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+ servings
5 from 3 votes

Orange Poppy Seed Loaf

Soft, moist, and loaded with citrus, this Orange Poppy Seed Loaf is brushed with an orange simple syrup and can also be topped with a zest-packed glaze.
Prep Time30 mins
Active Time1 hr
Rest Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, breakfast cake, citrus, glaze, icing, loaf, loaf cake, moist, orange, poppy seed, sweet bread, zest
Yield: 10
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Callan Rowe


  • 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
  • Microplane or zester


Orange Loaf:

  • cup flour (180g)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon orange zest About 1.5 full oranges
  • 1 cup white sugar (200g)
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • cup vegetable oil (75g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream (180g)
  • cup orange juice squeezed (80g)
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds (18g)

Simple syrup:

  • 2 T orange juice squeezed (20g)
  • cup sugar (25g)
  • cup water (30g)

Orange Glaze:

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (90g)
  • 1-2 T orange juice, squeezed enough to make glaze to desired consistency
  • 1 T Orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and parchment line a standard loaf pan (9 x 5 inch) with overhangs.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt until combined and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), combine the sugar and orange zest and mix on low for one minute.
  • Increase the speed to medium low and add the eggs one at a time until fully combined, then add in the oil and vanilla.
  • Mix to combine. Alternating dry and wet ingredients with the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture, all of the sour cream, then the rest of flour mixture just until it comes together. Add in the orange juice and poppy seeds and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. When done, the cake will start pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remove the loaf and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Immediately prepare the simple syrup by bringing all the sugar, orange juice, and water to a boil, then remove from the heat and brush (or carefully spoon) all over the loaf. You will use all of it.
  • Once the loaf is completely cool, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice in a bowl and mix with a whisk until smooth. Remove the loaf from the pan and pour the glaze over the top. Sprinkle with additional orange zest. Slice and enjoy!


Store this loaf, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
This freezes extremely well. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and bring to room temperature, then add the glaze.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 1mg