Poppy Seed Cake

I wanted to make a poppy seed cake for my husband’s birthday, but he hadn’t been too thrilled with the original recipe. Fine. He was right. The first cake was not exceptional. So I pushed myself to create a better dessert. “Poppy Seed Honey Cake” sounded awesome, so at least I had a good name.

Warm honey syrup's poured over poppy seed cake once bakedI searched the web, but didn’t find anyone else who had used honey in a simple syrup to pour on while the cake’s still warm. But that was my plan. In my research, I did find an article about the virtues of not over-heating honey. Supposedly, the flavor is better when the honey isn’t baked into the cake, and it’ll retain more nutrients. Perfect—my plan was to thin the honey in a bit of warm water, then pour it over the baked cake. If it would have even more flavor this way, hurray!

I still let the poppy seeds soak in some scalded milk first; they pop a little this way, which I think improves the texture of this cake. An easy Bundt cake for casual gatherings, picnics, and such. And for my husband’s birthday! It’ll keep well too, as the honey syrup keeps it moist.

Serves 12.


  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. poppy seeds
  • 1 TBS. lemon juice
  • 6 eggs total (divided)
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. honey

Scald milk in small pot, remove from heat, Add poppy seeds and lemon juice; let stand for an hour or more. Use: > 1 1/2 c. milk > 1 c. poppy seeds > 1 TBS. lemon juice

Beat until light: > 6 egg yolks > 1 c. butter > 1 c. brown sugar

Set aside whipped yolk mixture; whip egg whites until stiff: > 6 egg whites

Measure and mix together: > 2 c. flour > 2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt

Fold all the above ingredients together. Bake in well-buttered Bundt pan, at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

A few minutes before cake is done, mix together: > 1/2 c. boiling water > 1 c. honey

The cake’s done when a tooth inserted comes out clean. Leave cake in Bundt pan, pouring the honey mixture over cake. Let the cake sit in the pan for about an hour, until the liquid’s absorbed.

Remove from pan, inverting onto a plate. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

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