Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Tender Orange Poppy Seed Cake layers with a scrumptious mascarpone frosting. The right mixture of three distinctive flavors.

Orange poppy seed cake with mascarpone buttercream.

Each time I make a cheese based mostly frosting, I swear it will likely be my final. They’re SO troublesome to work with. I do know I may make them extra secure, however I’d should both add extra cheese or extra sugar — neither of which I need to do. So I’m caught with a scrumptious tasting however much less secure frosting. It’s what it’s.

Truthfully, the one purpose I hold making them is as a result of they style so good. Not too tacky, not too candy, they usually complement sure desserts simply completely. Like this Orange Poppy Seed Cake!

Close up of side of orange poppy seed cake layers

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I’ve had a lemon poppy seed cake on my radar for some time now. I’ve a Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt (which was scrumptious), however I’d been which means to make it right into a layer cake for a while. Alas, it bought pushed off but once more as a result of I assumed orange poppy seed could be a extra attention-grabbing and distinctive taste to attempt. In case you’d reasonably do lemon, you may swap it in simply sufficient.

What sort of oranges ought to I take advantage of?

I’m not an knowledgeable on oranges. I’ve at the moment been consuming my approach by means of luggage of flavorful mandarins, however in any other case oranges are by no means a staple round right here. In case you’re an orange knowledgeable and have a favourite, go together with what you like. In any other case, good outdated navel oranges will work. Blood orange would work nicely too! I used Cava Cava Navel. 

Cross section of orange poppy seed cake.

Make this Orange Poppy Seed Cake

This cake makes use of my favourite Vanilla Cake recipe as a base. I merely changed a few of the milk with orange juice and added orange zest and poppy seeds.

It’s a bit more durable to get orange taste to return by means of than lemon — it’s much less potent total. You possibly can use an extract, but when you understand me in any respect you understand I choose to make use of pure flavors when potential, and solely use an extract when there’s actually no different choice. The important thing to getting that orange taste to shine by means of is within the zest. By no means skip the zest!

By no means Skip the Zest!

There may be a lot taste packed within the zest. My favourite tip is to beat the zest with the butter and sugar. Processing it this manner helps to extract the oils from the zest and get that taste to essentially come by means of. Don’t simply toss the zest in on the finish!

By the way in which, should you’re in search of a great zester, those from Microplane are the very best. You get a superfine zest with none of the pith. Works like a attraction each time.

One other approach so as to add flavour is to make use of a easy syrup. Brushing the cake layers with an orange flavored easy syrup will add taste and in addition moisture to you cake.

For the poppy seeds, I toss them with my flour combination. I discover that is best, and there’s much less threat of over-mixing the batter reasonably than should you have been so as to add them on the finish.

orange poppy seed cake decorated naked cake style.

Make Mascarpone Frosting

This mascarpone frosting goes so nicely with this orange poppy seed cake! It’s delicate and never overpowering like a cream cheese frosting could be, but it surely provides it a novel and scrumptious taste.

I gained’t bore you with the small print about how annoying the frosting was to work with — the bare cake I ended up going with ought to be a sign of how issues went (lol).

I meant to totally frost this cake and do one thing rustic with the edges, however that was a complete fail. The frosting was each delicate and filled with air bubbles, and all makes an attempt to make an “simple” rustic swirl have been futile. I ended up scraping the entire thing off and letting the gorgeous poppy seed studded sides shine by means of.

The frosting recipe makes sufficient to cowl the entire cake although, and I’d advocate doing that as a result of it’s so scrumptious. Possibly you’ll have higher luck adorning than I did?

Overhead picture of oranges on top of the cake.

Styling inspo for this cake got here from the stunning MaryAnne over at Little Epicurean. Can I simply say how comfortable I used to be to search out mandarin oranges with the leaves nonetheless hooked up?! Non-shriveled leaves at that. 

Slice of Orange Poppy Seed Cake on a plate.

