Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLEHappy Saturday friends! Last night my friend Kristan and I hosted a little cocktail party for a group of local bloggers. We drank and ate and talked and laughed. It was wonderful to make new friends and build community. This morning after a long walk with the dog, I taught yoga to a small group of friends. Now, we’re eating brunch and watching The Daily Show. So far it’s been a pretty great weekend. I hope you’re having a great weekend too and that this orange blossom water and poppy seed rhubarb cake will make your weekend even better! In the meantime, I’ve got some favorite links for you below. Enjoy!

  1. I watched this TED talk this morning and LOVED it! It gives a really great, scientifically grounded argument against the paleo diet while promoting a diverse, local, seasonal, whole foods diet. Plus there’s some really cool stuff in there about the differences between wild vegetables and our modern ones.
  2. We just got a set of these to help shorten dryer time and save energy when I don’t have time to hang my laundry up! Woohoo!
  3. I can’t wait to make this and this!
  4. This is a great little article about the environmental cost of growing food, something people are starting to think about more and more. It’s about time!
  5. Tara O’Brady’s photos from her recent trip to India are so stunning. They capture a mood and the essence of place so perfectly and have me dreaming about another trip to Mysore.
  6. Obsessed with these hand woven, naturally dyed rugs and can’t wait to fill our future cabin with them.

Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLE_DSC6586-3Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake | TENDING the TABLE

Orange Blossom Water and Poppy Seed Rhubarb Cake

Gluten and refined sugar free (see note)

Makes 1 4×13-inch cake or 1 8-inch round cake


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup honey

4 eggs

1 tablespoon orange blossom water

2 tablespoons vanilla bean creme fraiche

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons poppyseeds

1 teaspoon salt

2 stalks rhubarb chopped (see note)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Combine the butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes, until fluffy.

Decrease the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time. Add the orange blossom water and mix again.  In a small bowl whisk together the flours, tapioca starch, cornstarch, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt. With the mixer on low speed add half the flour, then the creme fraiche, then the rest of the flour.

Stir in the chopped rhubarb. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing from the pan and serving with creme fraiche.

*This cake is best eaten the day it is made.

*If you prefer not to make this cake gluten free just substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour for the rice flour, millet flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch and leave out the baking powder.

*For stylistic reasons I cut the rhubarb into 3-inch pieces and sliced it thinly lengthwise, layering it on top of the cake. This is an option, but I think it tastes better with the chunks of rhubarb distributed throughout the cake.