December 28, 2011

Poppy Seed Cake, a family tradition

Christmas has come and gone! My little family had a peaceful and sweet day! Each of us exchanged and received such thoughtful gifts! It was truly a warm family day.

It did feel a little like something WAS missing, however! I'll tell you what it was...THE SNOW!! Something ELSE was missing as well...the traditional poppy seed cake! I totally dropped the ball on this one! I waited too long to purchase poppyseed filling and I wasn't able to find it at the store the week before Christmas.

I know better than that, but I was lazy and didn't buy it when I should have! I'm crazy like that...sometimes I throw caution to the wind and refuse to buy baking ingredients when they are fully stocked at the grocery store! (hee hee!)

If you've never used poppy seed filling for pastries or cakes...this is what it looks like. It kinda looks like caviar. It has a thick pasty consistency. I could turn this spoon upside down and the filling would just stick to the spoon! Basically it's poppy seeds that are drenched and softened in corn syrup, sugar and water to create a thick filling for pastries of your liking.

The Monday after Christmas there was plenty of poppyseed filling on the grocery shelf and I was able to bake my cake!

Of course, it must be made in a tube pan like this.

Baking with poppy seed for Christmas as well as Easter, is a tradition in my family that goes all the way back to my mother's grandmother...maybe even further...but that's only as far as I know about. I have been eating poppyseed cake for breakfast on Christmas and Easter morning since I was a baby! Every. single. solitary. year!!! It's like just IS! It's a part of our family traditions that I have carried on and will continue to carry on until the day I leave this world!

Here's my kitchen by the way. The day I was baking and taking pics I just felt like sharing a photo of the place where I seem to spend most of my time! Now you know where I am most days..right, baking, washing dishes, making coffee and so on.

Anyhow, back to the cake...fortunately, my children love this cake! I anticipate them carrying the tradition on when they have their own families. Gee, I hope their future wives like it!!

Our favorite way to eat it...well the only way I've ever ate it, since I can remember...a slice at a time, smeared with butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar...oh yes!


3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 can 13 or 14 oz. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. (1 cup) vegetable oil
1 10 oz. jar poppy seed filling

*(depending where you live, you may also find poppyseed filling in can..the size of a soup the brand Solo. I have used that as well)

Mix together dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix well and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Check cake for done-ness with toothpick. Let cool in pan. Turn out of pan when cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature. Serve plain slices or buttered with a sprinkling of powdered sugar!



  1. Round my house, we call this bread :-) I didn't know that they made poppy seed filling. And I'll bet there are way more poppy seeds in your jar then what I add. .My family loves poppy seed bread. .and we eat it several times through the year. My recipe calls for vanilla, butter and almond extracts too. .we eat it like you. .slathered in butter. .but we eat it WITH our meal. .and still partake of dessert ;-) Maybe that is why midwesterner's have trouble with their weight!! Family traditions are great!! Keep up the great work with them.

  2. That looks great! I've always had lemon poppy seed cake, never just poppy seed. I will have to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I've never heard of that. I mean never heard of poppy seed filling. Come to think of, I haven't baked anything with poppy seeds. Ever!
    What cool family traditions you all have! I really love family traditions. Sad to say I don't have to many traditions. I think sadly, this is due to my mom passing away at such a young age. However I have started a few new traditions of my own.
    This recipe does sound good!

  4. Never seen poppy seeds like that. I've seen them loose, but never with corn syrup. Maybe it's a regional thing? And Bonnie, you have the same brand and color oven I do, except mine's electric.

  5. I had a feeling that some of my blog friends might not be familiar with poppyseed filling. One thing people also do around here is make pinwheel cookies with them. They roll the dough out into a rectangle, spread the poppyseed filling all over, roll it up jelly roll style, then slice, sprinkle with sugar and bake. If I remember correctly, we could not find this stuff when we lived in Seattle and had to have relatives ship us some!! Also, where we lived in Florida, I couldn't find it for a while. No one knew what I was talking about. Eventually I did find it in a can in the baking aisle. However, if I remember correctly, I don't think I found it the first year or two that we lived there. I even called specialty stores and they didn't know about it. Anyhow...I do think it is a regional thing for sure. :)

  6. the original recipe as mom always made it was with 1 1/2 cups of oil (if you like a more moist cake).