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Orange, Poppy Seed and White Chocolate Cake for a Significant Birthday

Cake, Celebratory Layer Cakes | 11th November 2013 | By

Orange Popply Seed Cake

Time to visit the land of the Hampshire Hogs. It was my mother in law’s 80th Birthday and a cake was called for. She has quite a sweet tooth and is not a fan of dark chocolate so when I saw a recipe for orange poppy seed cupcakes in the Australian book High Tea; recipes with a sense of occasion, I decided to adapt this into cake form with the addition of white chocolate, both in the cake batter and the buttercream.

When it came to decorating, I wanted something simple with the numbers 8 and 0 standing out boldly. CT cut some templates for me out of greaseproof paper with the idea of laying them over the cake and scattering bling over the rest. A good idea, but sadly, this didn’t have quite the desired effect and the figures were a little hard to decipher. One wag likened it to a face with a moustache – it wasn’t meant to be an advertisement for Pr**gles, you know, but I was hoping that just like the tubular snacks, once this was started, we’d be unable to stop.

This is how I made:

Orange, Poppy Seed and White Chocolate Cake

  • Measured 150ml sour milk into a jug and added 40g poppy seeds. Stirred and left for a while.
  • Melted 40g vanillary white chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then left to cool a little.
  • Creamed 150g unsalted butter with 170g caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the grated zest of an organic orange.
  • Beat in the white chocolate.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Sifted in 190g self-raising flour and stirred this in as gently as possible.
  • Gently stirred in the milk and poppy seeds until just incorporated.
  • Divided the batter between two 20 cm silicone moulds and baked at 180°C for 25 minutes when the cakes were well risen and a cake tester came out clean.
  • Melted 60g white chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then left to cool a little.
  • Creamed 250g unsalted butter together with 300g icing sugar and the grated zest of an organic orange.
  • Beat in 1 tbsp orange liqueur.
  • Beat in the white chocolate.
  • Sandwiched the cakes together with a good thick layer, then spread the rest over the top and sides.
We enjoyed our trip to Hampshire and the cake withstood the journey undamaged, despite some very rough weather. The recipient was delighted with her birthday treat, enjoying its sweetness, flavour and the interesting texture derived from the poppy seeds. We must have enjoyed it too, as there wasn’t a crumb left by the time we made our departure. Oh and by the way, she spotted the 80 immediately – phew!


O is for Orange in this month’s AlphaBakes, so a virtual slice of this orange, poppy seed and white chocolate cake is being sent over to Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker c/o CT’s mum.



  1. Kate@whatkatebaked

    11th November 2013 at 8:44 pm

    What a delightful cake for a very special birthday- I love all the bling!

  2. Foodycat

    11th November 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I love how the 80 looks. Very subtle!

  3. Janine

    11th November 2013 at 9:54 pm

    The cake looks fantastic! Decorating it like that was a great idea.

  4. Baking Addict

    12th November 2013 at 12:21 am

    What a gorgeous cake. I think the decoration is fantastic and the flavours sound amazing. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

  5. Jo

    12th November 2013 at 1:14 am

    I really like the decorations and spotted the 80 immediately in your photos. I don’t think I’ve ever paired white chocolate with orange before but love lemon and white chocolate so I can imagine it will be equally as tasty.

  6. Johanna GGG

    12th November 2013 at 5:22 am

    I confess I didn’t spot the 80 until I read the text but I did immediately love the sound of the flavours (and isn’t that the important bit) – sounds like a great celebration cake

  7. belleau kitchen

    12th November 2013 at 11:27 am

    oh I so want to see inside… it looks so beautiful and such lovely icing… It reminds me of those colour-blind tests they used to show you as a kid!… beautiful!

  8. Susan

    12th November 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Awwww she must have been made up with it as its so nice 🙂

  9. Alida

    12th November 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Your mother in law is lucky! This is a fab cake and an interesting combination of flavours. I really like white chocolate. Bookmarking. Thank you Choclette.

  10. Sara @ Babucho

    13th November 2013 at 9:38 pm

    The cake looks great, love the sound as well, orange, poppy seed and white chocolate just sounds great together.

  11. Charlene F

    14th November 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Your cake looks stunning x

  12. Caroline

    18th November 2013 at 8:58 am

    We’ve had two entries using orange and poppy seeds for Alphabakes this month – a combination of ingredients I’d never have thought of, but it must be good! This cake looks lovely, thanks for entering Alphabakes.

  13. JaynesDen

    19th November 2013 at 1:35 pm

    A stunning cake. It must have tasted amazing, drool !

  14. prwilson

    27th December 2013 at 1:00 am

    Looks lovely.


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