This cake didn’t final lengthy round right here. I needed to cease myself from inhaling a complete slice as I used to be cleansing the kitchen afterwards. Have I discussed I’ve a weak point for citrus desserts?? I hope you like this cake recipe as a lot as I do!

On the lookout for extra Citrus Desserts?

Regularly Requested Questions

How can I convert this recipe?

  • The recipe as-is will even work in three 6″ pans. For 3 8″ pans, 1.5x the recipe. Baking time might should be adjusted.
  • To make cupcakes, all it’s worthwhile to do is cut back the baking time — begin checking at 15mins or so. The recipe will make 18-24 cupcakes relying on measurement.
  • For different conversions go right here. Bake time might differ relying on pan measurement.

Can I make it upfront?

  • The cooled cake layers could be baked forward of time, double wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for as much as 3 months. Take out 2-3 hours earlier than meeting.
  • The frosting could be positioned in an hermetic container and refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 3 months. Carry to room temp and rewhip earlier than utilizing.
  • The completed cake (complete or sliced, saved hermetic) could be frozen for as much as 3 months.

Can I get the measurements by weight/grams?

  • There’s a Metric choice within the recipe card. In case you click on it it’s going to convert every little thing to grams.
  • This conversion is finished mechanically and I can not assure the accuracy however many readers have had success utilizing the metric choice on my recipes. 

Ideas for this Orange Poppy Seed Cake

  • The frosting recipe makes sufficient to totally frost the entire cake.
  • Do NOT overmix the frosting as soon as the mascarpone is added. It may break up.
  • To make a lemon poppy seed cake as an alternative, simply swap orange for lemon in the identical quantities.
  • In case you choose, you should use a cream cheese frosting as an alternative.
  • I put together my cake pans utilizing Home made Cake Launch and line with parchment paper.
  • Discover ways to hold your desserts moist utilizing Easy Syrup.
  • To assist guarantee your cake layers bake up good and flat, try my  Bake Flat Desserts publish!
Cake on a cake stand.

Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

Tender Orange Poppy Seed Cake layers with a scrumptious mascarpone frosting.

Course Dessert

Delicacies American

Prep Time 2 hours

Cook dinner Time 30 minutes

Whole Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings 12

Energy 806kcal



Orange Poppy Seed Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest from 1-2 giant oranges
  • 3 giant eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup orange juice recent squeezed, from 1/2 a big orange

Orange Easy Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice recent squeezed, from one giant orange

Mascarpone Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese softened however barely chilled, 250g container
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • orange slices elective
  • orange leaves elective
  • poppy seeds elective


Orange Poppy Seed Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8″ cake rounds and line with parchment.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt. Put aside.

  • Utilizing a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and orange zest on med-high till pale and fluffy (about 3mins). Scale back pace and add eggs one after the other absolutely incorporating after every addition. Add vanilla.

  • Alternate including flour combination and milk & orange juice, starting and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and a pair of of milk & orange juice). Absolutely incorporating after every addition.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out largely clear.

  • Place desserts on wire rack to chill for 10mins then end up onto wire rack to chill fully.

Mascarpone Buttercream:

  • Beat butter till clean. Slowly add in powdered sugar (1/2 cup at a time). Add vanilla and beat on med-high for 5mins.

  • Add mascarpone cheese and beat simply till clean and mixed. Don’t overbeat.

Energy: 806kcalCarbohydrates: 95gProtein: 7gFats: 46gSaturated Fats: 28gPolyunsaturated Fats: 2gMonounsaturated Fats: 10gTrans Fats: 1gLdl cholesterol: 158mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 1gSugar: 75gVitamin A: 1455IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 2mg

The dietary info and metric conversions are calculated mechanically. I can not assure the accuracy of this information. If that is vital to you, please confirm together with your favourite diet calculator and/or metric conversion software.

This publish was initially printed on 04/12/19 and was up to date with new content material on 01/06/22.



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