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Two slices of poppy seed cake on colorful plate, grey surface, cake on wooden plate

Vanilla Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Amazing and simple poppy seed bundt cake: it uses oil for extra moisture and quick mixing, so you can whip up the batter in 15 minutes. With the right amount of sweetness and crunch from the poppy seeds, it is bound to become your go-to recipe from now on.

  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings



For the cake:

  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250g) oil such as sunflower or canola
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (375g) whole milk, at room temperature

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons liquor (I use Cointreau), orange juice or milk


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
  2. Butter or spray a 10-inch (26cm.) bundt cake pan and dust with fine breadcrumbs or flower, shaking off excess.
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs with sugar until they begin to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add oil in a thin stream while beating on high until it’s all combined, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add extracts and sifted dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and salt - in 3 parts alternating with milk in 2 parts. You can sift the dry ingredients before or directly over the egg mixture.
  6. Add the poppy seeds and mix everything well but do not over beat mixture at this point.
  7. Pour into the prepared mold and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on wire rack and carefully unmold.

For the glaze:

  1. Mix sugar with liquid until creamy and no lumps remain.
  2. Pour over cold cake and let drip down the sides.
  3. Keep the cake at room temperature wrapped in plastic o under a dome.


  • Poppy seeds: smell them before using them. If they smell rancid, like old oil, throw them away and go buy new ones. Use between 2-3 tablespoons. Don't be tempted to add more than that.
  • Batter: it is important to beat until thickened and to add both sugar and oil in thin streams. This will ensure the cake is well mixed and the batter airy.
  • Pan: removing the cake from the pan is one of the worst moments when baking bundt cakes. But try this: butter the pan thoroughly with room t° butter (I use a brush or my fingers) and flour it, shaking off excess. And then put it in the fridge while making the batter. Pour the batter directly into the cold pan. It makes all the difference.
  • Keeping: this cake freezes wonderfully, well wrapped. Defrost at room t°.
  • Flavorings: this is a base recipe, but you can flavor it with citrus zest, liquors, and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, or ginger.
  • Glaze: a simple powdered glaze always works wonders both for flavor and for keeping. The glaze keeps the poppy seed cake's moisture sealed inside longer.
  • Serving ideas: use it as a pound cake and serve it sliced with whipped cream and berries. Or use it as a base for a trifle recipe, such as this Strawberry Trifle.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 576
  • Sugar: 51.9 g
  • Sodium: 157.2 mg
  • Fat: 25.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 81.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 59.5 mg

Keywords: poppy seed bundt cake