Orange and poppy seed olive oil cake

This orange and poppy seed olive oil cake from Cenk Sönmezsoy's book The Artful Baker is a delicious, zesty cake just waiting to be devoured! 

Image credit: Image credit: © 2017 Cenk Sönmezsoy
Fed up with lemon cake? Mix it up with this orange and poppy seed olive oil cake...
This orange and poppy seed olive oil cake from Cenk Sönmezsoy's book The Artful Baker is a delicious, zesty cake just waiting to be devoured! 

Orange and poppy seed olive oil cake

When I first started baking, I came across a citrus and olive oil cake recipe and was puzzled, as I thought cakes were always started by creaming butter and sugar. But when I thought about 'avor, pairing citrus with olive oil made sense. Looking further into oil-based cakes, I learned that the choice between butter and oil wasn’t solely about flavor. Butter does a better job of evenly distributing citrus zest and helps to incorporate air into the batter as you beat it with sugar, while oil coats the 'our particles more effectively. $e more thoroughly coated the 'our, the less moisture it absorbs, resulting in a moister cake with a more tender crumb. This goes for all oils, but no other is as flavorful as a fruity olive oil. To keep the cake moist longer—and to make use of the orange after zesting—I brush the cake with a quick orange glaze. You can use other citrus fruits for both the cake and glaze, but I wouldn’t dream of omitting the crunchy poppy seeds.   Serves 10 to 12


For the cake:
  • Butter, for pan
  • 1 ¼ cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (81 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons (30 grams) poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons (81 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
For the glaze:
  • ½ cup (120 grams) freshly squeezed orange juice (from zested orange)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar


  1. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 ½-by-4 ½-by-2 ¾-inch (21.5-by-11.5-by-7-cm; 6-cup) loaf pan. Line the pan with two overlapping strips of parchment paper that are long enough to cover the bottom and sides with 2 inches (5 cm) of overhang on each side. Butter the lower parchment to secure the top sheet.
  3. To make the cake, in a large bowl, stir together the 'our, almond 'our, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Using a fine-tooth rasp grater, grate the zest of the orange (avoiding the bitter white pith) directly into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. Add the eggs. Attach the bowl, fit the whisk attachment onto the mixer, and beat at medium-high speed until the sugar dissolves and the whisk begins to leave a trail as it mixes, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and olive oil and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. The batter will deflate a bit and liquefy. Add the flour mixture and beat at the lowest speed just until incorporated.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, reaching down to the bottom to incorporate any unmixed dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  6. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour, covering the cake loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil halfway through the baking time to prevent overbrowning. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, lift the cake out of the pan and transfer it directly onto the rack to cool completely.
  7. Peel away the parchment.
  8. To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mixture has the consistency of runny jam or registers 220°F (105°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour the glaze into a small bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Using a cake lifter, transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a pastry brush, apply a generous amount of glaze on the cake, and serve.


The cake will keep under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Recipe from The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Bakerby Cenk Sönmezsoy (Abrams, £40)

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