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There’s almost nothing I like more than a tea cake disguised as a quick bread. 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
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Easily whipped up and popped into the oven in 20 minutes flat, this is the kind of cake ideal for afternoon cravings and the days when cake and only cake will do. Delicious down to the last crumb, this all-occasion cake is simply plush and perfect!

Orange Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

The best orange almond poppy seed tea cake

Citrus – I love sweet oranges in this tea cake. You can also use blood oranges, Meyer lemons, or tangerines. To really bring out the citrus flavor, combine citrus zest and sugar in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Transfer the citrus sugar to a stand mixer and beat with butter and almond paste until light and fluffy.

Almond Paste – Made from almonds and sugar, almond paste adds rich flavor and the most tender crumb to this cake. Slice the almond paste into 1/4-inch cubes (or carefully grate the paste) to make it easy to incorporate into the batter.

Yogurt and buttermilk – Both yogurt (Greek yogurt is my go-to for baking) and buttermilk ensure a moist and tender crumb to this easy loaf cake. Bring both to room temperature before baking.

Bake – Bake this cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely.

Glaze – Made from melted butter, orange zest and juice, and powdered sugar, this orange butter glaze is delicious! Whisk up the glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set before serving. Enjoy!

Orange Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake
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Orange Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

Orange Almond Poppy Seed Tea Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Orange almond poppy seed tea cake makes the most delicious loaf cake! Flavored with almond and orange, this fragrant loaf cake is topped with orange glaze.



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


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted


  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.
  2. Place sugar and orange zest in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Beat butter, almond paste, and orange-sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg 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 and tap sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, salt, orange zest, juice, and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and and let set before serving.

More easy loaf cake recipes to try:

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake
Almond Blood Orange Pound Cake

Meet Laura

Hi, I'm Laura and I'm so happy you're here! Welcome to Tutti Dolci Baking Recipes, a baking blog celebrating all things sweet! I share approachable baking recipes and elevated classic desserts for every home baker. My goal is to inspire you to bake from scratch with kitchen-tested recipes you can count on.

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  1. This recipe is absolutely delicious. Just fair warning this seems to be more an almond cake with a hint of citrus, rather than an equally balanced almond and orange cake. It is so delicious, specially with a warm cup of coffee.

  2. Hi, this loaf sounds so lovely and I would like to give it a try but I am confused about the almond paste. I have almond, vanilla, and lavender paste at home and it’s not solid, I can’t cut it or grate it. It’s more the consistency of honey or maple syrup. How would you recommend subbing that item?

    1. Hi Martina, do you know the brand? It sounds like it may be more of an extract or a flavoring. I use and recommend Odense almond paste, which contains almonds and comes in a solid log that can be sliced or grated.

      1. You can use the Taylor and Colledge as a substitute for the 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract. Since it’s a flavoring, it’s not a replacement for the 4 ounces of almond paste. The only other substitute for the almond paste would be 4 ounces of super fine almond flour, and then I’d also increase the sugar to 1 cup.

      2. I found the brand of paste you mentioned in your previous message so I’m going to go for it.

  3. I made this using a powdered buttermilk substitute and it came out great! I love the combined almond and orange flavor.

  4. Hi Laura,
    Do you have a vegan version of this cake please?
    I have changed my diet to plant based but really love baking so looking for recipes that can be made vegan.

    1. Hi Illy, I personally haven’t tested this cake with any vegan substitutions and am not an expert in vegan baking. I would look elsewhere to experts in that area. 🙂

    1. Hi Elissa, this specific recipe is developed with almond paste and it contributes significantly to the texture. I would wait to try this cake until you have almond paste. Hope that helps!

  5. 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! 🙂