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Nadiya Hussain’s Orange and Coffee Poke Cake

Rich with the flavour of coffee and moist from a filling of orange curd, Nadiya Hussain's poke cake is an easy bake for an afternoon tea treat. As seen on her BBC series, Nadiya's Family Favourites.

From the book


This may sound like a suggestive social media expression, but really the name refers to the action of a spoon poking a cake. Nothing naughty here! (Unless you think cake is naughty, in which case this page is not for you.) This delicious moist coffee cake has holes deliberately poked in it after baking, and a thick tangy orange curd drizzled into them. I have as much fun making this as I do slicing it to reveal the hidden puddles of orange.

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For the coffee cake:
225g sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
225g dark brown sugar
4 medium eggs
2 tbsp boiling water mixed with 5 tsp instant coffee
225g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
For the orange curd:
6 medium egg yolks
3 oranges, zest and juice
100g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
3 tbsp cornflour

Essential kit

You will need: a 23cm square cake tin.


Prep: 30 minutes, plus cooling. Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.

Put the oil and sugar into a bowl and mix well. Add the eggs and whisk in well, then stir in the coffee mixture.

Add the flour and baking powder and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. Then, using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes evenly across the cake. You need 36 holes – about 4 holes per portion – this sounds very exact but we want an equal measure of pokes per person. However, be sure not to poke the holes all the way down to the base of the cake, or the curd may seep out.

To make the curd, put the egg yolks, orange zest and juice, sugar, butter and cornflour into a pan and whisk it all together until combined. Pop on a low to medium heat, whisking all the time until the mixture thickens. It’s ready when the curd coats the back of a spoon. Put the curd into a bowl and leave it to cool completely in the fridge.

Once the cake has cooled, take it out of the tin and put it on a serving dish or cake stand.

Put the cold curd into a piping bag and pipe it into the holes. When all the holes are filled, use the rest of the curd to cover the top of the cake

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From the book: Nadiya’s Family Favourites

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