Do you have any special traditions on your birthday? For my Mom, she likes poppyseed cake with caramel icing. Her Mom used to make it for her every year, until one year she decided for some crazy reason that peanut butter icing would be much better.
My Mom can’t stand peanut butter.
Needless to say, my Mom didn’t get her special cake for years afterward.
Around 10 years ago, I asked my Mom what her favourite cake was and she told me about the poppyseed cake with caramel frosting. At first I thought it sounded kind of weird, but once I tasted it, I understood why it was her favourite.
An Easier Version of Poppyseed Cake
So in honour of my Mom’s birthday, here’s the recipe I’ve developed for her favourite cake. The original I based it off of has 8 eggs that have to be separated, cream of tartar, and a caramel sauce instead of icing. 8 eggs sounds excessive, and I rarely have cream of tartar on hand.
My Mom would also be much more likely to bake it as a sheet cake or in muffins instead of a fancy layer cake. As a child, I couldn’t stand that she would never make our cakes look fancy. Now as an adult, I understand that she definitely did not have time for that! I should have been grateful she made time to make me a cake at all!! However, I’ve been able to design a life for myself where making things pretty is part of my job, so fancy layer cake it is.
So happy birthday Mom. I love you, and I hope to make this cake for you on your birthday for many years to come.
Related: Easy ways to make your prettiest cake yet and a gorgeous red velvet cake.
P.S. Wondering what I used for the decoration? Sprigs of lavender, sage, make the base, with strawflowers, japanese lanterns, and baby’s breath for a pop of fall colour. If you do this at home, please remove all the flowers and greenery before eating!! Only the sage is edible!!
P.P.S. The icing is a bit runny, but you start to lose the caramel taste if you add more icing sugar. If you want to ice your cake similar to what’s in the picture, I recommend leaving the icing in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up enough that it will stay put.
- 1/2 cup poppy seeds
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Soak poppy seeds in hot water
3. In a bowl, put flour, baking powder, baking soda, white sugar, and salt. Mix together and form a well in the centre.
4. Add oil, poppy seed mixture, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Mix with flour mixture until just combined.
5. Grease two 8 or 9 inch circular baking pans. Separate the batter between the pans.
6. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7. Combine brown sugar, butter, and whipping cream in a saucepan.
Heat and boil for 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and whisk in icing sugar.
8. Once both the icing and cake are cool, frost the cake as desired.