Orange and poppy seed cake

Why you will love it

Orange and poppy seeds cake is citrusy and zesty and goes well with a cup of tea. Poppy seeds are a great match with oranges, vanilla, and their mildly sweet and nutty flavor.

I enjoy baking as much as cooking. I experiment in my kitchen constantly. My favorite cakes are simple, single-layer cakes with easy icings like this bundt. Also, check out the Greek semolina orange cake.

This beautiful orange and poppy seed bundt cake is perfect for morning or afternoon tea or a special event.

  • Oranges – 3 medium oranges are needed to get the citrus flavor of this cake with poppy seeds and fresh orange zest. Both the batter and glaze contain it. If blood oranges are in season, you can use them. However, they will require more oranges as they tend to be smaller.
  • Plain Yoghurt: Make certain it is at room temperature. You can use Greek yogurt in place of plain yogurt.
  • Vanilla: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the orange bundt for a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Flour: Use plain flour (aka all-purpose flour). If you prefer to make it gluten-free, then use your favorite GF blend.
  • Baking powder: To make your orange cake rise.
  • Poppy seeds: These poppy seeds are nutty, sweet, and subtle. They make the cake more appealing, both in terms of taste and texture. If you don’t want to use them, you can still make a beautiful orange bundt.
  • Salted Butter Since I don’t add any additional salt to the batter, I prefer salted butter. You can use unsalted butter plus 1/4 teaspoon extra salt if you don’t have any salted butter on hand.
  • Vegetable oil: Canola oil and rice bran oil are my favorites.
  • Eggs – 3 large eggs at room temperature.
  • Sugar: Use granulated or powdered Sugar for the orange glaze.

How to make orange poppyseed cake (step by step)

  1. Prepare oranges: Begin by zesting them – I use a Microplane to do this, as it removes the zest but leaves the bitter white pith underneath. Place the zest in a small container and leave it aside once you have two tablespoons. Then, juice the oranges to get 2/3 cup of orange juice. Save the remainder for the glaze. Add half to the orange juice jug. Along with the juice and zest, add your vanilla and yogurt.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the poppy seeds, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Mix butter and Sugar: Place butter and the Sugar in a mixer stand, and mix on medium speed. A handheld electric mixer will work, too.
  4. Add oil: add the vegetable oil and beat for a few more minutes. The mixture should be very pale and fluffy.
  5. Then, add the eggs. Lower the speed and mix the eggs after each addition.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture and continue mixing on low until the mixture is almost completely combined.
  7. Add orange and yogurt mixture: Pour approximately half of the orange juice, zest, and yogurt into the bowl and beat again at low speed until combined. Repeat this process by adding half the remaining flour and then the yogurt mixture. Use a spatula and mix the last bit of flour mixture. Do not overmix the flour mixture!
  8. Pour the batter into the bundt pan: Pour the orange and poppyseed cake batter into the bundt pan you have prepared.
  9. Cook: bake your bundt for 35-40 min. Allow it to cool for 5-10 mins in the pan, and then remove it to a wire rack. You can say a small prayer to ensure that all the nooks and crannies were covered when you oiled and floured your pan.
  10. To make the icing, combine the icing and orange juice after your cake has cooled. Pour it over the bundt orange poppy seeds cake and decorate with extra orange zest. Enjoy!


  1. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature. The fridge tends to dry out the cake so I wouldn’t recommend it. The orange and poppyseed cake can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it overnight before eating.


    • # 3 medium oranges, room temperature
    • ▢ One cup plain yogurt, room temperature (250ml).
    • ▢ Vanilla 1 teaspoon
    • ▢ 390 g plain (purp) flour (3 cups/14oz).
    • ▢ 3 Tablespoons of baking powder
    • ▢ 1/4 cup poppy seeds
    • ▢ Softened salted butter – 113g (1/2 cup / 1stick / 4oz).
    • ▢ Half a cup of vegetable oil (such as canola or rice bran) (125ml).
    • ▢ White granulated Sugar (300g/10 1/2oz).
    • ▢ Three large eggs, room temperature
    • ▢ 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (195g/ 7oz).


      • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F (fan forced 160C). Butter the bundt pan using very soft butter, making sure you get all the corners and grooves. Then, flour the bundt pan and tap off the excess.
      • Preparing the oranges: Begin by juicing and zesting the oranges. Set aside the zest from your oranges in a small container.
      • Add 1/2 cup of the orange juice to the orange zest in the jug. Add 1/2 cup of orange juice to orange zest in a jar. The remainder of the orange juice will be used to make the icing.
      • Add the vanilla and yogurt to the orange zest/juice jug. Whisk it together. Set aside.
      • For the CAKE BATTERTo disperse the poppy seeds and baking powder, combine them in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
      • Butter and Sugar should be beaten together on medium speed for one minute in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the oil and continue to beat until pale and fluffy.
      • Add each egg one at a time and beat on low speed until they are combined. Scratch the sides of your bowl several times.
      • Mix on low speed until 80% of the flour is combined.
      • Add half of the orange yogurt mixture and continue to beat at low speed until almost combined. Repeat the process, adding half the remaining flour and then the remaining orange yogurt mixture. Finally, using a spatula, mix the last remaining portion of the flour mixture. Be careful not to overmix.
      • Pour the thick batter into the bundt pan and level it with a knife.
      • BAKE: Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the toothpick is removed with only a few crumbs attached.
      • The cake should cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pan and then be turned out onto a cooling rack. (Place the cooling tray over the cake tin before flipping it all over). Let the cake cool down to room temperature prior to icing it and serving.
      • ICING: Pour the orange juice and icing over the cake after it has cooled.
      • Please take a minute to leave a rating and comment. This is greatly appreciated.


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