Nov 03

Orange Tea Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



Orange Tea Poppy Seed cake



Happy November everybody! I know I said I would not be baking anymore cakes until after our move from this current house, but I could not help myself. I have packed up all my cake tins and most of my cake making gadgets but the bundt tin sits on top of the very top of everything else in the box … easy to fish out. I had asked a neighbour round for a spot of tea on Sunday and cake needed to be present at the table.


I chose to do this recipe because there is no creaming of butter required. I did require a blender tho, so that one got dug out of the box as well. This recipe produces a wonderfully moist, dense cake that’s got a full bodied orange flavour. This occurs due to the relatively generous amount of liquid in the recipe – it uses Earl Grey tea and the juice and pulp of a whole orange – and the fact that everything is simply folded into one another without having to cream any butter or eggs. Makes a wonderful tea time cake.


The cake’s sweetness is enhanced by the natural sweetness of the orange, and I added poppy seeds for texture. To top it all off I drizzled a generous amount of cream cheese frosting over the top, scented with a hint of vanilla. I really enjoy icing bundt cakes due to their simplicity … and c’mon, who doesn’t like to see icing slowly cascading down the sides?



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Orange Tea Poppy Seed Ring with Cream Cheese Frosting.

1 whole orange

2 cups flour

125 g butter, very soft at room temp

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 large eggs

½ cup Earl Grey tea

2 tbsp blue poppy seeds



Start off by preheating your oven to 170°C and lower the rack to the lower third of the oven. This cake is a bit dense and moist so it kinda needs a little longer time to bake at a lower temp, and lowering the rack ensures that the top doesn’t brown too quickly. Grease the bundt pan generously with butter.


Next, chop up a whole orange, skin and all. I took this method right out of Annabel Langbein’s recipe for her Orange Lightning Cake. Place the orange into a saucepan along with the Earl Grey tea and sugar. The tea I am using is one of Lipton’s many wonderful tea infusions. This one contains hints of citrus and flowers. Steep the teabag for about 5 mins before discarding it and pouring the tea all over the orange segments in the pan.



Lipton Russian Earl Grey Tea



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Boil until the oranges are soft and the liquid has reduced a little. Turn off the fire and add a splash of vanilla extract to this sugary concoction.. Allow to cool then transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz everything to a pulp.


Now, here is where you have to play around a bit with the recipe depending on just how large your food processor is. If you have a large one then simply dump all the other ingredients in and blitz to form your cake batter. If, however, you are like me and do not own a food processor then use a hand whisk. Whisk the eggs, soft butter together with the orange and sugary tea pulp.


Once they are all nice and evenly mixed together, add the poppy seeds. Whisk to distribute evenly.


Mix all dry ingredients together then add it to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix or you risk getting a tough, rubbery cake. Pour into the bundt tin, give it a shake to settle the mixture, and bake for 30 – 40 mins. Insert a bamboo skewer into the center to test if the cake is still undercooked. You may or may not need extra baking time, depending on your oven.



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Now for the best part … the frosting. I simply do not like overly sweet sugary frostings, which is why I prefer meringue buttercreams, ganache and cream cheese frostings. Since I am icing a bundt cake and wanted the icing to remain nice and flowy, I did not add butter into the mix.


Soft Cream Cheese Frosting

200 g regular cream cheese

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cold milk


Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk (using just a hand whisk) until smooth. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar to suit your taste. Personally, I prefer to be able to taste the tartness from the cheese.


The frosting may be a little runny immediately after whisking, so chuck it in the fridge to set up slightly. You need to eyeball it here, and once it reaches the consistency of melted chocolate, you are now ready to pour it over your cake. Remember, your cake needs to be 100% cool before you pour any form of icing on it. Allow the icing to drip gracefully over the edges. Decorate with your favourite sprinkles or you can even use grated orange peel.


Place the cake on a decorative serving platter and dig in! Enjoy it with your favourite brew … something citrusy or with a hint of cloves would go nicely. I had mine with chai … oooh, so good!



~ Enjoy! ~



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