Orange Poppyseed Cake

A tender, moist orange and poppyseed 'pound cake' with a sweet-sour orange drizzle

  • Cooking time
    2 hours
  • Calories
Recommended by
members who rated this recipe on Youtube

Orange cake with pistachios and poppy seeds is easy to make, and a perfect celebration of winter, when the markets fill up with all sorts of oranges and tangerines from Sikkim, Darjeeling, Punjab, Nagpur and even Malta.

To really drive in the flavour, in this cake we have taken a multi-pronged approach to orange infusion. We have added a whole boiled orange, just as many Italian lemon cakes do, besides adding the zest of an orange to the cake batter. In addition, we have borrowed a technique from the world of bartending to make an _oleo saccharum_ with orange peels, which then goes into the orange syrup that is drizzled on top of the freshly baked cake while it is still hot. This is going to be the most "orangey" orange cake you have had.

This cake is based on the template of a 'pound' cake, meaning that it is not an extremely airy and light 'sponge' cake, but because we have used a tiny bit of baking powder and soda, and also some yoghurt, the cake turns out softer than a traditional pound cake.

💕 This is adapted from a recipe on Sugar Geek Show by Liz Marek. If you love baking you must follow her channel. She has some of the most reliable and precise recipes on the internet, along with thorough explanations of the whys and hows.

Books in this recipe

No items found.
Like the work we do? Help keep this site ad-free by making a donation.


2.75-pound loaf

For the cake

  • 225 g all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 25 g corn starch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 125 g softened butter (at room temperature)
  • 60 g vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 50 g yoghurt
  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 3 g salt
  • 2 large oranges
  • 10 g poppy seeds
  • 20 g pistachios

For the drizzle

  • 25 g orange peels
  • 100 g sugar
  • 80 ml orange juice
  • 20 ml lime juice


Step 1: Prepare the drizzle

  1. Make oleo saccharum by mixing together orange peels and 50 g sugar. Muddle gently to release the oils. Mix well and allow it to marinate for 24 hours.
  2. In a saucepan, add orange and lime juices, along with 50 g more sugar and the oleo saccharum.
  3. Boil on medium heat for a couple of minutes until you have a thin syrup.
  4. Strain and set aside for later use.

Step 2: Bake the cake

  1. Blanch and peel pistachios and set them aside to cool.
  2. Lightly toast poppy seeds.
  3. Boil a whole orange for 20 minutes. When it's cool and safe to do so, blend it to a smooth pulp.
  4. Mix the orange pulp with the zest of an orange, vegetable oil, yoghurt and salt.
  5. Preheat your oven to 175°C. Grease the loaf tin with butter and coat evenly with flour.
  6. Sift maida, corn starch, baking soda and baking powder together, and set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until the batter is pale, light and airy (about 6 minutes).
  8. Add egss one at a time, waiting for an egg to be incorporated fully before adding the next. If you find the batter starting to curdle, add a couple of tablespoons of flour.
  9. Now add the orange pulp mixture and flour mixture in two parts.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared loft tin and bake at 175°C for 35 to 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean, or when the centre registers 92 to 95°C on a thermometer.
  11. While the cake is still hot, poke holes in it with a skewer, and drizzle all of the orange and lime syrup we prepared earlier.
  12. Let the cake cool completely before unmoulding.

Recipe discussion

Did this recipe help you cook something that made you happy?

At Bong Eats, we are working to standardise Bengali recipes, and present them to the world in a way that anyone, anywhere will be able to cook Bengali food with confidence—even if they have never tasted it before. We want the world to know that there is Indian food beyond tikka masala.

A lot of time and money goes into creating precise recipes such as this one. We don't want to depend on advertisements that track our viewers' activities through third-party cookies; we do not want take sponsorship money from companies that don't make subpar products.

You can help us make this a sustainable venture that can employ talented local writers, editors, photographers, recipe-testers, and more. Donate to keep us going.

Make a One-time donation

Help us keep Bong Eats free and open for everyone by making a one-time contribution. You can donate as much as you want. No amount is too little.

Become a member ⭐️

Join to get access to a vibrant private community of people who full of people who love to cook, feed and eat. Get answers to your questions about recipes, techniques, where to find ingredients from fellow members. If you love cooking, this is the place for you.

Monthly LIVE cookalongs
Shiny new private forum
Adda after every video release
Personalised recommendations
✨ See Membership Perks ✨
Art by Ritwika
A fun, private community for enthusiasts of Bengali food

We're building a community

With Bong Eats adda we are trying to create a quiet corner on the internet for people who love nothing more than cooking and feeding people. The focus is naturally on Bengali and South Asian food, but as anyone who has spent time with food and its history knows, everything in food is interconnected. Nowhere is this more true than in Bengal, the melting point of so many cultures of the world—home to the first "global cuisine", as food historian Pritha Sen puts it. If that sounds like just the place you have been looking for, come help us build this space together. We are just getting started.

Join now
Join our 220+ strong community

🧣 Winter 🫛

Bakes & Roasts

Posted on
December 21, 2023
Bong Eats

Winter is here. It is time to get baking. Here are some ideas, both savoury and sweet.

Read More »

✨ What's new?

View all »

Kumro Dogar Pachmishali

Pumpkin vine cooked with a medley of vegetables

  • 90 mins
  • 223
Viewers liked this

Koi Komola

Koi fish cooked with fresh orange juice and seasonal tangerines.

  • 1 hour
  • 214
Viewers liked this

Kochur Loti Chingri diye

Taro stolons cooked with mustard and prawns

  • 90 mins
  • 170
Viewers liked this

Potoler Khosha Bata

A spicy, fudgy mash made of pointed gourd (potol) peels.

  • 60 mins
  • 90
Viewers liked this
See all New recipes »
View all »

Calcutta Christmas Fruitcake

A boozy, fruit-and-nut encrusted indulgence

  • 4-pound cake
  • 331

Pepper pork ribs

Pork ribs, marinated with malt vinegar and worcestershire sauce in a thick, peppery, braised sauce.

  • 90 minutes
  • kcal

Beef Pot Roast

Slow-cooked beef pot roast with vegetables—a Christmas-special Anglo-Indian recipe.

  • 5 hours
  • kcal
View all »

Chocolate Cake

Rich, moist, tender chocolate cake with a silky dark chocolate ganache—classic!

  • 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • kcal

Orange Poppyseed Cake

A tender, moist orange and poppyseed 'pound cake' with a sweet-sour orange drizzle

  • 2 hours
  • 304

Steamed Carrot & Ginger Pudding

Anglo-Indian steamed cake with ginger, served with a tea-infused crème anglaise. Perfect for the colder months.

  • 3 hours
  • kcal
View all »

Tyangra Machher Jhol Mulo Diye

Tyangra machh cooked with red, winter radish and potatoes

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal

Panchmishali Torkari

A medley of winter vegetables, slow-cooked in their own juices

  • 90 minutes
  • kcal

Palong Shaaker Ghonto

A dry curry of spinach and winter vegetables, slow-cooked in their own juices.

  • 60 minutes
  • 163