Orange and lemon poppy seed cake

Orange and lemon poppy seed cake




Gluten-free (see note below), nut-free

  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup (60mL) milk
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup sour cream or milk
  • ¼ cup (60mL) orange juice



  • 125g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Mix the poppy seeds and milk in a small bowl and leave to soak.


Preheat oven to 160°C.


Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.


Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.


Add the citrus rind and then the eggs one at a time, beating well between adding each egg.


Add the flour, sour cream (or milk), orange juice and poppy seed mixture and mix until just combined.


Pour into cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.


To make icing, beat cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.


When the cake is cold spread the icing over the top of the cake.



  • Vary this cake with different citrus fruits — I have used tangelos, but limes and mandarins would also work well.
  • It is tempting to juice the orange and use all the juice in the cake, resist the urge because it makes the cake too heavy.
  • Make this cake gluten-free using gluten-free self-raising flour or plain flour and 4 teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder.
  • The icing is superb; you could always double the quantity, cut the cake in half and use half the icing in the middle and half on top.

Serving Suggestions


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