orange-almond poppy seed tea cake


There’s almost nothing I like more than a tea cake disguised as a quick bread. If I will myself to forget about the butter (and sugar!), it’s just the sort of thing I can justify eating throughout the day, beginning with breakfast and continuing mid-afternoon and beyond. This orange-almond poppy seed tea cake is that kind of cake – soft and airy, perfumed with orange and almond and topped with a sweet orange drizzle.

Orange-Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

Easily whipped up and popped into the oven in 10 minutes flat, this is the kind of cake ideal for impromptu guests or afternoon cravings that simply can’t be satisfied with a more sensible option (for the days when cake and only cake will do!). Delightful for spring and Easter, this all-occasion cake is simply plush and perfect.

Orange-Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

Orange-Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake


Orange-Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

  • Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices 1x




  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature


  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp orange juice
  • 3 drops pure almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl. Place sugar and orange zest in a food processor and pulse for one minute.
  2. Beat butter and orange-sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture, beating just to combine. Add yogurt mixture, then finish with remaining flour mixture.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake for 50 minutes, until edges are golden, cake springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
  4. For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, salt, orange zest, orange juice, and almond extract in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake and let set before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.


  • Calories: 180
  • Carbohydrates: 30


  1. Mmmm….I love that you flavored this cake with both almond and citrus. So delicious!!! My daughter eats muffins nearly every day for breakfast—I keep reminding her that it’s really cake! She has a sweet tooth like her mama 🙂

  2. I miss these cakes so much now that I have to go dairy free ;( Is there any possible way to recreate this cake dairy free? Thanks

    1. Hi Jane, if you want to make a dairy-free version, I suggest using coconut oil (solid state) in place of the butter, and coconut milk in place of the buttermilk/yogurt. You could also use a recipe for a dairy-free loaf cake or quick bread, and simply add poppy seeds, orange zest, and almond extract. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! I will try both versions – as your recipe adapting with coconut milk & butter as well as dairy free loaf cake with adding seeds and zest! Total baking dummy here but I love to bake!
        Btw compliments on your blog! I became your subscriber almost immediately! 🙂

  3. I’ve had this open on my computer for the past 24 hours wanting to sit down and read it. I love tea cakes…they somehow seem healthier than regular cake. Definitely more justified in noshing on midday. I have no idea why. As soon as you said ‘perfumed’ and ‘orange’ and ‘almond’ I could practically smell it coming out of the oven. Sounds so truly delicious! Beautiful post. xo

  4. This cake is an edible version of spring: light, airy, fresh , with an endearing splash of plucky citrus. My frozen heart is thawing from the photos alone! xoxo

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