Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Operas and cows.  What?!  I’m sure those are two words you never thought you’d see in a sentence, but I have your attention don’t I?     😉  Last weekend my husband and I stayed with family in Vermont and I brought a huge basket of baked goodies to thank them, including this tasty poppy seed coffee cake.

This breakfast cake is a delicious vanilla based cake loaded with sweet pockets of poppy seed filling and topped with a streusel.

08Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Poppy Seed Coffee Cake Recipe
(About 9 servings)

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for Coffee Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flourMeasure your flour correctly!
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can (12.5 ounce) poppy seed cake & pastry filling (I used Solo brand.)

Directions for Topping:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, dark brown sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Directions for Coffee Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and set aside. (About 1 minute)
  5. In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until fluffy.
  6. Mix in the egg yolks.
  7. Mix in half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk. Repeat with the remaining half of each.
  8. In a separate small bowl, using an electric mixture, beat the egg whites on High speed until stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  (The batter will be thick and dough-like.)
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  11. Make indentations in the batter with the back of a spoon and press teaspoonfuls of the poppy filling into each indentation until you use up the whole can of filling.
  12. Sprinkle the topping over the cake.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  14. Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.

Source: Magnolia Bakery


There are many recipes that require you to whip egg whites until you get “stiff peaks.”  The photo below is your goal.  See how the peak stands up?  This is not a difficult process, but does require a lot of patience because it takes a few minutes.

Baking Tip:  If you got even the tiniest fleck of yolk in your egg whites, start over.  They will literally never form any sort of peaks at all.  Something about the fat in the yolks messes up the process I think.

01Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Poppy seed filling is super sweet, full of spices, and of course loaded with lots of poppy seeds.

02Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Mmm streusel.  It’s some seriously good stuff and I could put that on top of almost anything.

03Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Are you ready for some cake for breakfast?  If you can’t enjoy it on a weekend get-away, when can you?     😉

04Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

For those of you who know me, I only post about recipes that I love (it must get at least a 3 hat rating) and be something I would make again.  However, today I’m taking a slight detour from that approach.  This time, the rating I’m giving it is based on everyone else’s opinions instead of my own.  I’m not a fan of poppy seeds and you really need to be with all that wonderful gooey poppy filling.

The recipe sounded interesting and I was eager to try something different.  When I tasted it I wasn’t a big fan of it so I put it aside and I didn’t think I’d bring it to VT or blog about it.  However, my husband tried it after talking me down from the ledge and said it came out great.  He likes poppy seeds and said it came out exactly as it should have.  When he couldn’t stop eating it, I figured that I had a winner.  He said it was delicious and I should definitely bring it to VT.  Guess what?  It was a HUGE hit with the family!  Alrighty then.  Just goes to show ya, everyone has different taste buds.

07Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

I love those dark colored pockets of poppy seed filling against the light colored cake.  I know, I’m a bit of a photography geek so the contrast was a lot of fun to see in the pictures.  I love it when something tastes and looks great.

05Poppy Seed Coffee Cake

Have you ever been to an opera?  This past weekend we saw our second one, The Italian Girl in Algiers at The Opera Company of Middlebury, VT.  It was entertaining and actually quite funny.  I had no idea that operas could be comical.

Our family’s home is surrounded by cow farms and in fact the home itself is on 75 acres of fields and forest.  It was so nice to get away from fast paced reality.  The next two photos are views from the house.  They were taken with my cell phone so I’m sorry about the poor quality, but I simply had to share them with you to give you a glimpse of what we enjoyed.


It was slightly overcast on Saturday but the temperature was absolutely perfect for chilling out on the front porch with coffee and baked goods.  It was so relaxing and peaceful.


When I went out for a morning run, I bumped into some “friends” (which were in this case actually cows).     😉  I quickly turned around when they simultaneously looked up at me and started to walk quickly towards me.  Little did I realize that they were securely fenced in.  I thought I was going to be trampled but they know how electric fences work and stopped well short of the road.


We had a wonderful weekend in VT and I was happy that my basket of goodies was a huge hit.  Stay tuned for future posts of other breakfast goodies that I included in the basket.  (Hint, hint.)



4 Hats


Here are some other awesome coffee cake recipes.

