[Week 1] Double Glazed Lemon and Orange Poppyseed Tea Cake

Now that school has started up again, we’re back to doing teas every Friday afternoon. For the first week of tea, we served Double Glazed Lemon Poppyseed Tea Cake and Double Glazed Orange Poppyseed Tea Cake.
Lemon Poppyseed Cake

The lemon poppyseed tea cakes were delicious, though a little sweet. I was not a fan of the orange poppyseed tea cakes. I would definitely recommend making a mix of orange and lemon, or completely scrapping the orange juice. Although the orange juice smelled really good, it didn’t really have any taste. In order to get the orange cake batter to taste more orange-y, I think I added a few tablespoons of lemon juice and some vanilla extract.

The orange icing also lacked flavor, I had to add a lot of lemon juice to make it taste like something other than powdered sugar and water. Basically, I would not recommend making this tea cake with just orange juice, since it doesn’t provide a strong enough flavor.

Double Glazed Lemon and Orange Poppyseed Tea Cake
Adapted from The Café Sucre Farine
Yields 2 Loaves

Citrus Juice

  • finely grated zest, from 1 large lemon or 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice or orange juice

For the cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons lemon (or orange) juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

For the syrup/glaze:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of a citrus mixture1

For the icing:

  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon (or orange) juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray 2 – 8½ x 4 inch loaf pans with baking spray. Line the pans with parchment paper so that paper extends an inch or two over the top long edges of the pans.
  2. Zest the lemon (or orange)
  3. Juice the lemon (or orange)
  4. For the bread, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds in a medium size bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  5. Combine yogurt, milk and the 4 tablespoons of juice and vanilla. Stir or whisk together. Set aside.
  6. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
  7. Add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt/milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Add zest (reserve just a bit of zest to garnish the loaves with after baking) and stir to combine.
  8. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Place pans on a sheet pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer or toothpick insert in the center of the loaves comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool slightly while preparing syrup.
  10. For the syrup/glaze, add ⅓ cup sugar to the juice in the saucepan. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Stir till sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat. Poke the top of the loaves all over with a skewer or toothpick. Slowly drizzle syrup over cake, allowing it to sink in before adding more. Use up all the syrup between the two loaves.
  11. Allow cakes to cool completely in pans, then remove with the overhanging parchment paper.
  12. For the icing, add 1½ cups of powdered sugar to the 3 tablespoons of juice in the medium bowl. Whisk together till smooth. Add more powdered sugar to make a thick, yet drizzle-able icing. Drizzle back and forth over tops of loaves allowing icing to drip down the sides. Garnish with a bit more zest, if desired.


1. 3 tablespoons of lemon juice + 2 tablespoons of orange juice if you really want orange juice in there. Personally I’d just go with all lemon juice. The orange juice doesn’t really have much flavor when reduced.

2. As always, I reduced the amount of sugar. The recipe above reflects the sugar reduction. However, I still think it was pretty sweet since there was a double glaze. If you’re not into sweet desserts I’d either cut more sugar, or take away one of the glazes. (I would forgo the icing. The syrup is delicious.)


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