whole orange sesame seed cake

It’s a rainy gloomy day in Singapore today. Another good day for baking, but a bad time to be taking photos!

The original recipe for this cake uses poppy seeds. However poppy seeds are considered prohibited goods in Singapore. Probably because it contains opiates..yes, I know it’s weird but laws are laws.

I did some research and it has been proven eating a certain amount of poppy seeds can cause you to fail a drug test. To get the opiate high though, you’d need to eat quite a lot of poppy seeds. Apparently someone commented a normal person probably cannot stomach the amount of seeds needed to get the “high”, because it’d be too filling!

I was attracted to this recipe because of the whole orange bit. It uses the entire orange including the skin. I substituted black sesame seeds for poppy seeds and baked this. It turned out a bit wet and I think it could be the liquid used was a bit too much. So if I were to make this cake again, I’d reduce the liquid.

Tastewise, the cake had a pleasant orange scent and though 2 whole oranges (including skin) were used, there was no bitterness detected in the cake. The yoghurt added a richness to the cake.

I cannot find the link for the recipe I used, so I reproduced the recipe below.

Whole Orange Poppy Seed Cake


  • 250 grams butter (I used unsalted butter)
  • 2 cups sugar (I reduced to 269 grams)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 whole oranges, blended (I used organic navel oranges)
  • 185 grams yoghurt (I used plain greek yoghurt)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons poppy seeds (I used black sesame seeds)
  • 3 cups self raising flour


  1. Cream butter and sugar. (I creamed butter for 2 minutes, then gradually added sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.)
  2. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Blend whole oranges including skin in a blender, then mix in milk, yoghurt and poppy seeds. (My blender was not powerful enough to blend whole orange without cutting it, so I diced the oranges into cubes, added the milk and yoghurt and blended till smooth.)
  4. Combine orange mixture with butter mixture, stir in flour until well combined. (I folded the flour in with a rubber spatula, then folded in the sesame seeds.)
  5. Bake at 160 degrees C for about 1 hour. (Mine took about 1 hour 20 minutes. Do note that the bamboo skewer or toothpick test will not really work here. Since the cake is really moist, even if it is not fully done, the skewer or toothpick will come out clean or with a few crumbs.)
  6. Ice with lemon icing – icing mixture, butter, lemon juice and water. (I skipped this.)


The yoghurt and milk can be substituted with 300ml of sour cream if desired.


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