Orange & Poppy Seed Cake

This little recipe was an experimental adventure. I wanted to create something that was fresh, sweet and cleansing to the palate.

It’s a variation of a recipe for a Basic Plain Cake found in the ultimate cookbook of all time – The Commonsense Cookery Book – every kitchen library (especially Australian ones) should have a copy of this book!

Orange & Poppy Seed Cake

Orange & Poppy Seed Cake



  • 125g butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup of sugar (I use caster sugar for a finer crumb)
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of S.R flour, sifted
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (use the same orange you’ve just zested)
  • 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds


  • 2 cups of icing sugar, sifted
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
  • Orange zest for decoration, optional


  • Oven on: 180C
  • Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla.
  • Add the eggs and beat well.
  • Add in the orange zest and poppy seeds, mix well.
  • Slowly beat in the sifted flour and orange juice until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into a pre-prepared round tin and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  • Check if the cake is cooked before taking it out of the oven by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it’s cooked, if not leave it in the oven and cook for another few minutes until it is cooked through.
  • Stand the on a cake rack for few minutes before turning it out of the tin.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before icing it.


  • Place the sifted icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Gradually add and mix a tablespoon of orange juice to the icing sugar until it becomes the consistency of thick honey.
  • Pour onto the middle of the cake and allow gravity to do her work!
  • You may have to help spread the icing to the sides, evening it out on top.
  • As an option, sprinkle the orange on to the top of the cake for pretty presentation!
  • Enjoy (especially with a dollop of ice cream or a cup of steaming hot tea!)



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