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Poppy Seed Easter Cake

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


14-16 servings

A few years ago, this cake became our traditional Easter dinner dessert. It's so much fun to decorate...and so delicious to eat! —Gena Aschleman, West Columbia, South Carolina


  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup jelly beans


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, zest and vanilla; add to creamed mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined. Stir in poppy seeds (batter will be thick).
  2. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  3. For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Place 1 cup of frosting in a small bowl and tint pale green; set aside.
  4. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate; frost top with white frosting. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  5. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip No. 3. Fill bag with green frosting. Write "Happy Easter" on top of cake. With multi-opening or grass tip No. 233, pipe green frosting on top of cake to resemble a bird's nest. Pipe green frosting around top edge of cake. Place jelly beans in nest. Store in the refrigerator.
Editor's Note: A coupler and round tip No. 2 may be used in place of multi-opening tip No. 233.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 786 calories, 38g fat (23g saturated fat), 157mg cholesterol, 585mg sodium, 106g carbohydrate (81g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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