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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Cake Recipe: Buttery and Sticky Orange Cake | You've Got Meal!

Nice and simple recipe for buttery and moist cake with oranges and poppy seeds. Perfect Christmas or holiday cake with minimum effort.

This cake recipe is inspired by the classic Lemon Drizzle Cake. Oranges are great this time of the year and I wanted to take as much advantage as I could of their full flavor. It is as buttery as lemon drizzle cake, of course it uses oranges instead of lemons and, to take it to the next level, you add a delicious sticky orange syrup on top and some drunken orange slices.

For the cake/ sponge:

  • 200 g butter
  • 200 g powder sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 50 g poppy seeds
  • 200 ml milk
  • 150 ml orange juice


  1. In a bowl, beat the butter (at room temperature) with the powder sugar. I did it with a hand mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and mix some more.
  3. In a different bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour + baking powder + poppy seeds
  4. Incorporate the flour mixture into the eggs and butter mixture.
  5. Add the milk and the juice to the bowl and mix.
  6. Line a round cake tin with detachable bottom with baking sheet (both the bottom and the sides).
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in a preheated oven, medium heat, for 30 minutes.


  • 300 ml orange juice
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • the zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring it to a simmer.
  3. Let it simmer for at least 10 minutes, until it gets thicker. Beware that the syrup gets thicker when it gets cold.

For the oranges on top:

  1. Heat up some rum (around 100 ml) in a sauce pan. No need for it to boil, just make it really hot.
  2. Cut 2 oranges in slices. Try to remove as much white skin as you can while doing it.
  3. Put the orange slices in the hot rum and let them soak and absorb the alcohol for 50-60 minutes.

To put the cake together:
  1. While both the cake and syrup are warm, make tiny holes in the cake with a fork on all the surface and pour the syrup on top. 
  2. The syrup will be absorbed and the cake will be soooo moist.
  3. You can reserve some syrup for extra flavor for each slice. The syrup is also amazing cold, so don't worry.
  4. When the cake is slightly colder and you have removed it from the tin, take the orange slices out of the rum and place them on top of the cake as desired.
  5. Optional, sprinkle some powder sugar on top.

I hope you will find the result as rewarding as I did. I took some slices to work the next day and everybody loved it, they were surprised how much beautiful orange taste it had. I also want to mention that the cake is at its best when it is served after it had been refrigerated for 2-3 hours.

Happy December,

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