Orange Poppyseed Loaf Cake

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My daughter Scarlet was complaining of boredom a week or two ago, begging to watch T.V. and just generally being a bump on a log. She was driving me a little bit crazy, as 6-year-olds do sometimes, and I knew I needed something to distract both of us and I needed to do it quickly.

Her brothers had disappeared outside (maybe sensing the looming danger of a sibling pushing mom’s buttons too far?) and I couldn’t make the excuse of ‘go play with your brothers.’

Knowing the next sentence out of her mouth would be a request to play Go Fish, which is all fairness, we play at least a couple of times a day, most days, I offered a last-ditch compromise: would she like to make a treat with me?

She perked right up and temporarily forgot about T.V. and Go Fish while I eyed my cabinets looking for ingredients that would add up to the ‘treat’ I had just promised.

What we came up with was the simplest loaf cake, made with plain Greek yogurt and some forgotten satsuma oranges from the bottom of the crisper. We added poppyseeds, a hint of vanilla and a quick syrupy orange glaze at the end to be ‘fancy.’ The cake was absolutely delicious with bright orange flavor and a light crumbly texture. It was a huge hit in our family and everyone gobbled it up that day. I didn’t even attempt to save some for later; it was that good.

I plan to make a couple more cakes this weekend, one for our Easter celebration and another to give as a thank you gift for a friend. I have a feeling this cake is going to be a staple for brunches and parties all spring long.


Orange Poppyseed Loaf Cake

·         1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

·         2 teaspoons baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         2 tablespoons orange zest (any orange will do: satsuma or cara cara are my favorite)

·         1 cup sugar

·         2 large eggs

·         1/3 cup vegetable oil

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt

·         1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

·         1 tablespoon poppyseeds

Orange Glaze:

·         ½ cup powdered sugar

·         1 tablespoon Greek yogurt

·         2-3 tablespoons orange juice

·         1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat for two minutes until well-combined. Add orange zest and mix for one additional minute. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until ingredients are incorporated.

Add half the flour mixture, mix briefly, then the Greek yogurt, mixing briefly again and finally the rest of the flour. Add the poppyseeds and orange juice and using a spatula, mix until ingredients are just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes.

While the cake cools, mix the powdered sugar, Greek yogurt and orange juice together in a small bowl with a whisk or fork. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan and drizzle as much or as little of the glaze on the cake as preferred and garnish the entire cake with the remaining tablespoon of orange zest.