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

Poppy Seed Easter Cake Recipe

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A few years ago, this cake became our traditional Easter dinner dessert. It's so much fun to decorate...and so delicious to eat! —Gena Aschleman, West Columbia, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:14-16 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 14-16 servings


  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup jelly beans

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 786 calories, 38 g fat (23 g saturated fat), 157 mg cholesterol, 585 mg sodium, 106 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, peel and vanilla; add to creamed mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined. Stir in poppy seeds (batter will be thick).
  2. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  3. For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Place 1 cup of frosting in a small bowl and tint pale green; set aside.
  4. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate; frost top with white frosting. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  5. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip No. 3. Fill bag with green frosting. Write "Happy Easter" on top of cake. With multi-opening or grass tip No. 233, pipe green frosting on top of cake to resemble a bird's nest. Pipe green frosting around top edge of cake. Place jelly beans in nest. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Editor's Note: A coupler and round tip No. 2 may be used in place of multi-opening tip No. 233.
Originally published as Poppy Seed Easter Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p169

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Reviewed Mar. 6, 2012

"This cake was so good. It has an interesting taste which everyone just loved."

Reviewed Apr. 5, 2010

"This cake was beautiful and tasted good, too. It was a perfect addition to our family Easter get-together!"

Reviewed Apr. 13, 2009

"Absolutely delicious -- festive and easy to make. Mine did not look as pretty as the one pictured, but that did not stop it from being devoured."

Reviewed Apr. 6, 2009

"This was an excellent cake. Easy to decorate. It is a very large cake with the layers but feed a lot when you slice it thin. I will use this dessert now as our family tradition. Thank you for sharing. Chrissy from Canada."

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