Walnut Orange and Poppy Seed Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

Walnut orange and poppy seed cake recipe is nearly identical to almond orange and poppy seed cake, but the taste of the cake and even its texture are quite different to that of almond cake. It has to be mentioned that walnut meal used as the dry ingredient to make batter is not usual, made from finely ground walnuts. It is toasted walnut meal, that is left after some walnut oil has been extracted. Thus it has only 31% fat and 27% protein, that makes it a perfect dry, flour like ingredient, for grain free sweet baking. In my first trial bake I used half portion of the recipe to bake 6 individual cakes in silicone semi-spheres baking tray.

I found that I have no patience to wait until all individual cakes can be taken out of the tray without crust damage. The second bake (full portion bake) was for a cake in a wide bread loaf tray, lined with individual paper lining. Saves time and nerves, worrying about how difficult it would be to get the cake out without any trouble.

The texture of the cake is more dense than in almond orange cake, but surprisingly, the most amazing feature of this recipe, is nearly complete disappearance of orange flavour in the cake. Toasted walnuts, together with poppy seeds provide blended overall taste, where orange component is not that obvious. The cake is soft, moist and chewy. It benefits from application of orange and honey glaze, the liquid that I get when making honey orange peel.

Walnuts, either fresh, applied on already baked individual cakes,

or baked, gently inserted into a thick batter and covered with warm orange glaze after baking, give the cake extra texture.


Photo below shows the quantity of ingredients only for a half portion.

  • 200g cooked whole oranges puree
  • 160g glucose powder (can be replaced by 150g regular sugar, for those who can tolerate it)
  • 2 eggs, (110g without shell, for reference only)
  • 150g toasted walnut meal, sifted (larger particles left in a sieve used for other projects, or ground)
  • 50g poppy seeds

extras, optional

  • fresh walnut halves
  • orange honey glaze


  • prepare orange puree, by cooking whole oranges for 60-90 minutes in simmering water, cut oranges in quarters, cool them down and blend into puree
  • put walnut meal through a sieve, do not use larger particles or ground them first
  • mix walnut meal with poppy seeds, set aside
  • whisk eggs with glucose powder, adding glucose in 3-4 portions
  • add orange puree, mix it in
  • add dry ingredients to wet, combine together into a thick batter
  • line bread loaf tin with baking paper (alternatively use silicone tray for individual cakes)

  • transfer the batter into a lined baking tin, make the batter level and place walnut halves on top

  • alternatively place the batter into silicone tray

  • bake in preheated to 160C oven (I use fan option) for 60 minutes (loaf cake), 45 min (individual cakes), baked cake is firm to touch
  • apply warm orange glaze on a warm cake, use a brush to spread the glaze evenly
  • the cake develops more intense flavour with time

The cake can be served with whipped coconut cream. Photos below show individual cake served with dairy cream (for demonstration purposes only)

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