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Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling


12-15 servings

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.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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