Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Orange Poppy Seed Cake (Donna Hay)

This orange poppy seed cake is another Donna Hay cake that I was told that I must bake...

Totally true!!! Besides the previous Donna Hay's banana cake that I have baked, this is another cake recipe from the book, Modern Classics Book Two by Donna Hay that I would highly recommend.

Can I bake this recipe with or without poppy seeds? Yes, you can... I can see why you ask this question if you are a Singaporean or living in Singapore.

When I was living in Singapore, I have never seen, hear or taste any orange poppy seed cake before. It is true! Apparently, poppy seeds are classified as prohibited goods by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) due to its subtle opium content. After having the first taste of orange poppy cake or any poppy seed related bakes, I tend to appreciate these bakes very well. I wonder if the subtle opium content plays a part in my appreciation... hmmm... With the effect of opium or not, I would say that the nice nutty taste and texture of poppy seeds kind of complement an orange cake very well.

Now, back to the question... Can I bake this recipe with any poppy seeds? Yes, you can... but I reckon that this all-time favourite classic is never the same without any poppy seeds. My son loves this cake with many poppy seeds and the imaginative him said that this cake is so yummy that many "ants" are also loving it... LOL!
My Donna Hay-loving colleague who has been using this recipe for countless time and said to me that this recipe is very good being fail-proof. Her orange poppy seed cakes made with this recipe are always extremely moist, buttery and fully packed with orange flavours and poppy-nutty crunch... And, mine too!

Hope that my photo can convinced you that this is a good recipe and a good cake too...

orange poppy seed cake Donna Hay
The always moist and delicious orange poppy seed cake
If I can count the number of these poppy seeds, my eyes will definitely go cuckoo!
Make sure that the butter is very soft if using a spoon to mix the cake batter.
... and poppy seeds milk. Mix, mix, mix and mix!
Notice that the cake doesn't brown a lot on its surface?
This very-orange syrup is a must to complete this cake.
Pour syrup over hot cake and wait slightly for it to absorb.
It can be served either warm or cold, immediately or later...
orange poppy seed cake Donna Hay
I want mine NOW with extra syrup!!!
orange poppy seed cake Donna Hay

Here's the recipe from the book, Modern Classics Book Two by Donna Hay
(with modification in blue)

Serves 8-10

1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
3/4 cup (or 150g) caster (superfine) sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup  freshly squeezed orange juice
(I used tetra packed ones with 100% juice with no added sugar)

1 cup sugar
(reduced to 100g)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
(I used 300 ml)
1/2 cup shredded orange rind

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) or 150°C fan forced. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a wooden spoon) and beat until light and creamy.

Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture. Stir to combine and spoon into a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 55-60 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Note: I baked mine at 150°C fan forced for 55 mins.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice and orange rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 mins or until syrupy. Note: I cooked mine for more than 20 mins until the orange rinds look semi-translucent.

Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake. To serve, cut the warm or cold cake into wedges and pour over the remaining syrup.

Happy Baking
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  1. I've seen many orange poppy-seed cupcakes pictures in FB, all friends are making it.. I've never tasted poppy-seeds, but am interested to try, but am lazy to go get it (lots of but, teehee).. If I follow everything, minus the poppy-seeds, then it will make a delicious butter orange cake, yummzzz..

  2. Hi Zoe, Happy you're the first one to join LTU :D I like your orange cake with poppy seed. Looks so pretty and so moist with the orange syrup. Mmmm... so yummy!

  3. Mmmm..Lots of poppy seeds and so orangey, thumbs up!

  4. Zoe, your cake looks soooo moist! I only recently learned that poppy seeds are prohibited in Singapore. In Malaysia still ok to use it :)

  5. Mmm, must be beautifully aromatic. Poppy seeds are very popular and mostly used for desserts in eastern Europe. Opium comes from unripened seeds.

  6. Hi Zoe,
    This cake looks really good, very moist and yummy!
    I would love to try this as well!
    My list is getting longer!!!

  7. I too can feel the aroma here......Love the orange and poppy seed combination..............

  8. I'm so happy to see Orange to be this month's LTU's theme as I have a recipe to share this month, yeah! Love the poppy seeds in this cake. The cake looks very delicious, Zoe!

  9. Hmmm....poppy seed cake is one of my fav. Yours look so tempting. yummm...
    Hope you're having a great week ahead dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  10. There's an episode of the television show Seinfeld where a character fails a drug test because she eats a poppy seed bagel! I love poppy seeds, but that's now the joke in our house. Stay away before drug tests!

  11. Hi Zoe, I am very convinced! Actually I have been looking for poppy seeds and I know I have seen it at the supermarket. But I don't seem to be able to find. Maybe banned here too.

  12. Wow! that's a lot of poppyseeds in your cake...love the orange glaze on top! will bookmark this for future reference:D

  13. I think I also must bake this cake! It looks so good!

  14. Just simply mouth-watering with orange syrup and all. Gorgeous!

  15. Love citrusy scents, they are heavenly. Bet your cake must have smelt so good, and the last photo makes it so tempting :)

  16. this is one my favorite recipes you have shared..

  17. Hi Zoe, I love the orange and poppy seed flavor combo you went with. It's a pity not to have poppy seeds available in Singapore. I had honey yogurt poppy seeds in Turkey. Was tempted to haul a pack of poppy seeds but decided against it.

  18. Zoe, your cake looks so mouthwatering. A pity we can't get hold of poppy seeds here in SG. I've been skipping recipes which uses poppy seeds

  19. Hi Zoe, your cake looks very moist and with the orange syrup, perfect!!

  20. Love this flavor and the cake is super moist and yummy.......

  21. I haven't baked poppy seeds cake for so long, it's the first cake I know to bake when I start learning baking. It's my all time favourite!

  22. Z, I never think to pair poppy seeds w orange. This looks brilliant! A must-try!

  23. pairing orange n poppy seeds here sounds great! looks splendid

  24. Your photos definitely convinced me! This looks great. I'm saving this recipe and hope to make it soon.

  25. I have never heard of poppy seeds till I went to study in the USA and there I fell in love with poppyseed muffins.Too bad I have not had those in years. Your cake looks very tempting!