Almond Poppy Seed Cake

12 squares
55 min

Almond Poppy Seed Cake is an easy 9×13″ cake recipe bursting with almond flavor accented by poppy seeds.

This recipe is a favorite of my husband’s from way back before I knew him.

Apparently, a coworker at a job he had right out of college made this cake and brought it to work.

He has mentioned “that poppy seed cake” over the past few years many, many times. 😂

One day not long ago, when I asked him what sounded good for me to bake for him, he mentioned this cake again.

I said that I’d try to look up a recipe online for Almond Poppy Seed Cake, and he replied, “Oh, I have the recipe,” and promptly produced an old photocopied recipe from years ago. 😂

Okay then, this just got a lot easier. Almond Poppyseed Cake coming right up!

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Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Most of the ingredients needed for this delicious cake are items you likely have in your pantry, although I will admit, it calls for a lot of poppy seeds, so plan accordingly. 🤪

The 1/3 cup of poppy seeds needs to be soaked in 1 cup of water for about 30 minutes.

Then, they get poured, water and all, into the creamed shortening, sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder mixture.

In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until fluffy.

Then, gently fold them into the batter. Don’t over mix, because you want the cake to be light and airy.

Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan.

And bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


After the cake came out of the oven, I looked at it and realized it looked pretty bare. I double-checked the recipe and there was no mention of frosting at all on the photocopy my husband had produced.

He happened to be at work at the time, so I texted him.

“Does this cake have frosting?”

“Yes”, he replied.

“There’s no frosting recipe included on this photocopy you gave me?” I texted back.

“Hmmm…,” he said. ??? 😳

Okay, well, I guess I’m improvising, I thought to myself. 🤣

Where I landed was a simple powdered sugar glaze with almond extract, not really having any idea if that would be compatible with his memory of this “legendary” cake. 😬

The Results

When my husband got home, I had a piece waiting for him, anxious to see his reaction.

My baking endeavor was rewarded, and my frosting gamble paid off, as he raved about how much better it was than he even remembered, and how this thick glaze of frosting was better than the “canned stuff” that he thought might have been on the original version.

Chalking this one up to a win. 😂

I’m not a huge poppy seed fan myself, but I have to say that I had one for my mid-morning coffee break while working on my blog, and it was pretty darn good.

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary that will draw rave reviews, this is the cake for you.

Happy baking my friends,

Let’s stay in touch!

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Recipe details
  • 12  squares
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup shortening (like Crisco)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 stiff, beaten egg whites
For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2-3 TBSP milk
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan or spray with cooking spray.
Soak poppy seeds in water for ½ hour.
Cream the shortening and sugar until smooth.
Blend with flour, salt and baking powder.
Add the poppy seeds and the water, mixing into the batter.
Beat the egg whites until fluffy, and then fold gently into the batter.
Bake at 350°, for approximately 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cake completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
Sift powdered sugar. Stir in almond extract and milk until frosting forms a thick glaze.
When cake is cool, poor glaze over top.
Niky | The House on Silverado
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  • Emily Christiansen Emily Christiansen on Feb 12, 2022

    What makes the cake "almond"? The frosting sounds terrific, but the only flavoring in the cake would be from the poppy seeds? Or is it supposed to be almond flour used in the cake?

  • GECurrie GECurrie on Feb 13, 2022

    Where is the almond in this?

    • See 1 previous
    • GECurrie GECurrie on Feb 14, 2022

      Nancy, Thank you for your prompt reply to my comment regarding the almond, however I am still mystified as to why you would label your recipe "Almond Poppyseed Cake " and yet not include the almond flavouring / almond flour in the recipe or anywhere in your description of the cake. It appears only in the icing and that is something you created to enhance the actual cake. Just musing over this picky point. The cake sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to trying it but was puzzled from the start over the phantom almond.