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Citrus Poppy Seed Cake

  • Author: Dianna Muscari Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 10 1x


Despite using over half a dozen eggs, this cake is not at all dense but rather light and almost sponge-like.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • {Optional} Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter or spray a bundt pan liberally to ensure your cake doesn’t stick.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, egg yolks, and egg until the mixture turns very pale and fluffy {about 5-6 minutes}.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and orange zest.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry mixture to the wet until well-incorporated. Pour in melted {cooled} butter and poppy seeds and mix until the batter is uniform.
  5. Pour the batter into your well-greased bundt or tube pan. Spray a piece of foil large enough to cover the pan with non-stick cooking spray {or grease with butter}, and cover the pan tightly with it.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake starts to slightly pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and uncover. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes, then carefully invert onto a plate or serving dish. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dessert
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