Save on Pinterest

Amish Onion Cake

This rich, moist bread with an onion-poppy seed topping is a wonderful break from your everyday bread routine. You can serve it with any meat, and it's a nice accompaniment to soup or salad. I've made it many times and have often been asked to share the recipe. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cups cold butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream


  • In a large skillet, cook onions in 1/2 cup butter over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds, salt, paprika and pepper; cook until onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and sugars. Cut in 1-1/4 cups butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Melt the remaining butter. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sour cream and melted butter. Make a well in dry ingredients; stir in egg mixture just until moistened.
  • Spread into a greased 10-in. cast-iron skillet or springform pan. Spoon onion mixture over the batter. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 539 calories, 36g fat (22g saturated fat), 182mg cholesterol, 748mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Mary
    Feb 9, 2021

    Should have done some other reading (reviews) and remembered how bad cornstarch tastes in any bread.

  • BethWMI
    Feb 8, 2021

    I have not made this recipe yet, tho I have saved it and plan to do so. For those saying a 10" skillet is too small, I think a 12" skillet would work. This is based on a reviewer saying she used a 9x13" pan. So I compared the area of a 9x13" pan with a 12" round skillet; they are very close in size. I couldn't add a review without rating it, so took my best guess based on my knowledge of what makes recipes work and not work. The small amount of sugar, while desirable in a savory recipe, may make this drier and not keep as well.

  • andalusite
    Feb 8, 2021

    This was awesome as I made the changes that others commented about. I did 3/4 C butter with 1/2 C apple sauce to go into batter instead of 1 1/4 C butter. I also added 1/3 C additional diced onion, 1 tsp poppy seed and a handful of cheddar cheese to the dough. I used 13 x 11 pan without cookie sheet and upped the time for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.. Check the cake tester during additional time. Had a bowl of soup and slice of bread. It was delicious.

  • Taylor
    Nov 30, 2020

    The instructions/proportions are absolutely incorrect. This recipe as written makes one cakes/loaf, but when I followed the directions to put it into a 10" cast iron pan it absolutely wouldn't fit, so I put it in a 10" dutch oven. It still overflowed and made a big mess in my oven (which is probably why it says in the directions to place a sheet pan in the oven along with the cake). The flavor is pretty good, a good soup bread, but it's going to be a while before I pick this recipe up again (and reduce it by half).

  • LMD123
    Apr 26, 2020

    This sounds a nice recipe but I would like to somehow add cheese to the dough...has anyone done this before? or does anyone have suggestion how to adapt it to have cheese in the recipe please?

  • Nancy
    Jan 8, 2020

    I love it! So good. I substituted half of the butter with applesauce and the sour cream with a non-dairy cashew yogurt due to family members’ allergies. (For the same reason I use gluten-free flour.) It was still fantastic, and lighter too. Next time I would mix in a little bit of the onions and poppy seeds into the bread itself. I have to cast iron skillet’s but had to put it in a larger pan 13” x 9”.

  • JeJo8337
    Nov 9, 2017

    Yummy, yummy but 36 grams of fat and well over 500 calories PER SERVING?.

  • delowenstein
    Jun 10, 2014

    I tasted the cake! IT IS SO GOOD! The onion topping really gives this cake a lot of flavor! I took it to the hospital today to share with my Volunteer Resources Office & also the Cancer Registry Office! I'm rating this recipe as a 5* recipe! I have made some adjustments to this recipe, though and here is my adaptation: I used 4 Vidalia onions, chopped, 2 tsp. salt DIVIDED: 1 tsp. for the topping and 1 tsp. for the batter. I used 3/4 cup unflavored yogurt instead of sour cream! I greased and floured the 10" springform pan I used!Please note that I baked the cake for 45 to 50 minutes! seeds The bread came out looking just like the photo! Another thing: Place foil around the pan! My pan did leak! Wrap securely, so that at least the drips will be on the foil! I did put my pan on a large baking sheet! Thank you, Mitzi Sentiff, for sharing your recipe with TOH! I found that I could get a total of 15 slices out of this recipe! delowenstein

  • nancy headlee
    Jul 21, 2011

    The top on this is wonderful. The cake was rather bland. It calls for a LOT of butter and the pan that I baked it on was covered with butter. I will make it again, but will experiment with the cake. Add some extra flavoring (maybe garlic or a little onion stirred right into the dough. I may make the topping again just to use on a grilled hamburger. That is really good.

  • wolfegrl1
    Jul 6, 2007

    No comment left