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Blood Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg

Photo by Chelsea Zwieg

We're always on the hunt for creative ways to use our citrus. Thankfully, citrus is such a versatile ingredient that we find it almost impossible to waste. Whether sliced into salads, added to a marinade, or baked in a delicious loaf like this one from Chelsea Zwieg of The Whole Bite, citrus is always a welcome addition.  

Chelsea's note: "I'm usually not one for loaf breads that aren't banana of some kind, but I can make a definite exception when citrus soaked yogurt cake is on the line. I replaced the grapefruit with blood orange because there is nothing more gorgeous than blood oranges this time of year and I added some poppy seeds, but other than that it is just like the grapefruit cake of my short-lived college cooking days."

Well said, Chelsea! Happy cooking, friends! 


  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt 
  • 2 tsp. blood orange zest
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/3 c fresh blood orange juice + 1 tbsp. sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 loaf pan and set aside. 
  • Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, zest, sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until incorporated. Fold in the oil with a rubber spatula. Add the poppy seeds and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth with a spatula. Top with thin blood orange slices, if desired.  Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Chelsea's note: I left mine in for closer to 60 minutes hoping it would brown more on top, but it ended up being a touch over baked. So don't stress too much about a pale color, just trust the tester!
  • Let the loaf cool in it's pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Meanwhile, cook the blood orange juice and 1 tbsp. sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat. 
  • While the cake is still warm, slowly pour the glaze over the top of the loaf, letting it soak in. Place a piece of parchment under the wire rack to catch the glaze for easy cleanup. Let cake finish cooling before slicing. 

Recipe Notes

If you don't have blood oranges, try using grapefruit or Cara Cara oranges instead. For a dairy-free version, swap the plain greek yogurt for Kite Hill yogurt - a great non-dairy alternative! We like to eat this plain, but it's great with some jam or curd on it as well.