Monday, June 11, 2018

Orange-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

This loaf cake is sweet, tender, and -- let's be honest -- perfect for breakfast!  You could use all Greek yogurt/sour cream/ricotta cheese for the dairy; I just used what I had handy in the fridge.  The icing is definitely what makes this cake, so don't skip it!

Orange-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake (adapted from epicurious)
Makes 1 loaf cake

Oil spray
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 T)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
5 T freshly squeezed orange juice
1 T poppy seeds

For the topping
4 T freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with oil.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the orange zest and sugar.  Rub together with your fingers until the sugar clumps and the mixture is very fragrant.  Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, and beat on high speed until light and thick, 4 minutes or so.
4. Reduce speed to low and mix in half the dry ingredients.  Add the yogurt and ricotta and mix on low to combine, followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in the orange juice and poppy seeds until everything is well combined.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake 50-60 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.  Poke holes in the top of the cake, and brush with 3 T of the orange juice.  Let rest 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides to loosen and turn cake out.  Transfer to rack and let cool completely.
7. Whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining 1 T orange juice.  Spread a thin layer over the cake and let set before serving.

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