Poppy Seed Cake

Filled With Nutty Goodness

Poppy Seed Cake_0867

I am always intrigued by the facts on poppy seeds. First of all they are described as kidney shaped, but it’s funny how I have never taken the trouble to look and see the kidney shaped seeds. Apparently the seeds are so small, you need about 1-2 million seeds in a pound.

When I think of poppy seeds the first thing that comes to my mind is a bagel. I love them on bagels. A lot of people think they are a waste of time, because they have no taste. I beg to disagree. When I eat them, I always taste the nutty crunchiness that would otherwise not be experienced, so I insist they have a nutty, aromatic flavour. They are even better, pan roasted on medium heat. Some people also complain that poppy seeds get stuck in their teeth. I somehow, have never experienced, this. Probably I have a lot of space between my teeth or is it because I have tight fitting teeth?

Poppy Seed Cake_0865

When my niece first saw them, several years ago, on bread, she thought the bread was full of tiny little ants, crawling to attack her. She cried, refused to eat the bread and threw it away. It took me some time to convince her that they were not ants, and she kept on whining, “then what are they? They look like ants. I don’t want to eat ants”

Poppy Seed Cake_5940

One thing is true about poppy seeds. They are rich in oil and micronutrients like iron, copper, zinc and manganese. I love poppy seeds and so I baked this cake twice, a round one, and a loaf shaped one. The cake is easy to prepare: “mix all ingredients, stir once to combine, then beat with an electric mixer for about three minutes. Pour into prepared tin, and bake for one hour” that’s easy isn’t it? I hope you’ll give it a go. If you do, please give me a feedback on: shape of seeds, taste, how many got stuck in your teeth and whether you enjoyed eating the cake. Thank you for visiting my favourite pastime, please come back again!!! Now for recipe….

Poppy seed cake_5856_2Always remember to assemble all ingredients before starting to bake. Makes everything go faster.

Poppy seed cake_5858Combine poppy seeds and milk in a bowl. Leave to stand for  1 hour before using.

Poppy seed cake_5862Add butter, essence, sugar, eggs to the poppy seed mixture.

Poppy seed cake_5865Then add sifted flour, and give it a quick stir to combine all ingredients.

Poppy seed cake_5870Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until the mixture is combined.

Poppy seed cake_5875Continue beating on medium speed for about three minutes or until the batter is pale and smooth.

Poppy seed cake_5878Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake at 360°F (180°C) for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake come out clean

Poppy seed cake_5883Let the cake stand for at least five minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool

Poppy Seed Cake_0846The second time I used a 20cm (8 inch) round pan. I covered the round cake with a bit of left-over butter icing and then sprinkled with poppy seeds.

Poppy Seed Cake_5941This cake is on my list of favourite cakes. I really liked it. I also liked it because it’s very easy to prepare, I’m kinda lazy.

Poppy Seed Cake_0855we enjoyed eating it….

Poppy Seed Cake_0879I hope your find time to try it!

Poppy Seed Cake

Preparation time: 15 minutes, and 1 hour standing time; Baking time: 1 hour; Makes: 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13cm) loaf cake or 8-inch (20cm) round cake


  • 300g (2½ cups, 10½oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder.
  • 50g (⅓ cup, 2oz) poppy seeds
  • 180ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 185g (¾ cup, 6½oz, 1.6 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 250g (1¼ cup, 9oz) castor sugar or fine grained granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C). Grease a 9×5 inch (13cm x 23cm) loaf pan and line the base and sides with parchment (grease-proof) paper or grease and flour the pan. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.)
  2. Combine poppy seeds with milk in a bowl and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Add the butter, essence, sugar, eggs, and sifted flour to poppy seed mixture. Give it a quick stir to loosely combine ingredients.
  4. Beat on low speed with electric mixer until combined, then continue beating on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the batter is pale and smooth.
  5. Pour the batter  into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour. Stand 5 minutes before turning on wire rack to cool.
  6. For cup measures: spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. I use a 240ml, American cup.

Points to Note:

  • Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the cake at 360°F (180°C) for 60 minutes.
  • Last updated: 28 July 2018


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

134 thoughts

  1. Your cake is just baking in my oven. As I am disabled I find baking really challenging but this was so easy even I could do it. ( I am originally Austrian and just love poppy seed sweets…) My Scottish husband will have a nice surprise when he comes home as I have not baked in hears. It already smells great, thank you very much !

