This incredible Gluten Free Orange Poppy Seed Cake is a delicious, moist cake with lots of fresh orange flavors. It is a beautiful cake to serve on any occasion. Top it with orange icing. There is a dairy-free option too!
We are at the tail end of the orange season here in the Bay Area. I love going to our local farmer's market because you can buy a big 10 lb bag of oranges for only $10.
Whether you're an experienced gluten free baker or a newcomer to the baking world, this recipe will surely become a new favorite in your kitchen. So grab your apron, preheat your oven, and let's get started!
If you love cake as much as we do, I have many delicious gluten free cake recipes for you to try.
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- This beautiful gluten free orange poppy seed cake is bursting with the tangy, sweet flavor of fresh oranges and is perfect for any occasion.
- This cake is very versatile. Bake it as a bundt cake as I did, or make it into cupcakes or a sheet cake topped with vanilla frosting. The sky is the limit because the gluten free cake batter bakes up so light and fluffy!
- I keep the sugar lower in this recipe, and adjusting the recipe to make it sweeter is easy. You can also make the cake refined sugar-free using coconut sugar.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure. Other blends should work, but every gluten free blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. Depending on the blend you use, you may need to add more flour or liquids. My DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend (gum-free) should also work in this recipe. It works in other cake recipes nicely.
- Xanthan Gum - Add one teaspoon if your blend doesn't contain a binder like xanthan or guar gum.
- Poppy Seeds - These add texture to the cake.
- Baking Soda - Using baking soda instead of baking powder is important. Baking soda works better with acids like citrus.
- Sugar - White cane sugar.
- Eggs - Use size large.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter.
- Non-Dairy Milk - I used Milkadamia plant-based milk. Other non-dairy milk types and regular milk will also work well.
- Orange Juice and Zest - I used navel oranges, but other varieties also work well.
- Vanilla Extract - Use pure vanilla extract if possible. This is a recipe where you "could" use imitation vanilla if that is what you have on hand.
- If you cannot eat poppy seeds, you can omit them and add 2 tablespoon of additional flour.
- Use light oil instead of butter to make this cake dairy-free.
- Swap the regular sugar for the cane sugar.
- Do NOT substitute chia seeds for poppy seeds.
If you love bundt cakes, this Gluten Free Vanilla Bundt Cake with fresh raspberries is also delicious.
Tips For Sucess:
- Do not use a stand mixer or electric mixer to make this cake. Overmixing your cake batter will make your cake dense.
- Let your cake batter sit for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the rice flour in your gluten free flour blend to soften and eliminate the grit.
- Be sure to grease your bundt pan well with the spray pictured above or another non-stick spray. It helps the bundt cake release so it doesn't stick.
You may also love this Gluten Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide.
Hands down this non-stick spray is amazing. It is totally inexpensive and it will save your gluten free cakes and muffins from sticking!
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
If you are using fresh orange juice (I hope you are so that you can use fresh orange zest), you will first want to juice a couple of oranges.
Step 1: Add the gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds to a large
Step 2: Partially melt the butter (don't make it too hot) and add the vanilla, orange juice, milk, eggs, and orange zest. Whisk to blend.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until they are just barely mixed. Read the Tips For Success section above for further clarification on why it is important not to overmix your cake batter.
Step 4: Spray your bundt pan with a gluten free baking spray like the Tourangelle I mentioned above. You can also use an oil spray. This is important so the bundt cake releases easily from the bundt pan.
🔑 Sandi says: If you are using a gritty flour blend, let your bundt cake sit for 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 350º F. Be sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven.
Step 5: Bake the bundt cake at 350º F for 40-45 minutes until golden, like the photo in Step 5. Baking time can vary due to the size and depth of your bundt pan.
Step 6: Put on pot holders and remove the cake from the oven. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake must be baked longer.
Let the cake sit in the bundt pan for 5-10 minutes.
Step 7: Carefully lay the cooling rack over your bundt pan and flip the cake upside down out of the pan onto the cooling rack. Let the cake fully cool before adding icing or frosting.
Step 8: Add the powdered sugar and orange juice to a small bowl. Whisk until they are creamy. Drizzle it over the cake and top with more orange zest. You can make your icing as thick or runny as you like.
You may also love this Gluten Free Chocolate Pound Cake. It is topped with a creamy chocolate ganache and cooks beautifully in a bundt pan.
Store your cake in an airtight container. I love this covered Cake Tote for storing and transporting my cakes. This cake will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze this cake. I recommend slicing the cooled cake and freezing the slices in a zip-style freezer bag.
Yes, you can make this cake in other flavors. I recommend only using ¼ cup of lemon juice if you use lemon juice. You could also make this Gluten Free Lemon Bundt Cake.
The main difference is the pan used. Both turn out buttery and moist.
Bundt cakes are popular because they can be molded into beautiful shapes. It gives the cake a fancier look, which can be good for entertaining.
If you love baking with fruit, try this Gluten-Free Cinnamon Apple Bundt Cake next.
More Gluten Free Cake Recipes:
- Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Raspberry - Fluffy and delicious.
- This Gluten Free Coffee Cake has a nice thick crumb topping.
- Gluten Free Hummingbird Cake - A special treat!
- Hands down the best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
The Best Gluten Free Orange Poppy Seed Cake
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- 2 ¾ cups gluten free flour blend KA only 444.6 grams. See notes
- 1 ¼ cups cane sugar 275 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter partially melted
- 1 ½ cups milk or non-dairy milk
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice *see notes
- 1 tablespoon orange zest optional garnish
- Juice your oranges and use a microplane or zester on the orange peels. Place both in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.) Whisk to blend.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, soften your butter until it is starting to melt. Be sure the butter isn't too hot.
- Pour the butter into the orange juice and add the rest of the wet ingredients including the orange zest. Whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix the two together until they are just barely mixed. Do not overmix your batter or your cake will turn out denser.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Spray non-stick spray in a bundt or cake pan. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes so the rice flour can soften.
- Bake the cake for 30-45 minutes. The actual baking time will vary depending on what type of cake you are making. If you are making a bundt cake, the size and depth of your bundt pan will also affect the baking time.
- After the cake is golden on top, remove the cake and insert a toothpick into the cake. If the toothpick comes back clean, it is finished baking. If you see crumbs or batter, the cake needs to be baked longer.
- Let the cake sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack.
- Place the cooking rack over the cake and quickly (and carefully) invert the pan so the bundt cake comes out of the pan onto the cooling rack. Let the cake cool thoroughly before icing.
- Mix up the icing. You can play around with the amounts. Use more liquid for a runnier icing or glaze. Use more powdered sugar for thicker icing.
- I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure. Other blends should work, but often you may need to tweak the moisture of the batter. Every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio.
- Use my DIY gluten-free flour blend if you can not have xanthan or guar gum. It works well in my cake recipes.
- If the blend you use doesn't contain a binder, add one teaspoon of either xanthan or guar gum.
- Do not use a stand mixer or electric mixer. They will overmix your cake batter.
- If you can't have poppy seeds, omit them.
- Store the leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze slices of the cake in a zip-style freezer bag.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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