Orange & poppy seed cake with chocolate sauce

Orange & poppy seed cake with chocolate sauce

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(29 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 50 mins

More effort

Serves 8
A light, zingy cake with a drizzle of chocolate and candied zest for a special finishing touch

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen without sauce
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal650
  • fat42g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars39g
  • fibre0g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.86g
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  • 250g butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tbsp extra



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g golden caster sugar, plus 25g
  • 3 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 250g plain flour, sifted
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • juice of 2 oranges, zest of 4



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 50g poppy seed, toasted

For the sauce

  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g chocolate, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin or line a similar-size cake tin with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, combine 200g butter and 200g sugar in a large bowl. Beat until light and creamy, about 2 mins, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after you add each one. Tip in the flour and baking powder, mix for a few secs, then add the orange juice, zest of 2 oranges and poppy seeds. Stir everything together, then pour into the cake tin. Bake for 50 mins, then remove from the oven. Cool completely in the tin.

  2. Meanwhile, make the candied orange zest by combining the remaining zest (finely sliced), 25g sugar and 100ml water in a small pan. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins until thick. Remove the zest with a slotted spoon onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper.

  3. For the sauce, heat the cream in a small pan until nearly boiling. Put the chocolate and remaining butter into a bowl, then pour the hot cream over it and leave for 1 min to melt. Stir together until smooth, then let it sit until the cake is cool (if it hardens, just reheat gently). Drizzle the sauce over the cake, sprinkle with the candied zest and serve.

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Comments (37)

maisam's picture

This was absolutely lovely! I had a bit of trouble doing the caramel zest but it didn't matter. I shall most certainly be making this again.

bethocallaghan's picture

Very yummy. Only need to do half the icing though if you are doing the drizzle topping. Didn't make the candied zest.

westyorkshirelass's picture

I make this without the topping and it's fab. I just drizzle some melted chocolate over the top. I'm thinking about trying it with lemons - will report back!

hollywoozle's picture

I just baked this cake and was pleased with the results. I didn't have cream for the topping so I just mixed orange juice with sugar and drizzled it over the top. I would use more orange zest next time as the flavour of the cake isn't that strong, however it has turned out soft, moist and moreish. I bought my poppy seeds in the baking section of sainsburys, they are in an orange and red packet.

drainser78's picture

Fantastic, went down a treat!

oldhasw6's picture

Forgot the stars!

oldhasw6's picture

I made this for a cake sale at work, and it sold out within minutes! The glossy chocolate on top and candied zest make it look really impressive, and the flavours got a big thumbs up too! Lots of people commented on how light and moist it was, and that the orange isn't overpowering at all. Would definitely make this again. In fact, I wish I had some to eat now!

omfmcmahon's picture

Very yummy cake and very easy to make. The topping looks impressive and was suprisingly easy to create.

germania's picture

Great cake, very easy. I too only used 200 gms butter in cake and a tablespoon of butter in the chocolate sauce.

For an even moister cake you can boil up orange juice and sugar and when it cools, tip over hot cake when it comes out of the oven (first stab small skewer holes in cake) Syrup will then seep into cake and keep it lovely and moist. Then decorate as per recipe above.

Oranges can also be substituted with mandarin juice and zest.

EstellaLaru's picture

Penny, I found poppy seeds at a Julian Graves shop after seeing them on their website.

recanati's picture

my cake was rather dry and unfortunately I did use very dark chocolate so not very popular.....

moggizfood's picture

Penny, you can definitely get them from Waitrose.

Making this with my son this afternoon so will post back with results. Thanks for the tips.

pennytolley's picture

I want to try this recipe but I'm having trouble finding poppy seeds - Sainsburys/Tesco/Morrisons don't seem to have them - can you advise where I can buy anyone?

sweetandsour's picture

An amazing soft and moisty cake with a lot of taste. I skipped the topping as I had not enough time and I served it with frozen berries and some cream. Totally amazing!!

phinugget's picture

Very easy to make and incredibly delicious. Roasting the poppy seeds is a very good idea, it releases all those great flavors. I also used just 200g butter. Be careful not to chose a bitter chocolate for the cream, unless you want it so.

imabadpixie's picture

Really tasty easy cake! I didnt do the toppings, instead i added 1 orange juice to the cake mix and then poured over the rest like a drizzle cake with some sugar once it had come out of the oven. I used 200g butter in the mix- unlike the 225g suggested in the recipe as i thought the extra 25g might make it a little heavy. Very light.. nice change to a sponge!

imicola's picture

Wow - this cake is amazing! I made it a bit bigger by adding 50% to the ingredients and putting it in a bigger cake tin as I was making it for a crowd. It took a little longer to bake, but worked perfectly and everyone loved it. There was quite a lot of the chocolate, so I spread it over the whole top of the cake and still had some left.

I'll definately be making this cake again...moist, flavourful and unusual!


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