Fiesta friday – have your cocktail and eat it – rum and cointreau poppyseed cocktail in a cake!


I am very excited to be bringing this “have your cocktail and eat it”  boozy cake to Fiesta Friday.   In recent Polianthus family history my baking and dessert making efforts were met with “hm, I am sure this is really healthy….”  (in response to carrot biscuits with oats and honey). This evolved after  I made a dessert by Made in Italy author and hot Italian Chef Giorgio Locatelli banana tiramisu with liquorice (see background below)**  to frank distrust, as in “this is likely going to be one of Polis’ weird and wildly improbable experimental recipes….. ” .

For this reason, today, I am proud to share a cake with you that had my mother in rapture.


The recipe  is based on one published in the Gourmet cookbook (p. 706 of the 2004 edition), I adapted it so not sure what the original is like, however my version (changes in green) came out really well, so I adapted the name and I am sharing it with you:

Rum Cointreau orange poppy boozy cake

  • Dry
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup poppy seeds – now this where it gets interesting – I used Goldpack-Frisch-Geriebener-Graumohn – translation (Goldpack = brand), freshly grated grey poppy – not whole poppy seeds. If you cannot get this, which I suspect will be the case for most people, and you can only get fresh poppy seeds I suggest you blitz them not too fine in the food processor and then measure out 1/4 cup, that way they won’t be hard kernels in the cake but will melt into the dough, it’s much nicer that way

Mix all dry ingredients


  • 4 eggs separated into whites (to be whipped separately)  and yolks
  • 2/3 cups greek full fat yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • grated zest one organic orange
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 screw-top lids rum
  • Set egg whites aside to whip, mix all other wet ingredients into the dry ones stirring with electric mixer.
  • Whip egg whites stir some under when dough a little lighter  gently fold the rest under
  • Bake at 350°F, 180° C for 40-50 minutes until skewer comes out clean


  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cointreau/grand marnier or similar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Stir warm slightly and set aside

When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven poke holes all over the top and spoon the syrup over – let stand 10 minutes, I then spooned the rest of the syrup over, Gourmet turns the cake upside down and treats the bottom too, but I couldn’t be bothered. The cake is soft and sumptuous, moist and delicate, wonderful with a coffee, as is, you could serve with fruit if you wanted or cream but I liked it just as it is.

Go on – have a slice – you know you want to!

IMG_6593Story on the banana tiramisu recipe continued…

**- The background on Giorgio Locatelli’s banana tiramisu recipe: the recipe was  served upright in homemade rolls of  homemade biscuit with liquorice ice-cream and some other stuff. It entailed spending hours in the kitchen, buying weird ingredients, such as – liquorice from the local pharmacy (it comes in very hard sticks) and then lots of fiddling (which frankly is not in my nature) – admittedly the combination of liquorice and banana didn’t sound wonderful to me either, but Giorgio is a hot looking Italian, from the land of good food AND he is a famous chef, and he would take tiramisu with him to a desert island,

so could he be wrong, I asked myself?

And the answer was, in my humble opinion, YES he could….My family concurred, and since then whenever I offer to bring dessert I am told firmly but kindly to contribute to cocktails, starters, main courses or the wine…….

As the recipe apparently hasn’t been published online so if you want to see it you’d need to buy the book, from my perspective it just wasn’t worth the trouble, that recipe, not the book, the book is beautiful.

18 thoughts on “Fiesta friday – have your cocktail and eat it – rum and cointreau poppyseed cocktail in a cake!

    • Hi Gini – how lovely to see you here, the flavours do work well, and the cake shines by virtue of its simple goodness – the only reason I made it was to use up store cupboard ingredients – and I am so glad I did – happy valentines day!

  1. What a fabulous cake Poli! Looks so moist… and interesting that you’ve used grated grey poppy seeds (something I’ve not seen here before). Always happy for a dash of rum, cointreau or the like in a cake… and syrup over the top – delicious! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

    • Dear Margot – it is moist – I am glad that came across in the pictures it’s not easy to photograph 🙂 – the grated grey poppy seeds are ones I was given by a good Austrian friend who is a consummate baker poppy seeds are used a lot in Austrian cuisine – personally I wouldn’t have thought to seek them out, indeed before I found them in my cupboard I didn’t know they existed…texture is very different – grated the seeds have a less overt quality – if you know what I mean

    • well as said not famous for it but this one was REALLY nice – I like cake without icing as well – not so cloying and the dough/sponge has to be interesting and moist enough to please all on its own

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s