Orange Poppyseed Cake

orange poppyseed cake & caramel sauce

I first tried this cake when my sister made it for the family a few years back. We’d only ever really baked vanilla cakes with a brush of orange rind and a sprinkle of coconut for added flavour. This was a fresh take on the usual and we instantly fell in love with it.

Orange Poppyseed Cake

Took this one to a bake sale to fundraise for refugees 🙂

Fast forward some years to a spring afternoon, it was a warm day but breezy enough to have a nice cuppa with some cake. I still remember our small gathering and our conversations of work, uni, and politics. Since then, this recipe became my home’s staple cake and started to embody so many raw emotions. As my place fills with the wondrous scent of orange and caramel, it weaves through feelings of joy, like that of an expecting mother, feelings of sadness, like a farewell hug and a “see you later”. It reminds me of my sister, half a globe away. It reminds me of the day I met my partner. And it usually signals a “let’s make up” or “welcome home” reconnection.

So who ever said “you can’t eat your cake and have it too” needs to dig in and just bake another. Because it’s well worth it.

Orange Poppyseed Cake

Yields: one 8 inch cake (serves 8-10)



1/3 cup (80g) butter, melted

1 cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

3 tbs poppyseeds

1/3 cup milk

juice of 1 medium orange

finely grated orange rind, from one orange

Caramel Sauce

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

4 tbs (57g) butter

1/2 cup cream (thickened/single)

1 tbs vanilla

pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 19cm square cake pan, or an 8 inch round pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.

Place butter, orange rind, sugar, eggs, flour, poppyseeds, milk and orange juice in a large bowl. Stir to combine, until no lumps are left.

Pour the mixture into baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean (cover cake loosely with foil if over-browning during cooking).

Remove from oven. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat and add all ingredients at once.

Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn off the heat and pour into a small milk mug.

Once cake is at room temperature, poke with a skewer (all over the top), and pour remaining hot caramel sauce onto cake. Let absorb. Repeat if desired.

Garnish with fresh orange slices and white chocolate shards if desired.

Serve with caramel sauce so caramel lovers can add more to their piece!

interfational love day – a heart shaped vanilla cake to celebrate

When I made this cake recently, I declared it ♥ interfational love day ♥ because of just how adorable it is. If you’re the sort of person to save sweet treats like this to something like Valentines Day, then it’s time to break the mould and do things differently!

So before I share the recipe with you, I’d like to send out a warm welcome to all the new fati’s recipes subscribers – leave a note, won’t you, so we can spread the love (with a virtual slice of this cake) and welcome you aboard 😉

And for some more love: you don’t have to use this recipe below… use the vanilla cake recipe that you love because it’ll make this cake all the more special! I’ve recently been using the whisk attachment instead of the paddle attachment to get a really light fluffy cake – highly recommend you do this too 🙂 Also, if you have any left over batter like I did, just pour it into a few muffin cases and enjoy as treat at work or school 🙂

heart cake

Yields: 1 lovely cake


The cake:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 3/4 tsps baking powder

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs (I normally use large ones)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk (use buttermilk instead if desired; reduce to 1/2 cup milk if desired)

The decoration:

7 – 8 fresh strawberries (with calyx (cap/hull & leaves) in tact

65ml (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) thickened cream

125g quality white chocolate

blue and red natural food colouring



Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Grease and flour a 20cm pan or as I did here, a 26cm (widest part) by 7cm deep love heart pan.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until pale.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in the vanilla.

Combine flour and baking powder separately and add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. And your cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile place cream and chocolate in a dry and heatproof bowl over simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl).

Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until chocolate is melted and well combined with cream.

Add a blue food colouring (I did this with a toothpick to avoid putting in too much), stir to spread colour.

Add (roughly twice as much) red food colouring and stir to create deep pink/purple colour.

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

heart cake (side view)

Generously cover the cooled cake with the ganache, spreading to the sides and letting ‘drip’ slowly. Top with halved strawberries.

Make a strawberry rose by using this technique (I always do this just with a paring knife).

Serve with some hot tea for a snuggly time ♥


lemon yoghurt syrup cake

I’m a fanatic of two things: cooking (when I feel like it), and lemon desserts (when I’m craving it). Being a cooking fanatic, I loved watching MasterChef when I had lots of spare time, and few things to do 🙂 Some of the recipes they cooked up on the show were plain amazing – and when I stumbled across their lemon yoghurt cake with syrup, I knew I had to try it – I got that lemon-dessert craving, after all!

lemon yoghurt syrup cake

I made very few modifications to the recipe, mainly for the syrup – I’d love to make this cake again, and when I do, I’d put a little less lemon juice in the syrup, and maybe a few extra tablespoons of sugar into the cake batter becaue it didn’t seem to have absorbed enough syrup to sweeten it. That is kind of my fault though, because I simmered my syrup for a bit more than needed, which made it as thick jam! At the time I wanted the cake finished and eaten, so I didn’t water it down – I should have!