Chocolate Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake 

10Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

10Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake



  1. I love the way this cake looks with the ‘pockets’ of poppyseeds in too, Tina! I’m not sure if we could get the canned poppyseed filling over here, but I love that technique of putting blobs of the mixture in the cake and making it look all pretty like that. I bet other things would work too if you weren’t a fan of poppy seeds, like nutella or even jelly! I think the cake looks and sounds great!
    P.S. Loved your cow story!

    1. Tina says:

      Oh I hope it is available! But I wonder how other substitutes would work? If you try them let me know. 🙂
      Moo. 😉

  2. I wouldn’t mind having this for breakfast…every day. So great. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Tina says:

      You are so sweet! Thank you.

  3. Ooh, I love this coffee cake. Those pockets of filling look delicious, as does the streusel topping! It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend getaway. Vermont is beautiful!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. Tina, it looks really yummy—I can’t try it exactly the way you made it either–I’d never find poppy seed filling here in Brazil (heck, I can’t even find celery here, like, ever:) But, I could substitute, like someone else mentioned.. It’s awfully pretty. Have a great week.

    1. Tina says:

      Oh no, I’ll send you some. 😉 I’ve run into the same problem as I’ve seen many recipes that would love to try but the ingredients are not found near me. I wish all foods were available everywhere!

  5. Mmmmm coffee cake 🙂 And poppy seeds! I usually only have them in something lemony, but I’m very interested in this!

    1. Tina says:

      Love that. 🙂

  6. I love poppy seeds! But I completely understand what you mean about sometimes everyone else adoring it and you not being that into it. For me that’s some white chocolate desserts I make that I don’t love because I’m not a white chocolate person but everyone else insists on so…I guess they’re good? Haha.

    1. Tina says:

      I’m the same way with white chocolate…can take or leave it, but family goes crazy for it. But I’m with ya, if it’s good and people love it, then run with it. 🙂

  7. I too love the dark poppy seed pockets against the light cake. I have never been a big poppy seed fan but I haven’t tried anything poppyseed in years, need to change that!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! 🙂

  8. Tina, this cakes looks so delicious! I love that beautiful color of the filling. This would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yes, coffee + coffee = a must for me!

  9. What a gorgeous coffee cake! I LOVE poppyseeds so this cake is perfect for me! No wonder your family gobbled it up. 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…thanks Sarah! 🙂

  10. That looks gorgeous! I’ve had a can of that filling and didn’t know what to do with it. Now I do!

    1. Tina says:

      I love it when I know that I already have the ingredients to a new recipe! Thanks for stopping by, Dorothy. 🙂

  11. What a fun weekend! This coffee cake looks great – it is definitely different, but so fun to have something new for a change! I’m so glad you posted it!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! So glad you like. 🙂

  12. I love anything with poppy seed and this cake is no exception! I love the design layout, and it also looks so tasty!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  13. I love good coffee cake and this is one mouth watering cake!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  14. This coffee cake looks delicious.. and that topping? Well I could just eat that with a spoon! 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Oh yeah! Me too. 🙂

  15. This is such a perfect looking coffee cake!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you! 🙂

  16. I AM LOVING THIS COFFEE CAKE IDEA! That poppy seed mixture is sooo delicious! These photos are SO BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Tina says:

      You are so sweet. 🙂 Thank you!

  17. I am certainly glad that you got your fill of cows and opera in this weekend. Great photos of your time away. I love poppy seeds and I know I would love this coffee cake. I love the little crunch they make when you bit into them, don’t you? Just shared! Take Care, BAM

    1. Tina says:

      So glad you love! 🙂

  18. Mary Frances says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! I am a huge fan of poppyseeds and love layered crumb cakes. Tina, this is amazing!
    And the operas and cows – I kind of chuckled when I read it 🙂 And then I finished the whole story and it sounds so fun! What a great time … I’ve had cows as running buddies before, too 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…cows as running buddies…love that!

  19. Zainab says:

    I’ve never seen a layered poppyseed coffee cake. This looks really amazing!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! 🙂

  20. Safa Khan says:

    Excellent coffee cake – very professional. We absolutely loved it. I added 1 tsp of vanilla. Instead of doing the holes and dropping dollops into the hole, I topped the cake with the poppyseed filling and then used a knife to cut across the cake lengthwise and widthwise to make swirls into the cake. That seemed much easier than trying to make holes and dollops. Everything else I did just as stated in the recipe.

    1. Tina says:

      Wonderful! Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

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