Orange and Poppyseed Cake


Cakes without icing may look nondescript but I usually find my expectations are blown out of the water whenever syrup-soaking is involved. Even if you over bake the cake a syrup can save the day and re-moisten it back to perfection. This cake is a perfect little somethin’ somethin’ to have with tea in the afternoon and because there is no icing it’s easy and stress free to transport.


Lemon and poppyseed cake is an old favourite of mine, we used to help make it as kids, always in the same cake tin and after it was baked, always on the same cake stand with a glass cover. The excess syrup would pool around the base of the cake, making the glass cover stick and you would have to pull it a certain way to release it. Then you were free to spoon up all of the lovely, sticky syrup that you could get your hands on. To be honest I was usually more interested in the syrup than the cake itself but now that I’m older and wiser I know where the goods are. Woes me, I’ve lost part of the old cake tin so I’ve improvised with a loaf tin. Bake your cake in whatever shape you would like but be aware that baking times may vary a little bit.

Orange and Poppyseed Cake

Cake recipe adapted from Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake over at BBC Good Food. Syrup recipe origin unknown.


50g poppy seeds

185ml warm milk

220g caster sugar

3 eggs

300g self-raising flour

200g butter, softened

zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt


zest of 2 oranges

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup caster sugar

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 C, line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Combine poppy seeds and milk, allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy then beat in the eggs, lemon zest and salt.

Alternately beat in the flour and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer poked in comes out clean, leave in the tin.

To make the syrup, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to bubble for 4 minutes.

While the cake is still hot, poke a large number of holes into it with a skewer.

Spoon the hot syrup over the cake a small amount at a time, allowing it to soak in before continuing.

Let the cake sit in it’s tin until it comes to room temperature, this will give the syrup time to soak in.


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