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Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze

If you love a luscious poppy seed cake but enjoy a hint of orange flavoring, you’re going to flip over this simple homemade cake. It’s truly perfect, inside and out.

Let me start with a huge thank you to my step-mom, Jeanene, for this yummy recipe. I tweaked it a little and baked it in my new heart-shaped bundt pan, just for fun.

No matter how you bake yours up, you’re going to love this one, folks! And just to clear up a question I know you’re going to ask, many people call this poppy seed bread instead of poppy seed cake. No matter what you call it, you’re going to love it!

History of Poppy Seed Cake

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

I have loved poppy seed bread for as long as I can remember. If you asked me, “What’s so special about poppy seeds?” I wouldn’t have known how to answer. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what they were, exactly.

So, I did a little research.

Poppy seeds are derived from the poppy plant and are native to Greece and the Orient. Hearing the word “poppy,” I had to ask the obvious question: “Um. . .are they potent?” (Hey, I saw that poppy field scene in The Wizard of Oz! I wasn’t born yesterday!)

Seek. . .and Ye Shall Find!

I found my answer at the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Poppy seed, tiny dried seed of the opium poppy, used as food, food flavouring, and the source of poppy-seed oil. Poppy seeds have no narcotic properties, because the fluid contained in the bud that becomes opium is present only before the seeds are fully formed. 

The seeds are small (about 1 mm [0.04 inch] in length), kidney-shaped, and grayish blue to dark blue in colour. They have a faint nutlike aroma and a mild, nutty taste especially popular in breads and other baked goods. Poppy seed contains from 44 to 50 percent fixed oil, the principal components of which are linoleic and oleic acids.

So, there you go. They have no narcotic properties. That solves that riddle. What they do have is a lot of nutrition. These teensy-tiny seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals and commonly used in baked goods and pastries.

Can I Use Poppy Seeds in Cake?

I perused the web to find out the history of poppy seed cake and here’s a little info I found on a U.K. site called mydinner.co.uk :

Poppyseed cake is called Mohnkuchen in German. Simply put together from the German word for poppy seeds “Mohn” and cake “Kuchen”.  Traditional poppy seed cakes originate from Silesia and Poland but have become part of the German and Austrian cuisine over centuries.

With all of that in mind, I couldn’t wait to try it. And boy, am I ever glad I did! This is a new favorite, for sure! And after sending it to a family member who’s been under the weather I got a text message saying how much she loved it, too.

You’re going to enjoy it, as well. . .so let’s get baking!

Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a quick look at what you’ll need for this delicious recipe. No doubt you already have many of these simple ingredients on hand in your refrigerator or pantry.

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • all purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • poppyseeds

WET INGREDIENTS:

  • vegetable oil
  • milk
  • large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • butter flavoring (optional)

ORANGE GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • orange juice
  • powdered sugar
  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract

How to Make Poppyseed Cake with Orange Glaze

This cake came together so easily! I can’t believe I haven’t made it before. Unlike many of my recipes this one doesn’t start with a box mix. It’s a “from scratch” cake all the way.

Preheat oven to 335 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray bundt pan (or two loaf pans) with nonstick spray.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

It’s time to mix up that poppy seed batter!

Start by putting all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk flour mixture together.

In a separate medium bowl combine all wet ingredients. Use the whisk to incorporate the egg and thoroughly mix all wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. You can use an electric mixer (which is what I did) or a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Increase to medium speed and mix for 2 – 3 minutes until all ingredients come together.

Pour batter into the pan and place in preheated oven for one hour (or slightly longer, depending on your oven).

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from oven and place in wire rack to cool.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Wait for 15 – 20 minutes or until you can handle the bundt pan.

Flip it onto the wire rack and allow it to loosen on its own. Continue to cool.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Make the Glaze

While the cake is cooling, make your orange glaze.

Combine orange juice, almond extract, and vanilla extract with powdered sugar in a small bowl. Whisk well.

Drizzle half of the glaze over cake.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Transfer to a lovely serving platter. If you don’t have a platter, you can use a cake drum. I keep cake drums from Amazon on hand as a base for most of my cakes. I highly recommend them because they can hold the weight of the cake.

Slice and serve, adding extra glaze on top.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Cake will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Cake can be frozen in ziplock bag for up to two months.

What to Expect from this Cake:

I was most surprised by the flavors in the glaze. I hardly know how to describe them, except to use the word “exotic,” which is exactly how this cake tasted to me.