I hope you give this cake a go, I think it’s a really tasty and an easy to prep dessert – and low in fat, too! 🙂

a slice of cake

Serves: 10



3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2  cups self-raising flour, sifted

2 lemons, juiced, plus 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 cup Greek style yoghurt, extra to serve if desired


2 tbs water

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons peeled into strips


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Grease a 22cm round spring-form cake pan (line with baking paper if desired).

Whisk eggs and sugar for a few minutes with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.

Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk for another minute.

Use a spoon to stir in the flour, yoghurt and oil until smooth.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).

As the cake bakes, cover the bottom of a small saucepan with a few centimetres of water and bring to a boil.

Add in the zest and leave to boil for a minute.

Drain and retain the zest strips (I retained 2 tbs of the water for the syrup).

Combine the sugar, lemon juice and water in the saucepan and place on low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Stir for a few minutes, until slightly thickened.

Use a skewer to poke 15-20 holes all over the cake.

Pour half the hot syrup over the cake and allow to sink in – add more syrup and stand the cake in the pan for half an hour.

Dish up and drizzle any remaining syrup if desired.

Serve with Greek-style yoghurt or ice cream.

lemon yoghurt syrup cake

mubarak malteser chocolate cake

I hosted an iftar dinner party (of course in conjunction with mum, dad and sis) last night because it was Yawm Arafah (The Day of Arafat). We made lots of food, most of which I’ll post a recipe for one day, but today I want to share with you the Eid Mubarak cake I did. Although it wasn’t Eid yesterday, I wasn’t going to get the chance to share such a cake with the extended family, so I thought 1 day early is better than no cake at all.

Of course, hosting a dinner party means too much to cook with too little time (for me anyway), so this cake is ready-made. I bought almost everything pre-made (the batter just needed milk + egg, and the frosting was ready made). I will very soon share with you a recipe for both that I have, but didn’t get the chance to use yesterday. 🙂

You’ll notice I’m not a pro at making cakes, but I anyway felt that this cake needed a bit of a rustic look to it anyway, so no cutting or fancy writing was involved. I really enjoyed making it, except for the part that says no licking fingers whatsoever, because I was fasting… Yes, my gosh that part was torture, but I learned 2 things: first, not be so messy with the chocolate tempering, and secondly, to work swiftly without eating half the batter and frosting and chocolate and malteasers 😉

To all my lovely friends who celebrated Eidul Ad-ha on Sunday, I hope you enjoy a virtual slice of cake, and accept my warmest Eid wishes…..

Serves: 12


2 x cake batter for an 8″ pan

340g chocolate frosting

150 g pack malteasers

1/2 cup chocolate buttons

Nestlé condensed milk or white icing to write a message on the cake



Mix the ingredients of one cake batter pack as per the instructions and bake.

When ready, remove from the oven and tip the cake upside down on a tray while it’s still hot.

Repeat the first two steps for the second batter of cake.

Place both cakes in the fridge to completely cool.

Meanwhile, decorate the plate you wish to serve in (I just lined mine with al-foil).

Cut the malteasers in half and set aside.

Mix the chocolate frosting until smooth.

Remove the two cakes from the fidge, and place one on the serving tray. Place it the right way up. Use a butter knife to help get it off the tray. The steam from the heat will make the cake stick to the tray, but that’s okay. The reason we need to tip it upside down while it’s still hot is to help level the top out. Because we don’t want to cut the cake.

Spoon a generous amount of frosting on the cake in the serving tray.

Place the other cake on top of it, but facing upside down still.

Cover both cakes with the chocolate frosting. I used a butter knife to do it all, why the need for a fancy spatula?

Randomly arrange the malteasers along the edge of the cakes, pushing them into the frosting so they don’t fall.

Place the cake in the fridge.

Next, melt the chocolate buttons in a double boiler.

As they melt, you may want to put a glass baking dish in the fridge (see next step).

Transfer 1/4 of the melted chocolate onto a marble bench/cutting board, or flip a glass baking dish upside down, and pour the chocolate on it.

Spread the chocolate using a spatula and bring it together again for a minute, until it cools (we’re just trying to temper the chocolate). Use a thermometre to get it to the right temperature, or you can use your finger to estimate. Make sure the chocolate doesn’t seize up.

Return the cooled chocolate into the bowl and mix in well.

Pour the chocolate on greaseproof paper and spread evenly.

Place in the fridge to set. Cut it into triangles, or any shape to decorate the top of the cake.

I did triangles so I can mimic Jabal Arafah (Mount Arafat) on the cake.

Remove the cake from the fridge and arrange the chocolate triangles on it.

Using white icing or Nestlé condensed milk, write on the cake your message.

Customise your own message 🙂

Keep in the fridge until it’s time to serve, be sure to get messy and wholeheartedly:


recipe request: mouthwatering marble cake

This is my first “recipe request” post.

The dish – marble cake.

The recipe card – below. 🙂

Serves: 8


For an 8 inch round baking tray:

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter (when solid)

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract powder (+ any flavouring you like, eg. orange zest – optional)

2 eggs

3 tsp cocoa powder

Icing sugar and cocoa for dusting

For a 26 cm by 18 cm rectangular baking tray:

1  7/8 cup plain flour

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter (when solid)

3 tsps baking powder

2 tsps vanilla extract powder (+ any flavouring you like, eg. orange zest – optional)

2 eggs

3 tsps cocoa powder

Icing sugar and cocoa for dusting


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Note, I used the spring form tray. Grease it. 🙂

Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Add the wet ingredients gradually and mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour half the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa powder.

