Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake

My Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake is an easy loaf cake bursting with citrus flavor and crunchy poppy seeds ~ and just when you thought winter had nothing fresh to offer!

Fresh Tangerine Poppy Seed Cake ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Tangerines are in season, keep an eye out for these juiciest of citrus fruits!

Most of us think about eating seasonally in terms of veggies and savory dishes…but I like to give desserts equal opportunity, and I’m making the most of sweet tangerines today with this simple but irresistible pound cake.

Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake with a to-die-for fresh citrus flavor ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Winter can be cold, winter can be dreary, and winter can be long. But winter has an ace up its sleeve ~ citrus fruit! Just when everything fresh and green seems to be months away, citrus fruit arrives in our supermarkets (and on our backyard trees here in California) to brighten our spirits and lend it’s incredible flavor to everything from Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, to Blood Orange and Jicama Salad, and Tangy Lime Bars. Have you tried my Grapefruit Mayonnaise? It’s heaven, and Lemon Buttercream Frosting is just about the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Juicy Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake made with fresh tangerines and crunchy poppy seeds ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Of all the citrus fruits, tangerine has the most pronounced flavor,

which makes it a great candidate for flavoring baked goods like this cake. The combination of the juice and the zest in this pound cake really makes the essence of ‘tangerine’ shine through. So, while you could use regular oranges in the recipe, I highly recommend trying the tangerines first, they make it quite special.

Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake is bursting with citrus flavor and crunchy poppy seeds ~ just when you thought winter had nothing fresh to offer! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com


After my photo shoot this cake sat out, uncovered, overnight. The next morning I sliced off a piece and it was still moist and the citrus flavor seemed even stronger. If you’re a citrus fan like me, you need this cake in your life, trust me.

Fresh Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Reader Rave ~

“I made this cake and absolutely love it. Thanks for the recipe.” ~ Leia

Fresh Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake
3.5 from 4 votes

Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake

My Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake is an easy loaf cake bursting with citrus flavor and crunchy poppy seeds ~ and just when you thought winter had nothing fresh to offer!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • zest of 1 tangerine
  • 3 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract or oil you can also use vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • fresh tangerine juice


  • tangerine zest


  • Set oven to 350F Lightly spray and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper with long ends overhanging so you can easily remove the cake after baking.
  • Mix the buttermilk, poppy seeds, tangerine zest, juice, and extract and set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and blend together well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry.
  • Turn the batter into the lined loaf pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter on it. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil for the second half of the baking time.
  • Let the cake cool completely before glazing.
  • To make the glaze, whisk the sugar with enough fresh tangerine juice to make a spreadable consistency. Garnish with more tangerine zest.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • While I highly recommend tangerine for this recipe, you can use other citrus like grapefruit, navel orange, or lemon. Just substitute other citrus in equal amounts.
  • While not essential, I love to use natural citrus extracts or oils to pump up the flavor when I bake with citrus fruit. Look for all-natural products, and avoid artificial flavorings. Amazon has a large selection, and I particularly love Nielsen-Massey brand. 
  • For a nondairy substitute for buttermilk, try coconut milk mixed with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar per cup.



Thanks for pinning this Tangerine Poppy Seed Pound Cake!


You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Hello, the recipe looks great. What can I substitute for buttermilk, non dairy?

    • Reply
      April 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Great question Mabel ~ maybe try this:
      Vegan Buttermilk Recipe

      Pour 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar into a measuring cup.
      Fill the measuring cup with a non-dairy milk like soy, almond, or coconut, until you reach 1 cup.
      Let sit for 10 minutes or until it curdles.
      Use as a 1:1 replacement for buttermilk in recipes.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Sue, this cake looks amazing. i wanted to bake this but im not sure about finding the almond flour. Is there something else i could use instead?

    • Reply
      January 29, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Hey Simone ~ you can just leave it out and substitute more regular flour if you want, or you can make your own by grinding almonds in a food processor. Almond flour, or almond meal, is really commonly available in stores now, so you might try asking about it first! ~ good luck!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

    What a great idea to switch out the lemons for tangerines. I love poppy seed cakes!!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 3:02 am

    I made this cake and absolutely love it. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      December 4, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I’m so happy it worked for you Leia, aren’t tangerines amazing?

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    December 3, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Beautiful cake, pinning this one.

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    December 1, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Just gorgeous, Sue! A bright burst of citrus sounds fantastic!

1 2

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!


Get my tips, tricks & recipes for easy

foolproof baking


logo png