Orange & Poppyseed Olive Oil Cake

This is one of our favourite cakes. The inspiration for this recipe came from three things. Firstly our incredible wedding cake. Possibly the most delicious cake we have ever eaten. It was an orange and almond cake with Persian figs, orange blossom syrup, pistachios and rose petals. Our guests still mention how much they loved that cake to this day! The second inspiration for this recipe came from Zoy’s father, Theo. One of his favourite cakes is Portokalopita, a Greek orange cake with sugar syrup. (Of course I was nervous to present him with a different orange cake but it got the tick of approval!). The final inspiration came from Olive Oil. Not only for savoury dishes and cooking, people of the Mediterranean have been baking with olive oil for years. Using quality extra virgin olive oil in place of butter is a great way to cut saturated fats. It adds superior moisture, tenderness and richness in bakes. But you need not worry about tasting the olive oil in the cake as the oranges sing so well you wouldn’t even know it’s there!

 

This cake also gets its moisture from the Greek yoghurt and honey and the addition of poppy seeds and almond meal adds this wonderfully subtle texture and flavour.

 

If you love orange cake as much as we do or are looking for a beautifully moist cake rich in flavours of the Mediterranean than this is the perfect recipe to try. We hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Zest of one Orange

  • Zest of 1/2 a Lemon

  • Juice of one Orange

  • 1/3 cup Honey

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3/4 cup Natural Greek Yoghurt

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 2 Eggs (at room temp)

  • 1 cup Almond Meal

  • 1 cup and 1/4 cup Wholemeal Flour

  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1.5 Tablespoons Poppy-seeds

Citrus Syrup

  • Juice of 1/2 Orange, plus the zest

  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon

  • 2 Tablespoons Honey

Optional Toppings

  • Dried Rose Petals

  • Chopped Pistachios

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius (Fan-forced. If your oven is not fan-forced then preheat to 180 degrees) Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with baking paper. This will make the cake much easier to remove from the pan.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice, honey, olive oil, yoghurt, vanilla and eggs. Whisk well until smooth and creamy.

  3. Add the almond meal, wholemeal flour, baking power and salt. Mix well until combined and then add the poppy seeds. Gently stir them in until fully incorporated.

  4. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and gently smooth out the top with a knife.

  5. Bake for roughly 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly on top, cover loosely with foil.

  6. In the meantime, make the citrus syrup. In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice and zest, lemon juice and honey. Add more honey or citrus depending on your preferred taste. (I like more of a citrus punch!).

  7. Once the cake is cooked through and golden brown, let it sit for a couple of minutes in the pan, then carefully lift the cake out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack, leaving the baking paper on the cake. While the cake is still warm, drizzle half the syrup over the cake (the baking paper should help catch any syrup that falls down the sides).

  8. Top with dried rose petals and pistachios (optional) and more syrup. The cake can be sliced and served warm. Drizzle each slice with a touch more syrup if desired. Serve by itself or with a dollop of Greek yoghurt. Enjoy!

 

The cake will keep for at least 4 days in an air-tight container or 6 days in the fridge tightly wrapped in cling-wrap.