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 9″ springform pan. Line the bottom with greased wax paper cut to size. Preheat oven to 350° 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.


5 thoughts on “Orange Poppy Seed Cake

  1. Oh man, this poppy seed cake looks fantastic! I love the textural difference between the soft cake and the crunchy poppy seeds! How totally fabulous. Plus, I love orange flavor in cakes. I can’t wait to try this out in my new bundt pan.

  2. This recipe looks delicious – now just add in the whole oranges!! I will have to try this one next I have excess oranges in the fruit bowl 🙂

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