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Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

I tasted this cake while visiting a friend in South Dakota. The memory of it stayed with me for years, until I finally called and asked her for the recipe. It was her mother’s recipe, and she was glad to share it. I’ve made it often since then, and it’s always a hit. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar, and slices are also good spread with butter.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12-15 servings


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour half of the batter into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  • Combine filling ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Carefully top with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 250 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 256mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • pajamaangel
    Feb 28, 2017

    This tasted ok but the batter was way too sticky and thick to spread evenly over the second layer. Too much work for just an ok kind of cake.