    1. Omg thank you so much for the feedback. I’m eagerly waiting to hear the outcome of your baking. I hope your husband will love it.
      I’m glad to hear it’s already smelling good and hope it tastes as nice as it smells. Wish you all the best and thank you so much for using myfavouritepastime.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. We Americans got ‘left behind’ when the train containing ‘metric’ went by…. When I was a kid – way back when – we were supposed to switch… but it never happened, which is really a shame seeing that most of the rest of the world did! And – to add to the confusion – Canada has things like ‘10% cream etc. which we Americans call by another name…. that is… if we even HAVE 10% cream. And we NEVER say ‘double cream’! Last but not least – we don’t say ‘castor sugar’. It sure can seem confusing !
    Luckily I lived in Malta for eight years, so I’m more familiar than most Americans with ‘different ways of saying the same thing’ – plus we lived in Quebec,Canada twice – so I had to learn how to say these things in French!!
    I love, love, love this recipe!!!!!!!!!!! ; o )

    1. Hi Cecile,
      I grew up with the metric system so I find it so difficult to think in ounces and Fahrenheit for weather and omg your fuel is measured in gallons and speeds measured in miles. I don’t know how students studying chemistry and physics fit in because all the measurements stem from Km down to metres, then to cm, mm, micrometer.and nanometer etc so much easier if you started school in metric system. I guess Americans just love being different. All regular sugar in N America is castor sugar so I guess no point to differentiate. The cake is so easy to make and I tried to convert all measurements as well. Happy Baking and have a lovely Sunday. Glad to hear you can say things in French too…au revoir et bonne journee

  3. I bought a pound of poppy seeds a few months ago, but have sprinkled them only on my seedy buns. This cake looks great. Would be good to take on a camping trip. I hadn’t heard of soaking them in milk, but that probably plumps them up some. Been looking for a recipe to use some of them, as they are getting jealous of the other seeds that I use more frequently! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    1. How funny…what is getting jealous in my pantry right now? You should use them because the recipe is so simple. Throw everything together and beat for three minutes till smooth.. I hope you’ll enjoy eating the cake. Best wishes!

        1. I still have the old fashioned recipe for the gingerbread. Will be making to soon…have a nice evening. Are you not yet asleep? I’m trying to clear my messages. Best wishes!

        2. I am so sleepy I have to stop…Its 1.33 am and my eyes are closing. I give up. Have a good night!

  4. I love Poppy Seed cake – and this recipe looks delicious !! (Thanks so much for “liking” my recipe for Banana Nut Pancakes.) I’m “Pinning” this recipe for sure!!

    1. Hi Cecile,
      Sorry for the late reply. The weekend has been so busy for me. Thanks for pinning the poppy seed cake. I really appreciate. The cake tastes very delicious. It’s one of my favourites. Have a wonderful Sunday. Best wishes.

  5. That cake looks amazing! I will certainly add that to my list of things to try! Also, thank you for stopping by my blog, I’m very new at this so it is much appreciated when a more accomplished blogger likes my work! Hugs! Cheryl

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for complimenting the cake and for visiting me too. Don’t worry, your blog will grow, just make sure you post regularly, at least 2-3 times a week. I wish you a happy blogging.
      Virtual Hugs,

  6. So true! I have always wondered about the purpose of adding poppy seeds. Next time I must really take the time to notice the flavour/crunch it adds to a recipe. I tend to avoid anything with poppy seeds because they do get stuck in my teeth (teeth too tightly together), but, the Invisalign that I am wearing to solve that problem will definitely solve that issue. Yeah! Also, thanks for stopping by my site! ps I love checking out your recipes!

    1. They do taste very nice, Anneli, I love the Poppy Seed Cake, you should try it and make sure you chew it slowly (I call it listening to the food), sometimes we chew without listening. I have never had a problem of poppy seeds getting stuck in my teeth, fortunately, and I love them so much. I was just reading about your sisters wedding, what an interesting post. Thanks so much for visiting and I wish you a wonderful week. Hope you sister has a wonderful weeding!

    1. It does make it cuter, happier and tastier too. I enjoyed mine with a pot of spiced tea! thanks for stopping by. Wish you a lovely weekend!

  7. I love poppy seeds. The crunch and the slight pepperyness is brilliant. I often think that the lemon poppy seed combination was really the first of the sweet/savoury pairings that has since brought us chilli -chocolate and salted caramel. I’ve been sprinkling them on salads and more recently I’ve used them in the pastry of quiches – it really makes the pastry case better.

    1. I love poppy seeds too. I think I should start sprinkling them on salads too. Could I please have the recipe for the pastry please. Thanks for visiting me and have a wonderful day!

    1. Fortunately I have poppy-seed-proof-teeth so I’ve never had to brush them, ha ha. Seriously I find popcorns sticking between my teeth more often than any other food.
      I also have poppy seed lemon muffins here. Did you have a look at them? if you didn’t you should. Thanks and enjoy the new week!!!

  8. I’ve heard a lot of people complain like that about poppy seeds, and popcorn kernels too, but we’re the same in that we’ve never found that an issue! I often use poppy seeds in baking, but I mostly sprinkle them over my favourite banana cake or in the lemon icing with a bit of zest. I think I’ll have to try this one out soon though. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Do you mean the seeds getting stuck in between the teeth? Yes this does happen to me when I eat popcorns, and it’s usually very annoying. You should try this recipe, it’s easy to make. It just takes 2-3 minutes with a electric mixer and the results are amazing. My children love this cake and so do I. Thanks so much for visiting me and have a lovely day or is it evening by now for you?

      1. Yes, between the teeth. My partner complains about it when I make caramel corn, but that doesn’t stop him eating it. And I do plan to try it soon. It is actually evening here, rather late really, over here in New Zealand. 🙂

        1. Oh wow, you’re in New Zealand!! I have always wanted to visit New Zealand but have never gotten round to doing anything about it. I hope you enjoy living there? I have to google some information and learn a little bit about your country. I have only vague memories from my Geography classes in High School. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you have a good night.

    1. I saw many good recipes on your blog and have bookmarked quite a number. We have plenty of poppy seeds in out local stores here and the poppy seed cake tastes absolutely delicious. It’s a pity it’s banned in Singapore! However, you can still make the cake and add other seeds, available in Singapore. Thanks for visiting my blog and wish you a wonderful week!!!

  9. I see you soak your poppy seeds which I find makes for a superior poppy seed cake. I love poppy seed cake but my son doesn’t like nutty or seedy cakes so only can make them for special adult occasions.

    1. I love poppy seed cakes, and my kids love them too and any other cake with nuts. They don’t mind the nutty taste at all, so I make it for all occasions. Does he eat nuts on their own? It’s always good to soak ingredients like poppy seeds, dried apricots and dates. It gives a much better flavour to the cake. The other day I made some date muffins, but didn’t soak the dates and the muffins were so dry and unpleasant. Thanks for visiting my blog and wish you a pleasant weekend!

    1. That’s a nice one. I wish there was internet coffee breaks, we could surely have coffee right here by this cake. I see you’re now on Facebook too, like me. I shall like your page, once I’m logged on. Thanks and have a fantastic week!!

    1. Oh thanks for finding the blog inspiring…you’ve made my day. My objective is to inspire others to cook. Have a wonderful day!!!

    1. Omg we have them here in plenty in all the supermarkets. I am even planning to make another poppy seed cake. Thanks for liking this one. Have a wonderful day!!

    1. Thanks so much for thinking about me, amongst all the other blogs. I feel very honoured. I wish you a very wonderful week and many belated birthday greetings!

    1. Thanks so much for thinking about me and cake. I love baking cakes and I’m so glad I inspire you to bake too. Thats the goal of this blog. Belated birthday greetings to you.

  10. This looks amazing and I love easy! I will let you know when I make it. It looks like a good one to make for my afternoon teas with the ladies, which I need to schedule one of, now that I think of it.

    1. Yes this is so easy to make. It takes only three minutes and is well worth the trouble! I hope the ladies enjoy the cake. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for being here!!

    1. I love poppy seeds too. They have a crunchy-nutty flavour. I must try making my coffee cake with poppy seeds next time. Thanks for this wonderful idea. Have lovely evening!

  11. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for the thumbs up on my blog. I appreciate it. Just checked out your blog and I love the poppy seed cake. Will try it sometime and let you know how it turned out. All the best. Margaret

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog too. Please enjoy the cake if you try it and if possible, give me a feedback. Thanks and have a pleasant week!

    1. Please send me the recipe of your grandmothers’, if you manage to dig it out. I would love to try it. Thanks and have a lovely day!

        1. Of course I’m interested. I like trying out new things. Please go ahead and link me or give me whichever works for you. Thanks for keeping me posted!

  12. Hi Liz, This cake looks so yummy. I love poppy seed cake and your blog was a good reminder that it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a slice. I’ll try out your recipe. Thanks for sharing. Michelle

  13. Hi Liz, your poppy seed cake looks absolutely moist and delicious. I love them in cakes too but unfortunately in my country it is banned because of its morphine content. Keep your oven going.. love all your bakes! By the way, thanks for always making time to stop by and like my posts. God bless.

    1. What country is that? I love poppy seed cakes and the crunch of the seeds when you eat them. Your blog is wonderful too. It’s well-organized and the recipes are awesome. Thanks for stopping here too and have a fantastic weekend!!!!

  14. Mmm, poppy seed bread is so yummy! I have a recipe that I have used for years and my kids beg me to make it frequently! Thanks for sharing the nutritional information as well as the recipe. 😊

    1. Please can you share with me that recipe that you’ve used for years? I would appreciate, very much thank you. Thanks so much for being here. Hope to see you more often. Have a wonderful week!!

    1. Hi Kim, thanks for stopping by and for reading my post, I really appreciate that you took time to read the post. My niece really cried, later on we had a good laugh. I saw some nice cookies on your blog, cornflake cookies with ice-cream. Must have been delicious! Hope to see you again, enjoy the rest of the week!

  15. I think poppy seeds have a very strong, sweet flavor. They taste floral and almost cloying — like almonds but more intense. Can people really not taste that? They do get stuck in my teeth though!

    1. Haha I have unearthed her from hiding. How have you been? you disappeared so I guess you must have written 2-3 chapters of whatever book you are writing now. A lot of people just eat, you have to listen to the food when you are eating to be able to taste it. Do you listen to your food when you are eating? They have never gotten stuck in my teeth, I have special teeth, stick proof. Have a pleasant day!

        1. Then I believe you when you say they have a taste. I will not ask what the script is about, but I’m happy that you are writing. Please keep on writing and wish you all the best in your writing. I hope I will be able to read it one day? Thanks and keep in touch, do not disappear!

        2. Poppy seeds have a super strong taste. There are pastries that feature them ground up and sweetened where you can get the taste very strongly. Try Middle Eastern markets for that if you are curious.

        3. I do believe you, coz I said in my post that I beg to disagree with people who say it has no taste. Enjoy your script writing!!!

        4. Thanks! The workshop in LA that I used to belong to acted out some of the scenes tonight and it went great. I’m very excited now that I’ve seen it. It’s so different writing it and seeing it with live actors.

        5. Omg I’m so happy for you. I know exactly what you means. My daughter wrote a play once and we watched it. It was a very satisfying feeling. Enjoy your day and keep me updated on your writings!!

    1. Haha I think I have special teeth, they have not yet gotten stuck in my teeth. Just saw the fruit bread, you should have mailed me a slice!!!

  16. Dear Liz, it looks great! I am crazy about poppy seed, it is never enough! I collect all recipes that have poppy seed as ingredient. I will make this cake, very soon …. just to finish a cake I made yesterday, with, guess what – poppy seeds! :-)) … I will post the recipe these days, I am sure you will like it also! Enjoy the weekend

    1. Thank you and thanks for stopping. I also love poppy seeds, that’s why I made two cakes, one round one loaf. If you do make anything please give a feedback. Have a great weekend!

  17. This looks amazing…i’m going to try it with my butter and egg and milk replacements (i can have eggs baked in things, but it’s just easier for me not to use them at all)…i think it will work fine. YUMMM!!

    1. Yes it’s yummy. Today I learnt something from your blog, Manakish and Zaatar. I must cook something from your blog. Something, I have never tried before. Thank you for stopping. Your visit is much appreciated!

        1. If I do try something new on your blog, I will post the picture on my blog and link it back to your recipe, so you will definitely get a feedback from me. Thanks again for visiting, I look forward to learning new things from you!

    1. It’s a one step mixing process, throw everything and beat for 3 minutes then bake. You should try it whenever you can. Thanks for stopping by. Your visits are always much appreciated!

    1. Ha ha thats just what you need. Give it a go and give me a feedback! Honestly I had to look up this word “kismet” now I know, thank god google is just a second away from me…I am still looking forward to your guest posts. My friend Carol gave me an Afrikaans recipe, I will bake and take photos on her behalf. If your recipe is simple and I can easily do it, I could do it on your behalf. XOXO to the handsome boys!

      1. Mmm do you still have a slice for me? that was many hours ago…Rosy always waits for the bowl and then the slurping begins. Did the small irritating things get stuck in between your teeth? Have a pleasant evening, we are off the to the library. They love going to the library.

    1. Give it a go gal, its a one step recipe with one hour of waiting. Well worth the wait. Where is the recipe for cheesy bread? I must find it. I love cheese…

    1. They are delicious, did you succeed in your quest to find happiness? I loved those sweets from Ladurée, though I have never heard of the shop. I must read more about it, I like learning about new things!

Please join the conversation.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.