Whole Orange Bundt Cake with Poppy Seed Madness

This is one of the recipes in my collection that invariably makes me raise one eyebrow in suspicion.  It’s a Bundt cake that’s is not only flavored by orange juice, it’s flavored by the whole darn orange- pulp, pith and peel.  I’ve made this cake twice now.  It not exactly the effortless Bundt cake you might expect. But a dozen eggs, and two pounds of butter later, I think I have figured out it’s little quirks.  Once the little hiccups are managed, this turns out to be a delightful cake with loads of  kick-you-in-the-mouth orange flavor.

I first saw this recipe in a podcast by Sweet Melissa, a baker lady in New York.

Whole Orange Poppy Seed Cake

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2 whole oranges, seedless Navel

12.8 oz melted butter

6 eggs

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  Slice the two oranges into wedges.  Place wedges in the food processor with the blade attachment.  Process oranges until they are pulverized into orange mush.  Depending on your food processor, this can take 2- 5 minutes.  You may need to stop the food processor half way through to scrape down the sides.

This is what the orange will look like when it comes out of the food processor.

3.  Add eggs to the bowl of an electroc mixer.  Turn on low speed.  Slowly add the sugar to the beating eggs.  Once incorporated, add the cooled melted butter in a steady stream.  Once incorporated, add the orange.

4.  Using a large wooden spoon, fold in the dry ingredients.  Stop mixing once all dry ingredients are no longer visible.

5.  Pour batter into very well greased and floured Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes.

I learned two things the hard way with this cake.

1.  Because of all the orange goodness, this is a very moist, wet cake.  Though a toothpick may come out clean after an hour, indicating that the cake is done, it may still need some time.  I would suggest leaving the cake in a bit longer that your tooth pick tells you.

2.  Let the cake cool in the pan for at least half and hour.  I tried to turn my cake out while it was still warm.  It didn’t work out so well for me.  The top of the Bundt stayed in the pan.  I had to pull the old patch-and-frost maneuver to save it.

Citrus Glaze

Juice of half an orange

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cups powdered sugar.

1. Add juice and zest to powdered sugar.  Wish vigorously until well combined and no lumps are present.  Add more orange juice as necessary to make a thinner glaze.

22 thoughts on “Whole Orange Bundt Cake with Poppy Seed Madness

  1. I made this for my luncheon. Followed the instructions. It was actually dry & very dense. I baked it for 60 min. Came out of the pan easy. Just too dry. ????

  2. One last thing, I made the glaze a little differently. I used orange zest instead of lemon, I added a tablespoon of orange juice (the carton stuff) and like two splashes of milk. It made a much sweeter glaze in my opinion, without the taste of powdered sugar, might I add.

  3. mmmm delicious! Might I make a suggestion? the recipe never actually says when to add the poppy seeds… I almost forgot to put them in! Am I blind or is it really not there…?

  4. Joy I made this cake last night, I was a bit unsure after reading all the comments about it being bitter, sticking & wet but I am totally wrapped….it turned out perfect !! Not wet but lovely & moist and I cooked it for 60minutes, it is not bitter but a nice orange flavour, it also came out of the pan perfectly….and I used all the butter as per the recipe, I left it to cool for about 20minutes then turned it out and hey presto….there is quite a lot of mixture so I only filled up the bundt pan 3/4 and put the rest into a loaf tin…..I would like to know how big your bundt pan is though…..great recipe so will make it again, lovely for an afternoon tea with the girls.

  5. I’ve been checking out recipes all afternoon and one of the things that really stands out from old fashioned, traditional recipes is that the oranges are cooked in boiling water for about an hour, then cooled, then pulsed in a food processor (after removing the ends and seeds). I’m thinking this would address the bitterness issue. I’m going to try it tonight since I just got 10 lbs of oranges today. I’m also going to modify the butter as recommended in the other posts. I’m also going to substitute 0.5 cups of white wheat flour with almond flour (I have the equipment to make almond flour) since so many of the traditional recipes use almond flour. Wish me luck.

  6. I actually really enjoyed the cake though I did make a few alteration. I did not melt the butter completely just warmed it enough where I could cream the sugar and butter together easily. I also reduced the butter amount to about 10 oz. Greased and floured the pan well and it slid out like a charm after it cooled for about 15-20 min.

  7. hi

    First congrats on a fantastic site!

    Although this cake sounds and looks so beautiful in your picture, i have to say that something isn’t quite right with the proportions. I am a very experienced baker but had the same problem as you, even though I left the cake to cool in the tin – it stuck like anything! I called a friend and she experimented as well , with the same problem – STUCK! She baked them in 2 loaf pans and both were disastrous. I suspect it’s the uncanny amount of butter! Nevertheless, the smell was amazing, the taste of orange was beautifully present as well but unfortunately, it wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked it to be.I will not make it again but Will continue searching for the perfect orange cake.

  8. Hi Joy,

    I tried a chocolate orange cake with whole oranges too. I was sceptical at first but it was deliciously moist.
    I love your cookie pictures. Enjoy the Daring Bakers!

  9. If this was what was on the counter at work, then it was delicious. So smart to use the whole orange! You’re a talented lady, Joy. :)

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