Orange Poppy Seed Cake

You may recognize this recipe from a previous post – Our Christmas Brunch. It was buttery and a little crunchy from the poppy seeds, but not so rich as to make one sick. Perfect for brunch or a light dessert.

Sister Amanda liked it so much that she decided to serve it at our Girl’s Party.

Of course, we substituted whole wheat pastry flour for part of the AP flour. And we served ours with a mixture of cream cheese and orange zest. I’m not a big fan of sugar syrup.


:: Orange Poppy Seed Cake ::



  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Demerara or granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • One 8-ounce container of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds

Orange Cream Cheese Topping:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice


For the Cake
1) Grease a 9โ€ณ springform pan. Line the bottom with greased wax paper cut to size. Preheat oven to 350ยฐ F.

2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

3) Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat the batter until it is smooth after each addition.

3) Decrease speed to low and add half the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides with a spatula. Beat in the sour cream followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Fold in the poppy seeds to give the batter a final mix.

4) Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the Topping

1) In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth.

2) Add the maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of cream, orange zest, and orange juice. Beat until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup, if needed. Add more cream if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.


Creamy Sweet Onion Soup

And now, for the first of the recipes from our Girl’s Party: Creamy Onion Soup.

As I browsed Tastespotting for soup, I stumbled upon this recipe. The picture looked so appetizing. I was very much tempted to make this recipe from Dutch Girl Cooking, but my sister and I were sold on the first recipe. Perhaps another time I shall make the second.

The number of onions in this recipe kinda scared me. In the end I just couldn’t bring myself to put in eight large sweet onions. I can only guess that the recipe meant eight small-medium onions.

The original recipe was not a pureed soup. For my purpose, I wanted something creamy and smooth. It was very easy to puree with a stick blender.

When we served the leftover soup to Dad, he thought it was excellent. This recipe must be good.


:: Creamy Sweet Onion Soup ::


8 or 9 small-medium or 4 large sweet onions

1 quart chicken stock

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 gallon (8 cups) whole milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cups white cooking wine (optional)

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

kosher salt and black pepper

3 cups shredded Swiss cheese


Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.ย  Peel the onions, halve them, and slice thinly. Add to the melted butter and olive oil. Don’t worry about the amount of onions. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.

Add the flour and stir to cook, about three minutes. Add the wine, if using, cook, stirring, for another 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat the milk until hot. Add the stock to onions. Pout in the milk. Stir well.

Increase the heat to medium high and continue to stir. Grate the cheese. When the soup is starting to bubble and thicken, reduce the heat to medium low. If desired, puree the soup with a stick blender.

Add the grated cheese a handful at a time, stirring well, until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy. Taste the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the Dijon and the cayenne. Taste again and make any necessary adjustments. Serve hot with croutons.

Serves 8-10

Thai Coconut Rice

This recipe is for that special occasion when only white rice will do. Like when your sister makes the best chicken curry you’ve ever tasted.

The original recipe declared that it would serve 4. It served all seven of us with leftovers. But then, we’re not much of rice or pasta eaters. We go heavy on the sauce. However, this rice is so good it can be eaten all by itself. Which my sister and I did. ๐Ÿ˜€


:: Thai Coconut Rice ::


2 cups medium-grain rice

2 cups regular coconut milk

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup, sucanat, brown sugar, or sweetener of choice

1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring, optional

1-2 tablespoons toasted coconut, optional


1) In a large, deep-sided pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.

2) Add the coconut milk, water, salt, sweetener, and flavoring if using. Stir well. Bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from burning.

3) When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the lid askew on the pot, allowing some of the steam to escape. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all (or nearly all) of the coconut-water.

4) Turn off the heat. Cover the pot tightly with the lid and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, or until you are ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks. Top with roasted coconut if desired.

Serves 4-6

P.S. Recipes from the Party coming up next!

A Party

Last Friday us girls hosted a party for a few friends. It was so much fun to quickly throw a menu together. Join me for a look at our splendid little party.



:: The Menu ::



Piped Deviled Eggs

Cheese and Crackers


Creamy Onion Soup with Croutons


Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Toasted Bread


Fruit Salad


Vanilla Rice Pudding with Whipped Cream

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Cream



Creamy Onion Soup, made by yours truly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Janna made these delicious Chicken Salad Sandwiches, served on buttered, toasted bread.

Sister Amanda prepared these cute little deviled eggs. They were seasoned just right.

We decided to serve the fruit salad in tea cups. They looked so elegant.

We played a delightful little game. It is a Scandinavian tradition to place one almond in the rice pudding. Whoever finds the almond is promised to be the next to marry.

Breanna found the almond.

Amanda also made poppy seed cake. We served it with orange cream.


Are you hungry yet? I promise to give you at least a few of these recipes. For now, I must away and roll out tortillas for supper. How prosaic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Would you like to see more photos of our party? Stop by my photo blog.