You simply can’t go wrong with this utterly delicious orange poppyseed cake.
It’s moist, full of citrus flavour, generously dotted with poppyseeds and finished off with an orange syrup. As the syrup absorbs into the cake, the flavour intensifies, so make it the day before for maximum flavour impact.
Serve it any time – for morning or afternoon tea or even still just warm as a dessert. Plop a dollop of whipped cream on the side and you have the definition of all that’s good in the world.
Post Update – I’ve replaced the recipe image in the card below with a more recent version of the cake. Made in a bundt pan and with a syrup from blood oranges, this was a lovely variation from the standard round tin.
Click here to jump below below the recipe for more info on this cake and how it became part of my repertoire of delicious, timeless recipes.
The story of my utterly delicious orange poppyseed cake
In 1988 I’d just finished studying Drama at university and had moved back to Hobart. As a single parent, I enjoyed sharing with others and we had moved into a share house with an art student and men’s health counsellor, both from Sydney. I really can’t recall how we all met and came to be living in the same house, but it mostly worked.
The art student was a bit of a food and coffee snob and it’s something I’m ever grateful for. She was quite a character and I recall actually buying my first ever six pack of beer with her.
She bought countless hours of entertainment to the house. I recall one day, she set a paper light shade on fire while it was still hanging up! She really disliked paper light shades that much. Thinking back, it was very reckless. But that’s 20-somethings for you.
Her influence is also the reason I’ve not had had a cup of instant coffee since 1988 – it was all but banned in our house. Stovetop espresso only, thank you very much.
By the time I moved to Melbourne in 1991, I was well and truly entrenched as a real coffee only drinker and have never looked back.
Especially when accompanied by a piece of damn good cake. And you can’t get much better than this utterly, utterly delicious orange poppyseed cake!
Writing down the recipe
More than anything, my art student housemate is who introduced me to this fabulous recipe. It was so damn good, I copied it down in my own recipe book. Yes folks, a paper-and-pen recipe book. It was the late ’80s, the concept of home computers was still borderline science fiction back then!
Regardless, this recipe became part of my timeless recipe collection from that day forward, although the original called for way more poppyseeds that made it so dense it was almost black. I’ve experimented with different amounts and think the current version is perfect.
Are poppyseeds good for you?
Poppyseeds are a good source of manganese, Omega 6 fatty acids, which help with managing cholesterol. They also good for providing calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
If you’re interested in reading more about these little wonder seeds, I found a great source of info through the Dr Axe website, titled Poppy Seeds: Healthy, Beneficial Food or Dangerous Opiate?
And just to note, although poppyseeds do contain tiny amounts of opiates, they are not illegal to buy in Australia where I live. If they were, I definitely wouldn’t be sharing a recipe that contains them. Put simply, from research I’ve done over the years, eating a slice of cake with poppyseeds won’t get you high.
When to serve Orange Poppyseed Cake
I love making it for afternoon teas and it works really well accompanied by my wonderfully delicate, also lightly citrusy Alfajores. Together on a table, they’re perfection, with all gentle sweetness you’ll need.
But see for yourself, my friends, and try this recipe.
Did you make this cake?
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