Passion Fruit Poppy Seed Loaf Cake


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Ever had a passion fruit? I’m talking fresh from the tree, perfectly ripe passion fruit. No? Me neither.  I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Massachusetts with nary a passion fruit in sight. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and I found myself in the middle of Manhattan in culinary school at The Institute of Culinary Education. During the pastry section of my course work I was introduced to the taste of fresh passion fruit. It was for sure not local and probably wasn’t even at its peak of ripeness, but MY. MIND. WAS. BLOWN.  How could a fruit possibly taste like that? It tasted like it was some sort of magical candy that was the perfect balance between sweet and tart and the aroma was intoxicating. I think at the time we used the passion fruit to make a puree for some solid mid-2000s plating techniques (paintbrush, anyone?), but it quickly cemented itself in my list of my top 10 favorite flavors. Since that life-changing pasty lesson my plating skills have not gotten any better, but my uses for passion fruit are endless. Cocktails, vinaigrette, swirled into muffins, or my latest use, made into a creamy and tart curd.  Now let me be clear,  I’m certainly not made of money (passion fruit can be pricey in my neck of the woods!) and now reside in the burbs where access to fresh passion fruit is less than ample.  I often stock up on frozen passion fruit puree which is super economical and packs almost the exact flavor punch as fresh passion fruit. For the curd recipe here, I tested it with both fresh passion fruit flesh and frozen puree and the results were nearly identical.  I do suggest buying at least one fresh passion fruit if you can find it to use the seeds to adorn the top of this Poppy Seed Loaf because the texture and tartness really brings everything together. I like to think of passion fruit seeds as God’s sprinkles. They are perfectly safe to eat and are DELICIOUS! 

I hope you make this easy loaf cake and learn to love passion fruit as much as I have!


Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 30mins
Cook time 1hr
Serves or Makes: 8

Recipe Card


For the Glaze


For Serving


  • Fresh passion fruit seeds, for topping (optional)
  • Passion fruit curd


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, curd and vanilla.

  • Step 3

    Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just incorporated. Add batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is set.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, make the glaze by beating all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer until smooth.

  • Step 5

    When cake is baked, let cool for about 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire cooling rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Flip the cake right side up and pour the glaze on top. Let sit for about 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh passion fruit seeds, if desired. Serve with passion fruit curd.

For the Passion Fruit Curd


To Make the Passion Fruit Curd

  • Step 1

    Set up a double boiler by placing a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Add the egg yolks, sugar, passion fruit and salt to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking constantly for about 12 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined.

  • Step 2

    Let cool slightly before using in the batter, then chill excess for serving on top of cake.

  • Step 3

    **Note: If you happen to over cook your eggs while making the curd, just strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer.