This Orange Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is perfect to enjoy any time of day! With a tender orange cake, lots of fresh orange flavour and plenty of poppy seeds.
Why you’ll love this orange poppy seed cake
If you love the bright flavours of orange, this cake is loaded with it, with both orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice.
If you love poppy seeds, you’ll also love this cake! As you can see, there’s a lot of them in this cake.
And finally, the combination of those great orange flavours and the crunch and flavour of poppy seeds is a great cake, that can be enjoyed any time of day.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Oranges – You’ll need about 2 oranges for this recipe. I like to use Navel oranges, but any orange will work here. For smaller orange varieties, you may need 3 or 4.
- Milk – I recommend either 2% or 3% milk, for best results. I haven’t tested this recipe with non-dairy milk.
- Poppy Seeds – Check your poppy seeds before using, as they can easily go rancid and since there are plenty of poppy seeds in this cake, that is not a good thing.
Do you have to soak poppy seeds? No, you don’t, but many people do, as soaking allows for easier digestion of the poppy seeds and amplifies the poppy seed flavour. The easiest way to soak poppy seeds is to soak them in the liquid that will be used for the baking, whether water or milk.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in well between additions.
- Take a minute to scrape down the bowl and scrape under the paddle, where butter sometimes hides.
- Add the orange zest and vanilla and mix in.
- Add the orange juice and mix in.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 additions.
- Alternate the flour mixture with 2 additions of the milk/poppy seed mixture.
- The finished batter will be quite liquid.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake.
Bundt Cake Baking Tips
- Make sure your bundt cake pan is perfectly clean. Sometimes tiny bits of cake from previous bakes can remain in the narrow grooves on some pans. This can cause sticking later on when trying to remove the bundt cake.
- Grease the pan well and thoroughly. I have had great success with Pam Baking Spray. Alternately, use a brush to brush a thin layer of neutral-tasting cooking oil on the pan.
- If using spray, don’t spray the pan until you are right ready to put the batter in. If you spray early, the spray tends to run off the sides and pool at the bottom.
- The colour of your bundt pan can affect the baking time of the cake. Darker pans will cook more quickly, so be sure to check and test the cake ahead of the suggested baking time.
- After baking, the “sweet spot” for removing a bundt cake from the pan is 10 minutes after removing it from the oven (unless the recipe specifically suggests a different timing). Trying to remove the cake too early and any later than 10 minutes can cause the cake to stick to the pan.
- Before flipping out the bundt cake, use a knife to gently loosen the outside edges and the edges up against the centrepiece.
- To remove the cake, place a cooling rack over the top, then flip it over, allowing the pan to rest on the cooling rack. Gently lift up the pan a bit. The cake hopefully fell right out. If it didn’t, place it back down and gently tap on the sides of the pan with the blunt end of a knife until it loosens.
Get the Recipe: Orange Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- 1 cup milk, 2% or 3% b.f. recommended
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature, salted or unsalted
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Zest of two oranges, about 2 Tablespoons
- 2/3 cup orange juice, from two oranges
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter
- Icing/Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Measure out the milk in a 2-cup measure. Add the poppy seeds to the milk. Set aside and let stand and come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Take the butter and eggs out of the fridge to come to room temperature, as well.
- Preheat oven to 350F (Regular bake setting/non-Convection). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set aside. (If using baking spray, wait to spray it just before adding the batter).
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla orange zest and orange juice.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter, alternately with the milk/poppy seed mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Pour batter into greased (or sprayed) bundt pan. Batter will be thin.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean when tested into the centre of the cake.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool in the pan for exactly 15 minutes, the place a cooling rack over-top of the pan and invert. Allow to cool completely. Dust with icing/confectioner's sugar before serving.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!