The combination of the orange and almond, perhaps? I honestly don’t know. I just know that I felt like I was in the Middle East, eating a fancy, flavorful dessert prepared by a master chef.

This is a luscious sweet bread (or cake, depending on what you want to call it).

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

All that to say, the combination of glaze and poppy seed cake is out of this world. Talk about a lovely citrus flavor!

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze from Out of the Box Baking.com

Speaking of the cake, this is moderately dense in texture. Perhaps this is why some folks call it a bread.

It’s rich with flavor and perfect for a breakfast cake. That said, it’s also great for a tea party, (high tea), or even a dessert after dinner.

In short, you can serve it all day long! And the rich orange flavor makes it perfect for the holidays, as well. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or your favorite hot tea.

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

Sunday LinkUp

Variations on this Orange Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

I’m already thinking of ways to dress this recipe up next time. I might add:

  • Almonds: This cake would really be nice with sliced toasted almonds on top of the glaze.
  • Orange zest: This would be lovely on the outside of the cake, as well.
  • Cranberries: I can’t help but think fresh cranberries would be luscious baked into this rich cake. (Yum!)
  • Loaf pans: Want your poppy seed cake to look more like bread? Simple! Bake in loaf pans. (You’ll probably need two pans for this recipe.)
  • Mini loaf pans: Make mini loaves. (Talk about great gifts!)
  • Serve with orange peel or fresh orange slices.
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream: You can add this in place of the milk if you like.
  • Lemon poppy seed cake: Skip the orange and go with lemon, instead! Add a bit of lemon juice to your confectioners sugar and vanilla extract.

Other Almond Infused Offerings from Out of the Box Baking:

I have some terrific recipes that include almond. Check out the following!

Easy Cherry Almond Bars: If you love the flavor of a traditional cherry pie but prefer the simplicity of a cookie bar, then this is the recipe for you! This luscious sweet treat has a shortbread base, cherry preserves in the center, and sliced almonds on top. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to bake!

Almond Tea Cakes: These tea cakes are rich in almond flavor with the crunch of slivered almonds on top. They’re so easy to make because they start with a simple white cake mix. They’re perfect for an afternoon tea party or any time of day!

Easy Italian Wedding Cookies: If you love the simplicity and taste of a great Mexican Wedding Cookie but you’re looking for something packed full of a rich almond flavor, this is the recipe for you! These tender, flaky Italian Wedding Cookies have a pie crust consistency but the flavor of an amazing almond shortbread.

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies: This sugar cookie recipe has made its way to hundreds of homes over the years and has been enjoyed by brides, grooms, graduates, toddlers, elderly, and everyone in-between! It’s a sturdy but soft sugar cookie, unlike most traditional traditional recipes. Best of all, it’s easy to make and so fun to decorate with my Easy Royal Icing!

That’s it for this recipe, y’all! I hope you enjoyed this orange poppy seed cake recipe!

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know your thoughts on this great recipe. (I promise you won’t be disappointed!)


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

It you love a luscious poppy seed cake but enjoy a hint of orange flavoring, you're going to flip over this simple homemade cake. It's truly perfect, inside and out.

Ingredients

  • DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • butter flavor (optional)
  • ORANGE GLAZE
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    How to Make Poppyseed Cake with Orange Glaze
    Preheat oven to 335 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Spray bundt pan (or two loaf pans) with nonstick spray.
    It's time to mix up that poppy seed batter!
    Start by putting all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl. Use a whisk to mix them together.
    In a separate medium bowl combine all wet ingredients. Use the whisk to incorporate the egg and thoroughly mix all wet ingredients.
    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. You can use an electric mixer (which is what I did) or a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
    Increase speed to medium and mix for 2 - 3 minutes until all ingredients come together.
    Add batter to the prepared pan and place in preheated oven for one hour (or slightly longer, depending on your oven).
    Remove from oven and place in wire rack to cool.
    Wait for 15 - 20 minutes or until you can handle the bundt pan.
    Flip it onto the wire rack and allow it to loosen on its own.

    Make the Glaze
    While the cake is cooling, make your orange glaze.
    Combine orange juice, almond extract, and vanilla extract with powdered sugar in a small bowl. Whisk well.
    Drizzle over cake.
    Slice and serve.
    Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Cake will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Cake can be frozen in ziplock bag for up to two months.

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