Bitter orange & poppy seed cake

Bitter orange & poppy seed cake

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


Cuts into 8 slices
This easy all-in-one cake is made with yogurt for a light texture.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without sticky topping

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal422
  • fat21g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars35g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 3 tbsp good-quality thick marmalade (we used Frank Cooper's Thick Cut Oxford marmalade)
  • 150g pot natural bio yogurt



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • 3 eggs



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

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • ½ 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…

  • 175g butter, softened



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

  • zest 1 orange



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

  • 2 tsp poppy seed, toasted

For the sticky topping

  • juice ½ orange



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

  • 5 tbsp marmalade


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter a deep, medium-sized loaf tin (about 20 x 10cm, measured from the top), then line the base with a rectangle of non-stick baking paper. Put the marmalade into a small pan, heat gently until melted (or use a microwaveproof jug or bowl, then cook on High for 30 secs). Beat in the yogurt, then let cool for a few mins.

  2. Put the remaining cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Quickly beat in the yogurt and marmalade mix, then pour into the prepared tin. It will be quite runny. Leave the mix mounded in the middle of the tin rather than levelling the top, to help it rise and crack in the middle.

  3. Bake for 1 hr-1 hr 10 mins until golden and well-risen; a skewer should come out clean. Take a look at the cake after 45 mins; if it has taken on a lot of colour, loosely cover with baking paper. Meanwhile, heat the orange juice and marmalade in a small pan over a gentle heat until the marmalade melts (or use the microwave as before). Set aside to cool, stirring now and again, until you have a thick, but still runny, glaze. When the cake is ready, cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn onto a rack. Spoon the topping over the cake while it’s just warm. The cake is best served the day it’s made, but will keep for up to 3 days tightly wrapped in an airtight container. Will freeze for up to 1 month, un-glazed.

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Comments, questions and tips

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4th Feb, 2009
Great recipe! I have made it several times and even non-marmalade lovers like it. I haven't toasted the poppy seeds. It freezes well. As to why it sank, in my Mary Berry book she mentions that overdoing the marmalade can cause this problem.
17th Nov, 2008
A delicious cake, very popular with our family. Instead of the marmalade topping, I put about 75g of melted dark chocolate on the top (fairtrade cooking chocolate) - gorgeous! Will be making again very soon.
16th Oct, 2008
Help!! Am I the only person in the universe to have had a disaster with this recipe? Looking for any tips you may have as my loaf a) sank dramatically b)became stodgy c) wasn't much good even as a pud. My oven is fan assisted and I cooked it on the second rung up for the 1Hour 10 mins.
2nd Oct, 2008
Love this cake, it so beautifully moist, with a slight nutty taste from the poopy seeds and great tangy orange topping. I doubled up the quanties and made 2 cakes and this worked really well. Sending one into husbands work tomorrow for coffee time.
Frantic Flapjack
18th Jul, 2008
I couldn't get hold of poppy seeds, so used caraway seeds instead. This cake was very easy to make and popular with the family, but I found the topping quantity was way too much.
23rd Apr, 2008
This is a fantastic cake. Easy to make and everyone who has tried it loves it. I have had to make two for other people this week! I am not a great lover of marmalade so I found the strong marmalade a bit much on the top but it gives the cake good flavour so I use a milder marmalade for the topping. I also tried this recipe with lemon marmalade and a lemon. Absolutely gorgeous!
30th Mar, 2008
delicious cake that keeps fantastically well
24th Jan, 2008
I made this recipe when it first appeared in "Good Food" magazine. As I am coeliac, I made it with Dove's Farm Gluten-Free Plain Flour. It was really enjoyable: tangy, not to sweet and impossible to tell that it was not made with ordinary flour.
22nd Jan, 2008
Really buttery, tangy moist cake. Like other people, colleagues and relatives downed this like there was no tomorrow! Didn't bother toasting the seeds. It's totally WOW and I'm making for the third time v shortly. Definitely a firm fave of mine.
16th Dec, 2007
A really yummy cake - moist and tangy. It won much praise from my husband's colleagues - one even said it was the best cake he'd ever eaten!


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