Strawberry & poppy seed cake

Strawberry & poppy seed cake

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(9 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 25 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Cuts into 10-12 slices

A light vanilla sponge dotted with seeds and sandwiched with orange frosting and fresh strawberries - heavenly

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freeze cake bases only
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice (12)

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  • 4 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 200g unsalted butter, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the syrup and filling

  • zest and juice 1 large orange
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
  • 170g pot full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 500ml pot full-fat crème fraîche
  • 350g strawberries, sliced, plus extra to serve (optional)

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  1. Dry-fry the poppy seeds in a pan over a gentle heat for 2 mins or until aromatic. Let cool. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. Mix together the flour and baking powder, then set aside. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, whisk until thick, pale and foamy. Pour in the cooled butter and vanilla extract, and briefly whisk again. Sift in the flour mix, add 3 tbsp poppy seeds then, using a large metal spoon, carefully fold into the cake mixture until even. Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 25 mins or until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack.
  3. To make the syrup, warm the orange juice and 50g of the sugar in the microwave for 30 secs. Stir in the liqueur, if using. Using a large serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally to make a total of 4 circles. Brush the cut side and edges of each circle with plenty of the warm orange syrup.
  4. To make the filling, beat together the yogurt, crème fraîche, remaining sugar and orange zest until thick and spreadable. Stack the cakes with the creamy filling and strawberries, finishing with a creamy layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining poppy seeds over the top, then let the cake sit for 30 mins before slicing.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2013

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Show comments
Ember14's picture
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I made this yesterday for my dad's birthday, it was absolutely gorgeous and everyone loved it. The filling was a bit runny and I was worried that it would be a sloppy mess, as it was dripping down the sides (even though I didn't use all of the filling I made), however I put it straight in the fridge once assembled and it firmed up and then it was fine. It cut perfectly and had no issue with it. I wouldn't attempt to cut it straight after assembly though as it was a bit sloppy!

bakeyka's picture
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I made this for a friends birthday and it was delicious, everybody loved it.
I didn't bother with the orange liqueur, and I couldn't get poppy seeds in my local supermarket, but no-one noticed.
Fab, am going to make it again for another birthday.

charlieb_01's picture
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I can't rate this recipe because I changed it a fair bit so it would be unfair to compare, however what I produced was very nice and looked enticing.
Firstly, I forgot to buy poppy seeds, so they didn't go in!
I too don't see the point of this sponge method, it never seems to work for me as the flour stays in lumps and I end up having to mix quite vigorously which gets rid of a lot of the air, or when cooked leaves bit airholes akin to a crumpet. Unless it needs to be a batter type cake for it to maintain structural integrity when the syrup is added, I think I'll use a Victoria or all in one sponge method next time.
As for the filling, I too found 1/2 litre of Creme Fraiche to be prohibitively expensive (10GBP), so instead I used 250mls Creme Fraiche, 170mls Greek Yog and 240mls of whipping cream, the cream whipped to stiff peaks gave it a bit more firmness (others have said the filling was quite a runny), and I also added 3 tablespoons of icing sugar as I was concerned the caster sugar wouldn't dissolve, the icing sugar gave it the strength it needed to hold the layers.

batgirly's picture
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This cake went down a storm at a recent dinner party that I had. As with other comments the filling was a bit runny but I whipped it using an electric mixer for quite a while until it thickened up which worked really well. Definitely a showstopper and very tasty!

morella5's picture

Hi I made this cake for a Fathers Day brunch. Looks fabulous and tasted great. The filling though was very runny though I used full fat Greek yoghurt and full fat sour cream (Creme fraiche is hard to come by and very expansive here in Australia). I had to add whipped cream but still it was so runny, I only ended used about half the quantity but it made a nice cream to pour over the top.

123applepie's picture
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I tried the method given - but it offers no improvement over a standard all-in-one sponge. Next time I will bring it down to a 3 egg mix - 4 tiers is tricky to plate up and cut - generously filled it still looks good. Used 1 teaspoon orange essence not liquour.

Anyone with a dental plate might need warning of the tiny seeds!!!

123applepie's picture
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Lovely flavoursome cake. As children eating I used a teasp of orange essence instead of liquour.

I followed the given method - but could find no improvement over the simpler and more standard way for making a Victoria sponge. Next time I will decrease quantities - 4 tiers is tricky to plate and cut.

Tip - warn denture wearers of the tiny seeds!

gregphilp's picture

Great recipe- the sponge comes out very moist and flavoursome (liqueur added) and the poppy seeds provide an interesting texture. The filling does come out a little on the runny side (to be expected with the ingredients used) but still perfectly spreadable and delicious. Overall, a great cake recipe for summer!

vero2008's picture

I find the comments aren't doing justice to this gorgeous cake. I made it with half fat creme fraiche and real greek yogurt.. Thick creme fraiche would have had a better consistency (mine was a bit on the runny side) but it was still fresh and light. A really delicious cake well worth the effort. Not too sweet and flavoursome. Great centre piece!

mongibello's picture

I'm lost, the 'old' site was easier. The BBC should, at the very least, explain how things work....

Click on the green rectangular box at the top of the page on the right and a drop down menu will open with four different options. Click on the options to find your saved recipes.

Still prefer the old setting.

juleshowie's picture

Please... Where are the readers' saved recipes on this new site??

annepeters's picture

This website is so difficult to navigate-please can we have the old one back!?

last edited: 14:39, 27th Jun, 2013
catherinenowicki's picture

I agree. Not easy to use, poor search facilities and very jumpy and unstable on the iPad. Bad news

dlockhart's picture

The sponges are nice with a subtle hint of orange but my filling wasn't thick enough so had to rescue it with some whipped cream! Make sure you use full-fat Greek yogurt and not "Greek-style" as this must have been the source of my problems.

Overall I think nothing beats a traditional Victoria sponge and often modern twists simply cannot beat a classic! If you do want a twist I'd suggest the raspberry, lemon and polenta cake from GoodFood which is stunning.

carries's picture

Forgot to add rating :)

carries's picture

This cake is gorgeous. I didn't add the liqueur & still moist & tasty.

kev362y's picture

The new website sucks! Bring back the old one, it was way better.

last edited: 16:04, 21st Jun, 2013
bnuttall's picture

I agree it's a terrible website and where is my folder with 70 plus recipes???

lenotchka's picture

The list of ingredients is missing.

last edited: 16:04, 21st Jun, 2013
jenuwefa's picture

They're right there on the left....?