Eggless Cake with Poppy, Sesame & Flaxseeds

There are two types. 

Of cakes. 

In this world.

The spoil-me-silly, utterly guilt ridden, supremely decadent, high on butter, cream, sugar, frosting and all things delectable is the first. The type which is a must-have for all special occasions and sometimes just to make the mundane special. It's the sort your dreams are made of. Both baking and eating.

And then there are those cakes which are sensible, not so high on guilt, baked with healthy ingredients with the best of intentions. These cakes do not make our pulse rates rise or our hearts beat faster but they do add a special something to a breakfast or a tea or even a snack. These are the kind you decide to bake if your aunt suddenly decides to visit. Or if you have to take a treat for your gym going work mates. Or bake for your neighbour who goes running every single day, come rain or hail storm. Apart from all that, these are certainly the kind you can have during the weekday and tell yourself that you are still sticking to your diet.  The kind a child or a slightly silly adult may refuse on the grounds that it has no frosting.

In fashion lingo the special cake is the 6 inch stiletto with glitters that the diva wears to a wild night out while the healthy cake is the plain pair of pumps that the practical girl wears to work, to shop, to the laundromat, to the dentist, to walk the dog.

But hey let's not loose heart. We know every practical girl parties once in a while and every diva has to take off those killer heels sooner or later. 

There's an ace up our sleeves. Too. 

Just because it is healthy do not reject the second type. Like the ignorant child or the slightly silly adult. The healthy cake tastes great, melts in your mouth, gladdens your heart, is your guilt free mid week treat. And goes great with mugs of tea. Or coffee.

Today I am sharing a recipe for the later kind of cake. A no fuss, easy to bake, healthy kind of cake. But that does not make it any less delish.

It's the kind of cake which hardly stays in the tin. The kind your friends praise you for. The kind which makes you feel like a good Samaritan.

Let's get on with the cake, shall we?

For this one I halved my mother's staple sponge cake recipe. Now this is a recipe which my mother found eons ago on the back of a baking powder packet and she has been using it for years. I have also made this recipe my very own and I make changes as and when. I have used this recipe to make this delectable strawberry cake, this coffee cake for my birthday last year, this upside down pear cake.

Why half now? Because the full recipe is a bit too much for just the two of us. Me being me, I end up eating most of the cake and then I feel so guilty that I stop baking. So in order to preserve my baking I decided to halve the recipe. This way I will eat half of what I used to eat before and hopefully won't feel so guilty that I will stop baking.

Why eggless? Of course I am very much an egg eater, I just wanted to try the eggless version which my mother has been raving about. My grandmother is a vegetarian and my mother made the eggless version for her and ever since she says she prefers this one. So I wanted to see for myself how the eggless version works. You would hardly notice that the eggs are gone. Since I have decided to cut down on eggs in our diet, this eggless cake means we get to eat our eggs in other ways.

Why the poppy, sesame & flaxseeds? Well I have been seeing a lot of cakes being baked by fellow bloggers using poppy seeds. We Bengalis use a lot of poppy in our food and I am really fond of this seed. So a cake with poppy seeds piqued my curiosity and I knew I had to try it. I invited sesame and flaxseeds to the cake party just to add a bit more crunch. Glad to report that I am not disappointed with the cake top. These two are adding crunch on top while the poppy seeds are doing their job throughout the rest of the cake.

Why soft brown sugar? Well it gave the cake a lovely dark brown look. But apart from that I am trying to move away from granulated white sugar. I wanted to see how this sugar would bake. It bakes just fine, though it makes the cake a little sticky, me thinks. If the choice is between health and stickiness, I would any day chose health.

Why Farrington's Mellow Yellow British Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil? I have been hearing a lot about British Rapeseed Oil and have been curious because they are saying that this oil is healthier than olive oil. Recently at a food event I had the pleasure of meeting Farmer Duncan Farrington who had come to a posh London hotel with his rapeseed plant straight from his farm {which if you ask me was a totally cool thing to do} and lovely products. We got chatting and he told me about the health benefits of the all natural rapeseed oil that his farm produces. At the end of the event, I got a bottle of the Mellow Yellow to try.
Now in my previous experience of using rapeseed oil I found the smell too strong. Duncan assured me that his oil did not have that too strong smell and he is right. This oil does in no way smell strong. And the colour is so beautiful. It is my favourite shade of golden yellow.

So why did I add oil to my cake? I have been baking cakes with oil for sometime now. I find oil gives a better texture, and chances of burning are much less. The rapeseed oil that I used definitely added it's own flavour to the cake.

