Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Most Requested Cake

Today I'm going to give you the top secret recipe for my most requested cake, hands down. This cake is deceptively simple to make, but oh-so-good. It's kind of like the old nursery rhyme about Pease Porridge--it's good hot or cold, or even nine days old, if you can manage to keep it for that long. It's one of those cakes that actually seems to get better and more moist with age, as long as it's well wrapped. Kind of like cheese! It freezes well, and while I usually make it in a tube pan or a bundt pan, it also makes two perfect loaves if you want to freeze one or give one as a gift.

What magic cake is this? My world famous Poppy Seed Cake. Unlike most poppy-seed cakes or muffins, this one has no lemon, and it also requires no frosting or glaze--I sift powedered sugar over the top after it's cooled, and that's all it needs to be the perfect cake.

And now for the recipe...shhh...quiet, it's a secret...

  • 1 box of Duncan Hines butter recipe golden cake mix

  • 1 8oz container sour cream

  • 1/2 c sugar

  • 1/2 c cooking oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 3 T poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients but the poppy seeds, and beat for 2 minutes on low to medium speed. Mix poppy seeds into the batter. Pour into a greased or cooking-sprayed tube or bundt pan. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes. If the top seems not quite done, I turn the oven off and leave the cake in it for about 5 more minutes. I watch for the edges to start pulling away from the pan. If I use a bundt pan, I loosen the edges with a butter knife, and remove from the pan immediately. Most of the time I use a tube pan--like an angel-food cake pan. I remove the cake from the outer ring, and let it sit on the inner ring until cool, then run a butter knife around the bottom and the tube in the middle. Once plated, sift powdered sugar over the top. I like lots of powdered sugar on the top. I'm making two of these this week for Thanksgiving, I'll try to remember to take pictures so you can see the finished product.

And that's it. As I said before, deceptively simple. It really is better the next day. These make good gifts, too, becuase they keep so well, and everyone I know who has ever eaten this has liked it.

Note: I gave this recipe to a friend many years ago. She never used the Duncan Hines cake mix, she used a different brand. She used meduim eggs, and I use large or extra-large eggs. She didn't put as many poppy seeds in hers.It was just not the same cake--not as moist, not as good. It was just an ok cake. So if you want to get the full effect, make it at least once with the name brand cake mix before you start tweaking it. The only thing I've ever left out were the poppy seeds when I used the recipe to make cupcakes for a pre-school class--they tend to not like "things" in their food, and it was still a good, moist, cupcake, just not a poppy-seed cupcake!

Good baking, and good eating; until next time...



  1. Sounds great! I'll have to try this out. Thanks for posting!

  2. I love using cake mixes. They have never let me down. I haven't had poppy seed cake since I was a child. My mother used to make it quite often. Thanks so much for sharing your top secret recipe! I'm thinking that it would be great for Christmas.

  3. I tried your recipe. I baked it up last night. I used a 9X13 pan instead of the bundt, and it turned out really good and really moist.

  4. Glad you liked it!

    I made this and took with us for Thanksgiving at my in-laws house and gained some new fans, there, as well.

  5. Yum! This looks like a great dessert for a Christmas gift basket. Thanks for sharing!