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Contest-Winning Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

 Contest-Winning Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
This lovely layered cake may not be made from scratch, but lemon curd filling and creamy frosting give it a gourmet taste. It's a refreshing change from chocolate holiday desserts.—Suzanne Earl, Spring, Texas
12 ServingsPrep: 40 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 package lemon cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for
  • 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, buttermilk, oil,
  • applesauce, lemon juice, egg yolks, lemon peel and poppy seeds; beat
  • on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. In
  • another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into
  • batter.

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Contest-Winning Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at
  • 350° for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
  • center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from
  • pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and
  • vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a
  • serving plate; top with 1/3 cup lemon curd. Repeat layers twice. Top
  • with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining lemon curd over top of
  • cake within 1 in. of edges. Frost sides and top edge of cake with 3
  • cups whipped cream mixture. Pipe remaining mixture around edges.
  • Yield: 12 servings.
To Make Ahead: The cake layers can be made the day before serving. Store in resealable plastic bags at room temperature. Editor's Note: We recommend using a Duncan Hines 18-1/4 ounce cake mix for this recipe.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 502 calories, 27 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 127 mg cholesterol, 349 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein.
Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.