• 175g butter, softened
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 30ml poppy seeds
  • 5ml orange zest, finely grated
  • 5ml lemon zest, finely grated
  • 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 150g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 100g polenta
  • 180ml orange juice


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125ml orange juice
  • 80ml cold water
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 small orange, thinly sliced
  • 60g orange marmalade


  • whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the poppy seeds, orange and lemon zest.
  3. Add the flour, almond meal, polenta and orange juice and carefully fold the mixture together.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out just clean.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and low to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.
  6. Meanwhile make the orange syrup: place the sugar, orange juice, water, cardamom and star anise in a pan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Add the orange slices and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the orange slices from the syrup and arrange them on top of the cake. Add the marmalade to the remaining syrup and melt over the cake while it’s still warm.
  8. Serve with whipped cream, while the cake is still warm or at room temperature.