Mix the cocoa batter until smooth (and no lumps remain).

First, pour a little bit of the white batter. Then follow it with some of the chocolate one.

Continue to pour in all the white batter (without scraping the bowl).

Next add some more cocoa batter. Use a teaspoon to make swirls and abstract shapes.

Scrape the remaining white batter into the baking pan.

Now scrape the remaining cocoa batter…and you’re done!

Pop it into the oven for 35 minutes. Check on it at the 30 minute mark in case you’ve a quick oven 🙂 To check if the cake is cooked, put a skewer or knife in the center, if it comes out clean, your cake is ready! Otherwise, pop it into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

If it’s cooked, place your cake on a cooling rack to cool. It’s best not to remove it from the bottom of your spring form pan until it’s cool (i.e. just remove the sides from the spring form pan)…. And use the top of your stove like I did if your cooling rack isn’t handy.

When completely cool, dust with icing sugar. Then dust patches with cocoa to complete the marble effect!

Serve with a dollop of your favourite ice cream…

…Or your favourite decaf…

 …Either way…


classy cappuccino hazelnut cake: take 2

If you’ve read my post about the divine cappuccino hazelnut cake I made last week, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about now.

I had some friends come over who hadn’t tried the cake the first time, so I made it again for them this time…

Only difference to the recipe would be that I used a meridia cake mix instead of the vanilla one I used the first time. Either way, the cake still had the same great cappuccino taste, spongy moistness and hazelnut crunch!

Needn’t to say it left no trail of existence when they were done with it 🙂

Looking so delicious I want some more now…

Personally don’t like to fill the middle with too much cream

I stole a photo before it disappeared!


The recipe can be found here. What I love most about this recipe, is that it’s proved itself to be ‘re-doable’. I hate recipes that work once beautifully, only to never -ever- work again. 🙂

cappuccino hazelnut cake divinity

classy cappuccino hazelnut cake

My 2nd and more successful attempt can be found here.

cappuccino cake picture

Serves: 10


For an 8 inch round baking tray:

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter (when solid)

2 tps baking powder

1 tps vanilla extract powder

2 eggs

For a 26 cm by 18 cm rectangular baking tray:

1  7/8 cup plain flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter (when solid)

3 tps baking powder

2 tps vanilla extract powder

2 eggs

Buttercream Icing:

1/2 cup thickened cream

1 cup white chocolate

1 2/3 cup butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup icing sugar

1 tbs instant coffee powder

1 tbs water

Finishing touches:

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup cocoa powder

5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

finishing touches on cake picture


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease the baking tray of your choice.

In a large bowl add the dry ingredients (be sure not to confuse with the buttercream icing ingredients)!

Using an electric mixer, mix on the lowest speed for a few seconds. This is the best way to avoid the pain of sifting!

Add the eggs and beat them, then combine them into the mixture. Gradually add the milk as you mix.

Add the oil …while still mixing. If you use butter, it’s best to melt in the microwave before adding it.

The mixture should be slightly runny.

Pour into the baking tray and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 30-35minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and check that it’s cooked through. To do this, either insert a skewer to the bottom of the cake and check that no cake batter sticks to it, or pat the top of the cake and look out for a small bounce back: to indicate it’s completely cooked through.

After the cake cools, place it in the fridge. A cold cake won’t crumb when slicing it!

In a double boiler, usually achieved by placing a bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the white chocolate and cream.

When no lumps remain, remove the bowl from the pot and leave aside to cool slightly (approximately 10 minutes).

In a clean bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer until light and creamy (soft peaks form). As you are beating it, gradually add the icing sugar.

Fold in the melted chocolate and cream after it cools. If it is too hot, you will melt your butter!

NOTE: gradually add the chocolate and cream. If you add it all in and the icing becomes too runny, you’ve just done irreversible damage. If you only need half the chocolate and cream to keep the icing soft, then only use that much!

Dissolve the coffee powder with the water and add to the icing.

When the cake has cooled completely, cut off any stiff edges (this might occur in the rectangular cake): I trimmed off it’s edges.

Slice the cake in half so that it is in 2 layers[1].

Scoop on a few dollops of buttercream icing on both layers and spread, avoid spreading it too close to the edges.

Place the top half of the cake on the bottom half and begin icing the top and sides. Place in the fridge.

Roughly chop any nut you fancy, I used hazelnuts. Remove the cake from the fridge and push the nuts into its sides.

Dust the top with cocoa powder and add the Ferrero chocolates.

cocoa dusting picture

Serve with anything you like, or simply…..


devour me picture

[1] If you want to do this the lazy way, skip placing cream between two layers of cake, i.e skip this entire step!

I give credit to the author of foodtoheart for the original cappuccino vanilla cake recipe. The recipe that appears to be a great deal more fattier than mine. 🙂