Blood orange poppy seed cake is a tasty and beautiful dessert that’s sure to please your guests! This is a lovely dessert to make in the winter months.
Are you as fascinated with blood oranges as I am?
They’re just so beautiful with their deep red hue, and the sweet/tart flavor is so nice. I love to make fresh squeezed blood orange juice at this time of year. You can’t find a prettier glass of juice!
Fun fact: when blood oranges were first discovered in China, there were some pretty crazy accusations flying around – people thought the trees were poisoned, or that the oranges were actually injected with blood. Yikes. Thankfully it was just a spontaneous genetic mutation.
Are blood oranges healthier than regular oranges?
All oranges have a good dose of vitamin C, but because of their deep crimson hue, blood oranges have higher amounts of antioxidants. They’re a nice addition to smoothies, desserts, or just plain!
We love citrus poppy seed breads and cakes in our family, so I thought I’d try to make a blood orange poppy seed cake. It was delicious – the cake had a nice bright citrus flavor, and the orange slices on top add a pop of ruby red color.
What do blood oranges taste like?
Blood oranges are sweet and tart, and have a little bit of a berry flavor to them. The flavor of a blood orange is more intense than that of a regular orange.
If I can’t have poppy seeds, what should I use instead in this cake recipe?
You could use chia seeds if you wish, or just go ahead and leave all seeds out. The cake will still be delicious!
This blood orange poppy seed cake is:
- dairy free and vegan
- a great addition to a brunch or party
- a lovely way to use winter citrus fruit
Can I make this cake in a different type of pan?
Yes, you can make this cake in an 8-inch square or round pan. You could also try cupcakes – but the baking time will be less. Try 18-22 minutes for cupcakes. Orange poppy seed cupcakes would be delicious frosted with dairy free buttercream frosting.
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Blood Orange Poppy Seed Cake.
A fun twist on a classic recipe - this blood orange poppy seed cake has a bright citrus flavor!
- 1½ cups white spelt flour or all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup organic canola oil or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed blood orange juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon blood orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 blood orange sliced thin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and poppy seeds together in a large bowl.
- Add the canola oil, blood orange juice, and water and mix until blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Lay the blood orange slices on top of the batter.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely before serving.
Store leftover cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
If you can't have poppy seeds, go ahead and leave them out.
I have not made this recipe with gluten free flour, so I'm not sure how well it will work.
This post was originally published in February 2015. It has been updated with new photos and tips.