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Fluffy, moist and a little sticky, with a faint crunchiness and a gorgeous orange fragrance, this poppy seed olive oil loaf cake is the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A close view of the top half of the cake, with two cut slices lying in front of it. Cake is on brown baking paper. To the top of the photo two metalic cups with tea and a couple of leaves from an orange tree. To the bottom of the photo barely visible, two halves of an orange.

I was looking at our orange tree the other day, the one right in front of our balcony, and I noticed that there are only a few oranges left. Each winter this tree stands in the garden bursting with juicy fruit. Almost every day there are oranges lying on the ground, withering away. I hate watching them go to waste, but it seems I never get round to using them up in time.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The cake before it was sliced, sitting on brown baking paper on a wooden surface. To its left and right, two cups of tea. To the far left of the photo orange leaves and some small white flowers. Barely visible in the top left corner two halves of an orange.

These past few days however, I’ve managed to use quite a few of these sweet juicy babies. Yesterday my house was filled with the fresh fragrance of citrus, and I managed to make three recipes and photograph them, all in the space of a weekend.

To be honest I’m extra happy to have pulled this off, because I spent the whole of last week with severe blogger’s block. I just couldn’t bring myself to cook anything, and the one thing I did try was a complete flop. The oranges were wandering around in my brain, but I couldn’t pinpoint what I wanted to do with them, and even if I’d tried I would probably have made a mess of everything. Not what you’d call a productive week.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Orange halves lying face up on a wooden surface. To the right, a wooden citrus squeezer, to the left, some leaves from an orange tree and some small white flowers.

When my blogger’s brain finally started revving, the first thing I decided on was cake. With orange of course. So I thought I’d go for a variation of a classic lemon drizzle cake, but with quite a few changes from ingredients to method. I’ve used olive oil instead of butter, added poppy seeds, and done away with the mixer. I also used juice in the batter to make it more orangey, when normally there is only zest. There is no glaze, but there is delicious syrup to drench the cake in, to make it nice and moist without being overly sticky or gooey. You don’t need a spoon to eat this.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The cake, half visible, still in the loaf pan with brown baking paper showing around the edges. To the top of the photo the leaves and flowers, next to them the string and scissors. In the bottom left corner the orange halves, and a whole orange barely visible.

See the holes in the top? They’re there to get the syrup in. Yum.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A close up of the slices of cake on the silver tray. The cake is brown around the egdes and moist and yellowish on the inside. Small flecks of black poppy seeds are visible. To the left of the photo some orange leaves, the ball of string and the black scissors, all half visible.

This loaf cake is one of those super easy cakes, where you mix dry ingredients, then wet, combine the two and throw it all in the oven. So just grab a few of the last winter oranges and get baking! Your coffee will thank you for the company.

Oh and if you’re curious about the other orange recipes, watch this space.

Sticky Orange Poppy Seed Olive Oil Loaf Cake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: The cake lying diagonally from top left to the centre of the photo. The main part is only partly visible, and there are two whole slices lying in front. Further down is one slice broken in two. To the right of the cake are two metal cups with tea in them. In the top right corner some orange leaves and small white flowers.


250gr self-raising flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

20gr (2 Tbs) poppy seeds

250gr sugar

150ml olive oil, good quality

3 eggs

50ml orange juice

50ml evaporated milk

1 1/2 Tbs orange zest (from about 1 large orange)

For the syrup

100ml orange juice

70gr sugar

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160C fan (180C conventional). Grease a loaf pan (approx. 26x12cm) and line it with baking paper.

Step 2

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds together in a medium bowl to get rid of any lumps.

Step 3

In a large bowl beat the sugar, olive oil, eggs, orange juice, evaporated milk and orange zest till incorporated. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until you can’t see any more flour.

Step 4

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Mine took 58 minutes. It will be nice and brown on top. You want this, it’s the best part.

Step 5

As soon as the cake goes in the oven, make the syrup so it has time to cool. Bring the orange juice and sugar to the boil, stir, and as soon as the sugar has melted take it off the heat and set aside. It needs to cool completely.

Step 6

When you take the cake out of the oven, use the skewer to poke holes all over it. While still in the pan, carefully pour the cooled syrup all over the surface of the hot cake so it absorbs the liquid. Let the cake cool before turning out and serving.

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  • Reply

    Sounds lovely. Can I substitute evaporated milk with lite milk? Or perhaps yoghurt?

    • Reply

      Hi Wendy! Ideally I’d sub with half and half to get the thick milkiness of evaporated milk, but with this small quantity I am confident regular milk (or low fat) will also be fine. Let me know how it goes!