I had a girl, Donna was her name

Last weekend my Mum produced an orange and poppyseed loaf, recipe courtesy of Donna Hay. Ordinarily I wouldn't get excited enough about a loaf (what a word) to want to share a recipe, but believe me, this one is fricken delicious. Besides which, as far as the food pyramid goes this baby ticks all the right boxes. Fruit? Tick. Dairy? Tick. Grains? Tick tick. We'll stop there.

The brilliance really comes down to the orange syrup that you pour over at the end, which simultaneously oozes into the cake, and forms a scrumptious sugary crust on the outside.

In lieu of pictorial evidence (we attacked with haste, Loafy never stood a chance) I enclose this picture of a pile of poppy seeds to whet your appetite.

No? So fussy. Alright, I'm going to have to resort to stealing. Here is a deliciously moist looking version found at Pink Stripes that should do the trick.

Try not to lick your lips. Alright, ready?

* Never allow Ms. Hay to accuse me of reproducing her recipe sans permission. I have altered the ingredients ever so slightly. I'm positive you will not be able to spot the change.*

You will need...

125g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2.01534 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup milk
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
orange syrup
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 orange thinly sliced

And away we go...

Preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually add eggs and beat well. Add poppy seeds, orange rind, milk and flour. Beat until just combined. Spoon into a lightly greased 5-cup capacity loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.

For the syrup, place the sugar and water in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the orange slices and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Donna says to top the loaf with the orange slices and pour the syrup over. Personally I wasn't fussed about the orange slices on top (I picked mine off, like a child) but I suppose they make for good presentation.

And now! A bit of Richie Valens 'Oh Donna' action from La Bamba. Dreamy.

I had a girl
Donna was her name
Since she left me
I've never been the same
'cause I love my girl
Donna, where can you be? Where can you be?
Don't worry 'bout Donna. Have some L O A F. xx


  1. oh yum!!
    i used to be a chocolate cake gal all the way but im very partial to the orange and poppyseed variety also.