Orange Scented Poppy Seed Bread

A while ago, my hubby and I were discussing the fact that I never make anything with poppy seeds.  I think part of me always remembered that everyone said you would fail a drug test if you ate poppy seeds.  To this day, I really have no idea if that is even true, but I never wanted to risk it. It’s kind of silly, I know.

As we discussed the poppy seeds, it occurred to me, that I wasn’t even sure where to go about purchasing poppy seeds.  Sure, I’d seen boxes of prepared mix for poppy seed breads, but that’s not really how I roll.  I remember telling my hubby that you could probably buy a tiny spice jar of them in the spice aisle that would barely be enough for one loaf of bread.

Sure enough, later that week, I was at the grocery store, and I noticed a large bag (about 3 – 4 cups, I believe) of poppy seeds in the natural/organic section of the store.  I decided to be brave and purchase the bag of poppy seeds. After all, I didn’t have any drug tests coming up any time soon.

The poppy seeds sat in my pantry for a little while, I admit. I finally found the courage to attempt a poppy seed bread a few weeks later, but it turned out horribly dry and crumbly.  I was baking late at night, and I think I may have made a measuring mistake (or two). So, the poppy seeds sat for another month or two.

Finally, last week I decided to give the poppy seeds another shot.  I tried a different recipe since I didn’t want to tempt fate.  I also decided to opt for an orange scented bread instead of the usual lemon. I like to mix things up a bit.  I also had a whole giant bowl of those cute little mandarin oranges that I was sure I would snack on, but never did.

I am happy to announce that the second attempt at poppy seed bread was a winner.  I loved the bright flavor from the oranges, and the bread stayed nice and moist. It’s a perfect breakfast bread, though I admit that it may be more like pound cake than bread.  Of course, if you call it bread, it’s perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  That said, it’s also great for a sweet snack or even a dessert. Regardless of when you decide to make it, I’m pretty sure it’s a recipe you’ll want to make again.  In fact, I am planning on making another loaf this week!

Orange Scented Poppy Seed Bread
Makes 1 loaf
(Adapted from Taste of Home Baking)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition to completely incorporate the egg into the creamed mixture.  Stir in the orange zest and vanilla extract.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.  Allow the bread to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes in the pan before transferring the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the bread has cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a thick glaze.  Pour the glaze over the bread and allow the glaze to harden before slicing the bread.

Please Note – The link to Taste of Home Baking provided in this post is an Amazon affiliate link.

12 Responses to Orange Scented Poppy Seed Bread

  1. yum! What a fun take on poppy seed bread. So funny that you were always a little wary of them. I used to love lemon poppyseed muffins, but I’ve never made them before!

  2. Ahhhh, sounds delish! Love this take on poppy seed bread!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Y’know, I never think to use poppy seed either (although not quite for that reason). I’ll have to attempt this one.

  4. Lori G says:

    This was such a beautiful, delicious bread. It is very much like a pound cake as it’s so moist and it slices like a dream. We had many requests for the recipe and I’ll be glad to share it with them. Thanks for sharing your treats with The Cafe, Jen!

  5. Oh, my. I think I am going to have to share this with my readers. I’ll get in touch with you before I do! And like pound cake? I’m SOLD.

  6. I’ve been making lemon poppy seed muffins for a couple of years now but this looks like a nice change. Great idea to use the oranges.

  7. Oh yum :) this is a great twist on a traditional recipe~ thanks for sharing!

  8. Tracy says:

    This bread sounds amazing! A perfect bread for spring, too…I may make this on Friday for a craft night I’m hosting, yum!

  9. Paula says:

    Perfect loaf! I’ve had lemon poppy seed cupcakes but I’ve not had a loaf yet and the orange addition sounds lovely.

  10. Ally says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Was wondering how did you store the cake? Fridge or room temperature? Worried about the glaze becoming gooey if left out overnight.

  11. I love poppy seeds and usually make a lemony version of this cake but I love the sound of orange too! Bookmarked!

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