Triple Citrus Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

I haven’t posted an actual recipe in a while, and this is a delicious one. It’s based on one I tore out of a Martha Stewart Living a few years ago, and it doesn’t seem to be on her website any more so I’m doing you all an enormous favor by posting a simplified version of the recipe here. My main edit is to change the ridiculous first ingredient, which she list as “1 5/8 cups (13 tablespoons) butter” — as if either of those measurements are at all simple to calculate. Further, you actually only need one stick of butter in the dough; the remaining tablespoons of butter are added at various points — to grease the bowl, to brush the dough before its rise, to brush on the loaves before their rise. And you can take or leave those. In fact, you could just grease the bowl with the butter wrapper and be done with it. Next time I make this, I’m going to leave the egg yolks out of the filling (mostly because it’s annoying to have 2 leftover egg whites), and I’ll report back on how that works.

For the dough:
½ c warm water
2 T active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
1 t sugar

½ c butter, melted and cooled (plus some more to grease the bowl)
2/3 c sugar
1 c orange juice
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
zest of 1 orange
1 t salt
5-6 c flour

For the filling:
1 pound cream cheese (room temperature)
1 c confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
2 t vanilla
1 c dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried currants (or a mix)
2/3 c poppy seeds

For the egg wash:
1 lightly beaten egg

Stir together the water, yeast and 1 t sugar in a large bowl until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Now whisk in oj, eggs, remaining 2/3 c sugar, melted butter, zests and salt. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just slightly sticky, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a buttered bowl and turn so that the dough is lightly coated with butter. Loosely cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, either at room temperature (about 1 ½ hours) or in the refrigerator overnight.

Meanwhile, stir together cream cheese, egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add poppy seeds and dried berries. Set aside (at room temp or in the fridge, wherever your dough is).

When you’re ready to shape and bake the coffee cakes, butter 2 baking sheets and set aside.

Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll out one half into an 11 x 15” rectangle. Spread half the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1” border. Beginning at one long side, tightly roll dough into a log, encasing the filling. Pinch seam to seal. Carefully transfer log to baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make cuts about 2” apart along one long side of the log, cutting just three-quarters of the way across. Lift the first segment, turn it cut side up, and lay it flat on the baking sheet. Repeat with the next segment, twisting it so it sits on the opposite side of the roll. Continue down the log, alternating sides.

Roll out, fill and cut remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 350. Loosely cover dough and let rise until almost doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Brush dough with egg wash, avoiding the filling. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Carefully slide coffee cakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely before slicing.


  1. Mom says:

    I’m with you on hating leftover egg whites… suggestion: separate the eggs and use the yolks as ordered. For the egg wash, use the two whites, lightly beaten, and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar to provide the browning the yolk would have….Or else just put the whites in with the next batch of scrambled eggs.;-)

  2. Violeta says:

    Yumm, I love anything with poppy seeds.

  3. Daphne says:

    What a gorgeous coffee cake! You make such beautiful things. I will have to get up my courage to attempt such a thing.