Poppy Seed Cake Recipe
Poppy Seed Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

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4.5 10 12
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As sweet finale for my favorite meal, this moist cake is chock full of poppy seeds. (Don't forget to soak the poppy seeds.) The cream cheese frosting adds the final touch! This is also a tasty dessert to bring to a potluck.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-15 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-15 servings


  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 426 calories, 23g fat (10g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 184mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein


  1. In a small bowl, soak poppy seeds in milk for 30 minutes. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In another large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with poppy seed mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter.
  3. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Originally published as Poppy Seed Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2007, p33

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Reviewed May. 20, 2015

"Easy to make and very good. The cake part is very dense, not quite as moist as I would like it, but still good. The frosting is the star of this recipe and makes all the difference! I like the idea of adding some almond extract to the batter. Will try that next time!"

Reviewed Apr. 30, 2012

"I love everything poppyseed, but I found this cake to be just OK -- not sensational. The cake was quite flavorless and had a funny texture. I'm not sure if it's the shortening (vs. butter) base, or if it's the egg whites or the combination of those two flavorless elements, but it just lacked something. I will keep looking to find my ultimate poppyseed cake recipe."

Reviewed Jan. 23, 2012

"Could you substitute the shortening for butter?"

Reviewed Mar. 14, 2011

"delicious cake"

Reviewed Sep. 27, 2010

"A delicious cake that I have made time and time again."

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