Blood Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Christine Ma
by Christine Ma
1 loaf pan
1 hr 20 min

It’s not until January arrives when I realize how much I love citrus fruits. Navel oranges are always great but cara cara oranges, pommelos, meyer lemons, and blood oranges are pretty spectacular citrus fruits. You can do so much with these fruits including juicing, turning them into jams, delicious sauces, and of course, eating them raw. Today I’m paying respect to one of my favorites, blood oranges, by turning them into a glorious dessert. This blood orange poppy seed cake is a twist on the classic lemon and poppy seed pairing. Finish the cake with a lovely blood orange glaze for one stunning dessert.

Blood Orange Poppy Seed Cake
Recipe details
  • 1  loaf pan
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 20 min
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  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp (18 grams) poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp blood orange zest (about 4-5 oranges)
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) blood orange juice
  • 1/3 cup (90 grams) Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 cup (114 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp blood orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan.
Combine the dry ingredients including all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds.
Combine sugar with orange zest. Rub the sugar with the orange zest to release the oils from the zest.
Beat together the infused sugar with softened butter until creamed, light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating the egg before adding the next. Add the blood orange juice and yogurt and mix until well combined.
Stir in the dry ingredients just until mixed. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake the cake for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the blood orange glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar with 2-3 tbsp blood orange juice, adding just enough juice to achieve the right consistency. Pour the glaze over the cake. Slice and serve.
Christine Ma
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  • Looks fantastic! Very similar to what I grew up with. My only problem is finding fresh poppy seeds these day. Used to be a grocery store item, no more. The last few shipments from various vendors have all delivered rancid product. Have some friends that have better international shops than I do. Will have them scout out some for me. Pinned so I can make this when the poppy seeds show up. And, trust me, there will be several loaves at a time to share with my bubble buddies. Thank you so much! ❤

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    • Thanks so much! Unfortunately all three have sent me rancid seeds. Hence going to shop the international independent food markets. Here is the irony, I live in Los Angeles County. Go figure. When I was a kid my mom used to purchase in 5# bags. I will find some. Thanks for the tip! Appreciated.