Why an animal shaped cake? Last year I found this cake tin in IKEA and it looked so pretty I had to buy it. This is the first time I used this tin and for the measurement the tin was perfect save a little extra which I used to bake a mini cake.

1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup soft dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/3 cup Farrington's Mellow Yellow British Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
1/2 tea spoon baking soda & baking powder each
1 tea spoon Neilson-Massey vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt {I use Greek Yogurt}
2 table spoon of poppy seeds soaked in 1/4 cup hot water with a pinch of salt for about 10 mins
{this helps in softening the poppy seeds}
1 table spoon of flaxseeds and seasame seeds each, toasted until light golden brown
Juice of one orange & one lemon or half a lime 
{lime juice is way more tart than lemon juice}
Orange & lemon peel
{I did not use any since I do not enjoy the taste}
2 table spoon of icing sugar for the glaze, some more for dusting on top

Switch on your oven at 150 degree Celsius and in your mixer start mixing the oil and sugar together for about 5 to 7 mins. You will see the consistency changing, hang in there, all that hard work would be totally worth it. 
After that add in the yogurt and the vanilla extract and continue mixing.
In a bowl mix in the dry ingredients and then slowly a little at a time add this to the mixer, keep mixing with a spatula to help the mixer along. 
Air bubbles will start to form in the mixture, these are good as they are the reason why a cake rises and becomes fluffy.
After a couple of mins switch off the mixer and add the poppy seeds which have been drained. Gently fold this into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into an oiled baking pan.
Then sprinkle the toasted flax and poppy seeds on the batter.
This cake would take roughly 40 to 45 mins at 150 degree Celsius to bake. But ovens vary, so please keep checking at regular intervals.
After 20 mins I cover the cake with a foil so that the top does not burn.
After 40 mins do the toothpick test, if your toothpick comes out clean that means the cake is ready.
Switch off the oven and cool the cake for about 20 mins.
While the cake is cooling, make a mixture with the icing sugar and orange & lemon juice and pour on top of the cake.

Verdict: It was a moist and soft cake, the frosting makes the cake a little soggy, but as time goes the cake dries up.  All that orange and lemon juice in the frosting adds a sharp bite to the taste, giving it another dimension.
The rapeseed oil definitely adds depth of flavour to the cake. The cake is as light as my cakes made with oil are, no changes there.

This cake is going to my fellow blogger friend Sadaf's Virtual Eid Potluck Party. Do come join us there.

On another note I am dying to share with you a really exciting piece of news. We at Bloggers' Buzz are starting a photography club for food bloggers from this August. It will be both an online & physical club. For the physical one we meet once every month somewhere in London and learn to take gorgeous food photos. You can get all the details here & here. If you are interested in joining either the online or the physical club just drop us an email at


  1. Hi Suchi, that's a very nice and delicious cake. The texture look so moist. The animal shape cake look cute. Pass one to me please! :))

    Have a wonderful weekend, regards.

  2. Stunning and delicious, adore the pops of the seeds in the cake.

  3. Suchi I love so much this cake love the texture and love´poppy seeds!

  4. Interesting post Suchi :) unfortunately, we dont bake this type of cakes that often, do we ? :)

  5. i had a few questions like why eggless & how come poppy.. and then i read the beautiful explanation of why they were used .. True! its always heartening to know, that you can enjoy all the "so called sinful stuff" with such healthier alternative :).. coincidentally i baked a eggless cake too..only healthy addition being apples :D

  6. Hi Suchi,

    I love your introduction to this cake. My mouth was watering for it even before I got to the list of ingredients. I don't smug anything that says it is healthy if it tastes good. The one thing I've finally realized about food is that it is forever evolving. I do believe the blog community has lots to do with it. Your cake looks delicious. I would love a piece with my tea:)

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  7. Interesting combination of poppy, sesame and flaxseeds. Thanks for bringing it to my Virtual Eid Potluck Party.

  8. Just because it's healthy doesn't mean it's not delicious as well ?! ;D Ha ! I'll take this cake anytime ! Your writing alone convinced me of that lol Lovely cake , Suchi !

  9. Great recipe.. Will definitely try it.. Thanks for sharing Suchi :-)

  10. OMG!!!!!!love t for dessert..looks so it

  11. Second to Nupur. Need to bake more like this. Btw I got to say I love all ur works, especially the photography club one looks really cute and the header of the blog with things hanging looks wonderful :)

  12. 1st time here. What an incredible blog you have.Happy to follow u!

  13. Don't miss to participate in 3rd blog-anniversary event with a giveaway @ :)


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