This cake is refreshing & delightful. I decided to gather the best aspects from a few recipes to make a dense cake perfect for an afternoon tea. I love the texture of the cake - it originally was meant to have a syrup poured over it. The cake isn't light & fluffy at all, but full & wholesome. I also adore that the seeds "pop" in your mouth as you bite into it adding a fantastic textural element.
Last time my friend Heidi & her mother came for afternoon tea they had this cake & enjoyed it so much that they asked for the recipe, so when it was time to bake for her baby sprinkle it wasn’t even a question! I also knew that the neutral colours of the cake would be ideal for my theme.
¼ cup black poppy seeds
¾ cup full cream milk
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 orange rind, zested with a microplane
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup caster sugar
2 cups of plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
250 grams cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1½ - 2 cups of soft icing sugar, sifted
(taste for sweetness)
1 tbs orange rind
Preheat oven to 160°C. Pre-prepare a 20cm round, lined cake tin. Put the poppy seeds & milk into a jug, stir, then set aside on your workbench to start on the other ingredients. Place the butter, orange rind, vanilla paste & sugar into a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer/beaters until light, creamy & pale in colour. Add eggs, one by one, mixing between each one. Add sifted flour & baking powder, milk poppy seed mixture, orange juice, & mix until ingredients are just combined. Pour into prepared cake tin & bake for 50-60 mins,or until cake tested with a skewer.
Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare your cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese, butter & vanilla paste until smooth with electric mixer/beaters. Add icing sugar ½ cup at a time so you don’t end up with one big ‘poof’ of sugar in your kitchen. Finally, add orange rind. Combine.
:: orange & poppyseed cake for Heidi's baby shower ::
Party Style :: Use a palette icing knife to spread out the icing from the centre. You can either add a sprinkling of extra poppy seeds or orange rind on top, but this time I went for baby booties made of icing instead. Choose a ribbon the colour of your theme to go around the cake, it is such an easy touch but speaks volumes.
:: orange & poppyseed cake with piped on flowers ::
Quick Kitchen :: To make a quick orange syrup to pour over the top instead of the icing, place 1 cup of Orange Marmalade Jam into a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Heat til warm & well combined. Remove cake from cake tin, top-side up, onto a wire rack. Spoon half the syrup over a hot cake then allow to cool. Serve cake with double cream & remaining syrup.