Citrus poppy seed cake

Citrus poppy seed cake



For the cake

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 180g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zest finely grated
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

For the vanilla roasted citrus

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 mandarins
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary


Preheat oven to 200°C or 180°C fan forced and grease a 26cm cake tin and set aside.

Combine the buttermilk and poppy seeds in a bowl and set aside while you make the cake batter.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the zest, juice and poppy seed buttermilk mixture.

Fold through the flour and spoon the mixture into cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the vanilla-roasted citrus, place the mandarins, vanilla bean and rosemary in a bowl. Mix well so everything is really well combined. Layer two pieces of baking paper on top of each other and place the citrus in a little pile in the very middle. Wrap up like a little present and tie together with kitchen string. Place on a baking tray and add to the oven for the cake’s last 15 minutes of baking.

Cool cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then place on a serving platter or plate. Remove the citrus from the oven, unwrap and then tip it straight over the cake.

Serve with ice cream or cream.


  • Soaking the poppy seeds in the buttermilk softens them so they are ready for baking.
  • Once you have tipped the citrus pieces over the cake, try and resist eating a slice for 10 minutes to enable the cake to soak up the citrus juices.
  • This recipe was created by Sophie Hansen for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder. .

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