Recipe Review

Martha Stewart’s Recipe for Orange and Poppy Seed Sheet Cake Is a True Crowd-Pleaser

published Apr 22, 2022
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One thing I absolutely love about baking is the leftovers. The idea that taking just a few hours out of my day to prepare a delicious treat that can provide me with a week’s worth of sugary delights is just oh-so-sweet. Truthfully, if I had it my way, every day would be cake day, and I would trust no one more than the domestic queen of the kitchen, Martha Stewart, to provide me with the best recipes.

Being the icon that she is, it’s easy to count on Martha to set you down the right path with a killer recipe that’s simple to make and provides leftovers for the week. And her Orange and Poppy Seed Sheet Cake is no different. Made with an orange juice-based glaze elegantly drizzled on top, I knew I had to bookmark this one when I saw it hit my timeline.

This recipe includes orange zest, sour cream, poppy seeds, and vanilla paste in the batter, as well as orange juice in the easy-to-make icing. With a total prep time of about 20 minutes, you will be enjoying your first bite in just under two hours.

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F and greasing a baking pan with butter. Line with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of overhang on the long sides, and butter it.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine eggs and sugar in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on high speed until the batter is thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add the flour mixture and mix well to combine. Next add your butter, zest, poppy seeds, and vanilla. Beat to combine before finally adding sour cream, and beating until smooth.  

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Let it cool in the pan or on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and after — using the parchment paper overhangs — lift the cake out of the pan and let it completely cool on the rack.  

For the icing, use a whisk to combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, and orange juice until it is smooth. Spread out over the cake and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Take about 20 minutes to let the icing set before serving. You can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for as many as three days.  

The full recipe and so much more can be found on her website, and though I’ve been a huge fan lately of Martha’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, there is so much more that she has to offer if you take the time to explore. And while you’re in the mood to try new things, this Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting straight from a grandma’s recipe book is truly worth the try.