Grand Marnier Poppy Seed Cake

Grand Marnier Poppy Seed Cake - Bake from Scratch Jan/Feb 2017

Candied oranges add a layer of elegant decadence to this sweet and tart Grand Marnier Poppy Seed cake. This recipe is one of our five boozy bites inspired recipes.

Grand Marnier Poppy Seed Cake
Make 1 (9x5-inch) loaf
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Candied Oranges
  1. 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  2. 1¼ cups water
  3. 32 (¼-inch-thick) slices clementine (about 8 whole clementine’s)
  4. 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  1. 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  3. ¼ cup orange liqueur
  4. 3 tablespoons (27 grams) poppy seeds
  5. 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  6. ½ cup whole milk
  7. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 3⅓ cups (417 grams) all-purpose flour
  9. 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  10. ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. For candied oranges: In a large skillet, combine sugar and 1¼ cups water. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool. Lightly spray a sheet of parchment paper with cooking spray. Remove orange slices with a fork, and place on parchment. In a small bowl, stir together orange syrup and 2 tablespoons orange liqueur. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  3. For cake: In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, ¼ cup orange liqueur, poppy seeds, and orange rind. Add milk and eggs, whisking until combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place candied orange slices over batter, overlapping*.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, and then cover with foil. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Drizzle cake with half of orange syrup, and let cool completely. Serve with remaining syrup.
  1. When removing orange slices from the sheet of parchment paper, be sure to let excess syrup drain off before adding to loaf.
Bake from Scratch

Find all Boozy Bites inspired recipes in our 2017 Jan/Feb Issue!

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  1. I baked this, following the recipe exactly except that I put the oranges on 2/3 of the way through the baking because I thought they would burn. Even then they still were very crispy and practically inedible– nothing like the picture. How would I fix this?

    • Hi Kate, we’re sorry this recipe has been giving you trouble! We did find a few details that should have been added into the procedure that would have helped in this situation. You should have added the oranges before baking, as instructed. Then in Step 4, you should cover the cake with foil after baking for 30 minutes (this protects the oranges from burning and helps the cake cook completely). Then bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can visit our Recipe Corrections page under the Recipes tab for the full list of corrections and full details on this recipe. We’re so sorry the discrepancy in steps caused you problems and apologize for any frustration it caused.

  2. I wanted to love this, but I found it lacking orange flavor and just a bit dry and stodgy. It seemed like a whole lot of flour for a loaf cake. I think if I made this again I would add a little bit of orange juice to solve both problems. The grand marnier does lend a lovely flavor.

    I found the candied oranges a little hard to eat. Maybe 1/4″ is a little too thick?


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