Sunday, May 9, 2010

laura's orange poppyseed cake

and happy mother's day, too! i made this cake yesterday, after seeing it on laura's blog - boy, i'll never say i don't believe in love at first sight anymore! - and it'll be the stand-in for the usual mother's day cake, which this year will not be happening, as the husband is dieting. i'm not dieting (mind you, not cause i wouldn't need it, but i'm simply, completely incapable). either way, who needs to have an entire cake for themselves in the fridge?! especially when there's still two generous slices of this bundle of sunshine in this house.

for the cake:

2 cups or 270 gr all-purpose flour
1 cup packed or 175 gr dark brown sugar
3 eggs
14 tb or 2 sticks minus 1 tb or 200 gr unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup or 185 gr milk
1 1/2 ts baking powder
2 oz or a scant 1/2 cup or 60 gr poppyseeds
1/2 cup or 125 gr orange juice
zest of one orange, finely grated

for the syrup:

1 cup or 250 gr orange juice
1 cup or 235 gr turbinado/white sugar
zest of one orange, pith removed and thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean

 preheat the oven to 325F or 160C. sift the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt and set aside. cream the butter with the sugar and zest. when it's fluffy add the eggs, one at a time. mix in the flour, then add the milk, the orange juice and finally the poppyseeds. pour the batter in a buttered and floured 9 inch cake pan, and bake about 50 minutes, unitl it's nicely golden and it's beginning to pull away from the edge.

for the syrup, remove the zest with a potato peeler and julienne it. laura says to blanch it first, but i completely spaced out about it and it was just fine. blanched or not, mix it with the sugar and the juice. split and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and put them in, with the pod. boil gently until syrupy, about 10 to 15 minutes. this happened much faster for me, 5 to 7 minutes. don't let it thicken because it will thicken some once it cools.

when the cake is ready let it rest a few minutes in its pan. invert to plate and pour 1/2 the syrup all over. serve with extra syrup on each plate.

i love poppyseeds, and i'll always leap at a chance to use them that doesn't involve a yeasted dough that takes several hours to make. this cake is sweet, sweeter than i generally like my desserts, but somehow i found myself wanting a second slice. i think it's the candied orange that did the trick - it balances the syrup, giving it the faintest bitter atfertaste, a whisper, really, but that's all that's needed. loved it, thank you laura!

and, happy mother's day to you all. zhara and i picked these lilly-of-the-valley from the spread alongside the garage. their perfume is intoxicating, right now they're my favorite flowers.


  1. happy mother day,dana,the poppyseed cake looks amazing,and these flowers are my preffered,too!
    i made poppyseed lemon cake,it was very refreshing .

  2. Yum,I love poppy seeds! Magnificent flowers - how fabulous to have these growing in your garden.. hope you had a wonderful day, Dana! :)

  3. E' deliziosa questa torta, e la foto veramente bellissima, ciao

  4. il à l'air délicieux, moi je fais ce cake mais avec du citron
    la version avec l'orange ne peut être que succulente
    bonne fête des mères
    bonne soirée

  5. This looks wonderful... love that syrup and your pics are beautiful. The flowers are so perfect, I thought they were silk flowers!

  6. alison, thank you so much! i like the lemon version too.

    celia, thanks. hope your boys have been spoiling you!

    stefania, grazie.

    fimere, merci beaucoup. sais pas si tu as des enfants, mais quandmeme j'espere que t'as eu un dimanche parfait!

    karen, thanks! aren't they so pretty, and they smell so fantastic - i'm always surprised such a small delicate flower could hold that intoxicating perfume.

  7. Thats such a lovely picture with the cake and the flowers. Beautiful!
    Cake looks damn tasty too.

  8. lexibule, merci beaucoup!

    chfg, thanks so much. that syrup is just unbelivable, i hope you'll give it a try sometime.

  9. I thought that I knew what I was going to bake for my husband's birthday-but I may have to make this cake. This looks amazing.

  10. esme, thanks. it does say special ocasion a little, with all the pretty candied peel on top. makes for a cheerful presentation. i'd love to hear about it if you make it!


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