Orange Poppyseed Cake

Orange Poppyseed Cake – three layer orange poppyseed cake with a fresh orange buttercream!

Orange Poppyseed Cake - three layer orange poppyseed cake with a fresh orange buttercream!
Can you smell the orange in this cake?! It’s so refreshing. There’s orange zest in the cake layers and orange zest and fresh orange juice in the buttercream. I brought this cake to bible study and someone commented that the orange flavor was so fresh and orangey – well yeah! I used fresh oranges, none of that orange extract stuff in this cake :)

Orange Poppyseed Cake - three layer orange poppyseed cake with a fresh orange buttercream!
Have you ever been to one of those movie theaters where the seats move? Like the ones where they have special seats that move along with the movie, or they might release certain scents, or mist you with water if there’s a water scene. Well, I just had a million dollar idea. They should make computers like that. How cool would it be if your computer could release certain scents based on what you’re looking at? I know, we’re all thinking the same thing.. it would make me hungry all. the. time. And I’m already hungry all the time.

If you see my idea for smell-o-vision computers in stores in the next few years, you’ll know where the idea really originated.. right here, with the girl who wanted you to be able to smell this orange cake.

Back to the movie theaters with the crazy seats for a minute – one of the screening rooms in our movie theater has those, but I am way to scared to try them out. A seat that moves without my knowledge could go one of two ways – 1) motion sickness which leads to you know what all over the floor or 2) peeing my pants because it scares me which leads to you know what all over the seat. So, I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay away from them :)

Orange Poppyseed Cake - three layer orange poppyseed cake with a fresh orange buttercream!

I frosted this cake using the “I want to make the buttercream look frilly” technique. I started at the bottom of the cake and piped a curvy line of frosting going up to the top of the cake and repeated that until all of the cake was frosted. It’s nothing compared to the beautiful frilly frosted cakes I Am Baker makes, Amanda is my role model!

Orange Poppyseed Cake - three layer orange poppyseed cake with a fresh orange buttercream!

Orange Poppyseed Cake


Orange Poppyseed Cake (make this recipe once for each layer)

  • 1 & 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 & 1/2 oranges
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp poppyseeds

Orange Buttercream (this should make enough frosting to frost the cake using the frilly or rose technique)

  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable shortening
  • juice of 3 oranges
  • zest of 3 oranges
  • 10-13 cups powdered sugar


To Bake the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper.
  3. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and orange zest, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs one at a time, lightly beating after each one.
  6. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour.
  7. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  8. Add in the poppyseeds and mix once more.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, using a spatula to evenly spread it out.
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Using a bake even strip will slow down the baking time, so if your cake is still wobbly in the center, allow it to bake longer. Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  11. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom.
  12. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Wrap the cake really good in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator, which is good for up to one week.
  13. Repeat the above steps until you have all of the layers baked. minutes to 1 hour before you plan to assemble the cake, place the cake layers in the freezer. This will make them easier to frost.

To Frost the Cake

  1. Remove the cakes from the freezer. They should be in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour before frosting.
  2. I like to assemble my cakes on a turntable. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 8 inch round cardboard circle.
  3. Place your first layer on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Repeat for each layer of cake.
  4. Once all of the layers are stacked, it’s time to do a crumb coat. The crumb coat will help seal the crumbs in. Using your offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides of the cake.
  5. Place the entire cake on the turntable in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. To use the frilly piping method to frost the cake, take a large piping bag set with a wilton 2D tip and fill it with buttercream. Push the buttercream down into the bag and twist the top of the bag tight. Begin piping curvy lines at the bottom of the cake and going up to the top. Repeat this method until the cake is completely frosted. To frost the top, start in the middle of the cake and pipe curvy lines. Repeat this method until the top of the cake is covered. The cake can be left at room temperature if you’ll be serving it that day. If not, loosely cover the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.

To Make the Buttercream

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add in the fresh orange juice and zest, and gently mix by hand with a spatula.
  3. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 2-3 cups at a time, mixing by hand. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting no longer looks wet and tastes good to you. Then I use my electric mixer once last time to make sure the powdered sugar is really incorporated and ready to go.


  1. But those seats are SO FUN! It makes the movie experience even better!
    Just bring a slice of this amazing cake in your purse and you would be set. SO pretty Beth! Pinned!

  2. This looks so good! I love orange cake and you hardly ever see recipes for it anymore. And, our theater has those seats, too… and I am afraid to sit there, too…b ecause… well I get motion sickness during the opening scene of Beauty and the beast… :/

  3. OH MY. Can I just hang out at your house for a couple days and eat all of your leftovers! YUM!

  4. This cake is absolutely gorgeous and yes, I believe I can smell the oranges :) – I love the vibrant color, I would sure love a slice right now.

  5. Wow, this is one of the prettiest cakes that I’ve ever seen! I love how you piped the frosting, I am not that skilled with a piping bag :)

  6. YOU are my cake hero!!! This is beyond beautiful!

    And, uhm, where are these theaters that you speak of?!? I need me to find one of those!

  7. That frosting looks crazy amazing! Love the bright colors and the texture the poppyseeds must add :)

  8. I have never heard or seen those movie theaters. It suck sometimes living in a small city. I think I would pee my self if it was a scary movie and then the seat jumps. My heart is racing thinking about it, hehe. This cake is gorgeous Beth!!! You are doing so good teaching yourself!! Gorgeous and that orange color is spot on. Wish we lived close so I could have a slice or two.

  9. This is WAY better than the fake orange stuff! SO pretty! Pinned :)

  10. WOW wow wow! This is a stunner! I can practically taste it. Mmmmm

  11. Beautiful!

  12. OK, I’m all in for the smell-o-vision computers because I really want to smell this cake – it looks SO delicious and beautiful.

    But movie seats moving without my knowledge? Nuh-uh! Thank you, but I’d like to keep my bodily functions in check at the movies!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous cake Beth! Oh and can you imagine what a hit smell-o-computer would be with us food bloggers? Best idea ever!

  14. This is a stunning cake and the orange frosting is so pretty. Citrus cakes are my favorite.

  15. This cake looks so pretty! I love citrus cakes and poppy seed. I’ll have to try this sometime. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  16. WOW this is definitely a work of art, Beth. You are the best!! This looks so refreshing and delicious ;-)

  17. What a gorgeous cake! Love the fresh orange buttercream!

  18. Beth! This cake is absolutely gorgeous. Citrus and poppy seeds are two of my very favorite things. Put them together and WOWSERS. I must try this!

  19. This looks amazing! Love the color icing you used plus the flavor combo sounds awesome!

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