I fell in love with this delicious orange and poppy seed cake on a teaching trip to Australia a few years ago, the tangy flavour and interesting texture of the poppy seeds and orange peel have me hooked! It seemed that everywhere I travelled in Australia, everywhere I looked, a version of this delightful cake was always on offer. It was so simply scrumptious I could never resist.
An Australian classic cake recipe
I was absolutely delighted, on leaving, to be given the recipe – what a fabulous present. Once back in the UK I set to work experimenting, I altered the recipe a little but not much. I have been so pleased with this versatile and delicious cake that you’ll now find the recipe in my quite a few of my books: ‘bake me I’m yours….cupcake celebration’ my best-selling ‘Contemporary cake decorating bible’ and my award-winning ‘Mini cakes Academy ‘.
The cake is firm enough to be covered in sugarpaste but light enough for cupcakes. It also keeps extremely well so is ideal as a base for highly decorated cakes.
Orange and poppy seed cake recipe
Makes: 15-20 cupcakes, depending on the case size, a 15cm (6in) x 7.5cm (3in) round cake or 16 x 5cm (2in) mini round cakes
You will need:
185g (6oz) unsalted butter
160g (5oz) caster sugar
100g (3 ½ oz) marmalade
1/4tsp almond extract
Zest of two oranges
80ml (3fl oz) orange juice
185g (6oz) self-raising flour
60g (2oz) ground almonds
40g (1 ½ oz) poppy seeds
50 g (2oz) mixed peel
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 170° C/150° C fan (325°F) Gas 3
- Grease and line the cake tin(s) with baking parchment or fill muffin trays with paper cupcake cases.
- Place butter, sugar, marmalade, almond essence, orange zest and juice in a pan and stir over low heat until the mixture is melted. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Sift flour, almonds and poppy seeds into a bowl, add the mixed peel then make a well in the centre.
- Gradually pour the cooled liquid into the well and mix until smooth
- Add eggs and mix until combined.
- Pour or pipe the mixture into the lined tin(s) or cupcake cases. They should be about three-quarters full.
- Bake: cupcakes 20 minutes, mini cakes 30 minutes, large cake 1 1/2 hours or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Leave cakes to cool completely in their tins.
Brush with an orange liquor, such as Cointreau, before icing
Best eaten within two weeks
Orange and poppy seed cake variations
If you are not very fond of poppy seeds, this recipe works really well as an orange and almond cake – in fact, this is how my daughter prefers it!
Do let me know how you get on and what you think of this recipe.
Happy baking and decorating