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)

Lizzieb88's picture

I made this cake but instead of the chocolate topping I used some icing sugar mixed with a little water, some orange flavouring and orange food colouring and drizzled this on top. I thought it went much better and was a lot less of a faff!

FrostySnowman's picture

Cake itself was not bad but the choc sauce does not fit the cake at all. Itis sicklysweetand ruins the entire experience

alphabetsoup951's picture

I adore this cake. The flavours are really good. I've made it twice: the first time I made it with a chocolate top and the second time I put the chocolate chunks through the cake. Both worked well. I found the cooking time to be less than stated (about 35mins in my oven) so be careful of that. The cake keeps well - I normally bake it the day before.

sarahl42's picture

Made this cake many times without the chocolate sauce, and its lovely, easy to make and very moist.

jithanishant's picture

I made this without the poppy seeds and did not add the sauce either. Added half a tsp of orange marmalade. Tasted absolutely great and was super moist. Everyone loved it and it lasted only a day. Will be making it again. :)

metherton's picture

I love this cake... Very easy to make

metherton's picture

This cake was amazing, I cooked it without the chocolate sauce and it was beautifully moist

adriana0208's picture

Amazing cake! Different but extremely tasty. The chocolate topping is way too much, I spread it all over the cake and still had half of it left.. So it was a shame it was wasted. Other than that five stars! :-)

looeybee's picture

Made this to bring on a weekend away with family and it went down a treat. Had extra cream[Elmlea] and chocolate so made a sauce instead of drizzle and served it with icecream. Very decadent but extremely "Yummy". Will definitely make this one again.

nevynevster's picture

Good cake - I omitted the poppy seeds and juiced three oranges (as I only had small ones). the cake kept well and was like a massive jaffa type cake. Very tasty.

sheller's picture

very moist but lacks in taste !!

doylogirl's picture

This cake is really easy to make and tastes divine, the chocolate sauce is to die for. I make more and chuck it in a jar to top Ice Cream with the Kids love it !!

despinamina's picture

Made this yesterday for the family and it went down very well!

raincloud_'s picture

I can't fault this recipe at all. It was easy to make, looked impressive and it was moist and tasty without being too sweet. I don't have a sweet tooth so to have a tasty cake like this with the added bonus of being able to finish a nice big slice was great! I never stray from a recipe and it worked out perfectly.. chocolate drizzle, candied orange 'n' all!
I agree with other comments though... waaaaaay too much chocolate sauce. I only used a smidgen out of the bowl.

lilaengel's picture

I made some slight variations to this lovely staple. I was slightly alarmed about the amount of butter so I only used around 180g and around 150g of sugar. This did not effect the end result at all. It was definitely still sweet and rich enough. I also did not add any sauce, preferring it to be plain.

debbideme's picture

Good. My family enjoyed the cake

dghall's picture

Wow, I am just starting to learn to bake and this was not only very easy but produced amazing results. A lovely, light and moist cakethat looked as good as the picture. Swapped the chocolate topping for a carrot cake frosting and sprinkled the candied zest over the top - looked brilliant. Also used self raising flour rather than the plain flour and baking powder.

grandmagrandad's picture

this is certainly a special occasion cake to try. jean.

rich1e's picture

What a fantastic cake!!! So easy to make with such a brilliant outcome. Everyone couldn't get enough! Forget the chocolate...cover with an orange icing and it is even better!

broldham's picture

A nice enough cake but the use of poppy seed seems totally pointless, even toasted, as the delicate flavour is overwhelmed by the heavier aromas of the other ingredients. I've tried this recipe using ground poppyseed and the difference in flavour is quite different.


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