Poppyseeds or graines de pavot were one of those mysterious ingredients that came up in several recipes but stayed well hidden on supermarket shelves until I accidentally discovered it among the Ducros range of spices. Since then poppyseeds, usually in combination with orange or lemon, has become an strong asset in my everyday baking repertoire.

Whenever baking for a crowd, poppyseed cakes never fail to raise an eyebrow of suspicion especially among those who’ve not chanced upon feeling the crunch of poppyseeds in a baked goodie before. Their initial hesitation, however, quickly fades away after the first bite as they reach for a second piece of cake.

The recipe from Leave Room for Dessert is a well loved one that I’m trying for the first time in Bundt form. If you dnt have a Bundt pan around, simply divide batter among regular sized muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, cool and top each mini cake with lemon flavoured buttercream and a tiny paper parasol. Now won’t that be a perfect favour for a summer themed tea party?



1 large orange

1/2 cup poppyseeds

200g unsalted butter

1 cup caster sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

3 cups self raising flour

1 cup plain yogurt

Icing sugar for dusting



  • Place whole orange in a saucepan and cover with water.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When orange is easy to prick with a fork, turn off heat.


  • Leave the orange in hot water for a further 20 minutes.
  • Drain, and rinse under cold water and cool for 1 hour.
  • Cut the cooled orange into eighths. Do not peel.


  • Remove seeds, blend until smooth. Cream butter and sugar.
  • Beat in puréed orange. The mixture will look lumpy.
  • Beat in the eggs. Sieve in flour alternating with yogurt.


  • Stir in poppyseeds. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  • Drop the pan on the kitchen counter to debubble batter.
  • Bake at 180 oC for 45 min, or until a skewer comes out clean.

  • Remove from oven but leave cake in tin for 5 min before turning out.
  • When cool, lightly dust with icing sugar.
  • This cake is best kept in the fridge, but freezes really well.