’t be too sweet? What do you think? I would assume it still needs the syrup for nice moistness 🙂

    • Marti Cuatt May 31, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Linda, thanks for your query. I’d say go for it with the icing, but ease off on the sweetness in the icing, as you’ve suggested. Definitely do the syrup, but if you’re concerned about the cake being too sweet just stop pouring when you think there’s enough. For the record, my blog has moved to – I’ll be putting this recipe with fresh photos on soon. Cheers 🙂


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