An Orange, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake is always a winner, and when enriched with Coconut it becomes a hearty, healthy snack. Moist, fresh and tart, with that wonderful texture that only poppy seeds provide, this treat is also full of good fat and fibre. If, like me, you often need a little something to get you through until lunch or dinner time, then this is sure to satisfy.
Orange, Lemon and Coconut Poppy Seed Cake
If you’ve been following along here at Paleomantic, and especially the Newsletter, you’ll know that I need a handy supply of snacks to get me through the day. If the day involves going to a favorite cafè or pasticceria for a coffee, then having a tasty treat in my bag is almost obligatory, lest I be led into temptation. I made this Citrus Poppy Seed Cake the day before we left for our holiday on the Ligurian coast, and it was one of the best things I could have done.
As well as the whole cup of shredded coconut mixed into the batter, there’s a tangy coconut, butter and zest baked-in topping. All that healthy fat and fibre means that a small slice provides long lasting energy. While away, we started each day with our vegetable and protein breakfast – though a little later than usual, of course – and headed out for sun and excursions with a slice of Poppy Seed Cake in my bag. Around 11am, we’d find a bar, sit down for a coffee and surreptitiously scoff our treat. With that in our bellies, we’d be fine until about 3. Seriously! At which time we’d either make a huge mixed salad, or relax with a giant gelato.
What Makes a Poppy Seed Cake Gorgeous?
There are a couple of things that make this Poppy Seed Cake truly gorgeous. Apart from the incomparable texture that is only provided by poppy seeds, there’s the vast quantity of citrus zest, and the way the baked in topping and the concentrated syrup intensifies the tang. You can see how much zest I’ve used in the photo. I remove the zest from the orange and lemon using a good serrated vegetable peeler – I love this one from the Swiss Army Knife folks, Victorinox. And then I chop it fine using a mezzaluna. To make the topping, two heaped teaspoons of zest are mixed with butter, muscovado sugar and shredded coconut, and then this is mixed to a paste with a little lemon juice and spread around the bottom of the cake tin. The rest of the zest is added to the batter along with 1/4 cup of citrus juice. For the syrup, the remaining juice – about 1/2 a cup – is reduced down by half and then is spooned onto the baked and still-warm cake. It seeps in, adding more flavour. The syrup isn’t enough to pool around the bottom, but is just enough to keep it moist.
An Orange, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake that lasts a whole week – magic! We were away for 6 nights, and ate our first slice during the drive across. We didn’t have a slice for the trip back, mores the pity, but it was as good on the last day as it was on the first. I kept it wrapped in the fridge, but this one which I made for the post was actually left out on the bench – wrapped in foil – for the duration of it’s lifespan, and it remained moist and wonderful.
It’s really lovely, and I hope you give it a try – if you do, make sure to post an image on Insta and tag me @paleomantic – it’s such a buzz when people do so – it makes a blogger’s day!
On the Side
Here’s some other Paleo Treats that’ll help you avoid glutinous temptation when you’re out and about.
A Paleo Apple Cake to Make Your Heart Sing – Really, it will. It’s a splendid cake, and my man falls in love with me all over again when I make it for him!
Banana Bread – Easy to make, cinnamon-spiced, great for freezing, and a great way to use up those browning bananas.
Paleo Bounty Balls – Our absolute favorite Fat Bomb. No hard-to-find ingredients, perfectly simple, packed with energy and fun – and if you’re on AIP just skip the dark chocolate coating – they’re fine without it.
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- 2 large lemons
- 1 large orange
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar + ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, or 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 100 g / 3½ oz butter, clarified butter or coconut butter, divided
- ½ cup muscovado sugar, divided
- 1⅓ cup shredded coconut, divided
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F, and lightly grease a 20cm / 8 inch springform bundt tin.
- Using a good vegetable peeler, remove the zest from one the lemons , making sure no white pith remains. Mince the zest as finely as possible. You should have one heaped tablespoon of zest. Repeat with the orange, and mix the zests together.
- Keeping the juices separate, squeeze the lemons and the orange so that you have ½ a cup of lemon juice and half a cup of orange juice.
- Sift the cassava flour, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder) into a large bowl. Stir through 1 cup of shredded coconut
- Using a wooden spoon, mix 2 teaspoons of the zest, 20 grams of butter, 1 tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ⅓ cup of shredded coconut with ¼ cup of the lemon juice, forming a wet paste. Spread this around the base of the bundt tin. Add the remaining lemon juice to the orange juice.
- In a bowl using a wooden spoon, or in the food processor, cream the butter and ⅓ cup of muscovado sugar. Add the flour in lots with the egg. Lastly, mix through ¼ cup of the juice, the remaining zest and the poppy seeds, stirring or processing lightly to combine.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the bundt tin, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until the cake is golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Wait 20 minutes before inverting the cake and turning it out.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the syrup. Pour the remaining juice - ½ cup - into a small saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of muscovado sugar. Simmer over a low heat until the juice has reduced by half and has thickened. Spoon this over the surface of the still warm cake, allowing it to seep in.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Wrapped in foil or placed in an airtight container, the cake will last a week.