Ever since we lived in Seville, I learnt to associate Spring with the smell of orange blossoms. And while traditionally Spring is not the citrus season, it is the time I like to make orange poppyseed cake. Probably because the infatuating scent of the orange blossoms just makes me want to translate that gorgeous smell into a beautiful, delicate cake: and eat it!
I know you are probably used to lemon and poppyseed cake but this is essentially the vegan orange twist of the classic. But, baking with orange is a little bit more difficult than baking with lemon and that's because I find it harder to infuse the mixture with orange taste. It's more subtle, not as strong.
Add too much orange juice and your cake will not bake properly. You will end up with an unappealing watery dough. Of course, we don't want that. Add too little orange juice and you will enjoy a sugary poppyseed cake, with no subtle taste of orange.
There are two ways around it as I discovered: one, you add orange essence to the cake. It's an elegant and easy solution, nothing wrong with that. Two, you add the zest of one orange to the mixture and the flavours of oranges will actually come through really well.
The issue with zest from orange is that not all oranges are suitable for seating. You need to make sure you purchase a bio orange. The first time I attempted this cake I had no bio oranges so no zest for my cake. I loved the taste as my husband doesn't particularly love citrus in baked items. So that subtle flavour was more enough. But I LOVE citrus in pretty much all food. I live for citrus, so in my second attempt, I added orange zest from a bio orange and what a difference that made!
There were stronger flavours and aromas of orange. It was like smelling the orange blossoms, right on my plate. Mission accomplished.
To make the cake a little more fun, I used a bundt cake shape because I really adore the result. It also seems to grow better, and the slices are usually taller. It's a very light cake, with a delicate chiffon texture, while still moist.
I love eating it with fresh oranges on the side and with a tad bit of freeze-dried raspberry dust on the top.
How to make orange poppy seed cake
Normally, the traditional version of orange poppy seed cake calls for eggs. I replaced the eggs with sugar-free soy yoghurt.
This vegan orange poppy seed cake is incredibly easy to make.
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Preheat the oven at 175C / 350F.
In a small bowl, mix all wet ingredients together: yoghurt, orange juice, oil.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seed, orange zest (if using) and salt.
Add wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Combine the ingredients with a spatula or a whisk.
Lightly oil a bundt cake shape and dust it with a little flour. Transfer the cake mixture to the bundt cake and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-55 minutes. That's all there is to the cake. Just make sure to read the recipe below to find our some extra tips and tricks.
Enjoy this gorgeous orange poppy seed cake and celebrate Spring with us.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.