Orange & Poppyseed Tea Cake with Sweet Potato Icing

A lightened-up orange & poppy seed tea cake that bursts with citrus flavour, and a surprising twist in the icing!
The sweet potato offers a delicate finish that won't send your cholesterol running for cover. If you're someone who usually scrapes the icing off to enjoy the cake (like me!), this might just be the recipe for you!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Global
Servings 8
Calories 308 kcal


  • Blender


Cake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup spelt four
  • 2/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup date paste or 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Orange zested
  • 2 Lemons zested

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked purple sweet potatoes without the skin – about 1 1/2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2-4 pitted dates soaked in boiled water for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in boiled water for 20 minutes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 1 Orange zested, to serve


To make the cake...

  • In a small bowl, make the buttermilk by combining the apple cider vinegar and milk. Set aside for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a 9-inch round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
  • Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl, and mix.
  • Add the wet ingredients, including the buttermilk, to the dry ingredients and stir until combined, being careful to not overmix which will make the cake dense. You want the batter just barely mixed.
  • Add the poppy seeds and citrus zests and stir gently until just combined.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared cake tin, and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre).
  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing and icing.

To make the icing...

  • Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) and line an oven tray with baking paper.
  • Using a fork, poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes to create steam vents (otherwise they may split or even burst), then bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • Bake
  • When they are fork tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When they're completely cooled, slice the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a food processor or high-powered blender.
  • Drain the soaked cashews and dates and add to the sweet potatoes.
  • Add the vanilla and milk, and process until smooth.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes before icing the cake.
  • Add the orange zest prior to serving.
Keyword plant-based, wfpb

Gabrielle is an evidence-based vegan coach who believes that health transformation begins when you switch to a plant-based diet. Her mission is to help midlife women eat in alignment with who they are and what they value so that they can lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.

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