Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Ermine Frosting


This is a cake made for poppy seed lovers! It's loaded with poppy seeds and has a light lemon flavor, complemented by a lemon ermine frosting. A deliciously different cake that is really easy to make. I developed this recipe in memory of my grandma, who loved a good poppy seed cake. Sprinkle the cake with additional poppy seeds, if desired.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
10 servings



  • cooking spray

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup poppy seeds

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 1 pinch salt

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt


  • ½ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

  2. Combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a small bowl.

  3. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in Greek yogurt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture gradually, folding together until just combined. Spoon thick batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before transferring to a cake platter or plate to cool completely.

  5. Meanwhile, make the ermine frosting. Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved, then add flour. Whisk until no lumps remain and the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Let cool completely, about 10 minutes.

  6. Beat butter and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk-flour mixture, a tablespoon at a time, and beat on medium speed until well combined and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

  7. Spread the frosting over the cooled poppy seed cake.

Cook's Notes:

The cake as written has a light lemon flavor. If you want more lemon flavor, double the amount of lemon zest in the cake and consider adding zest to the frosting, as well.

You can use salted butter for the ermine frosting instead of unsalted, and then omit the pinch of salt in the recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

377 Calories
23g Fat
41g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 377
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 104mg 8%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 81mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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