My First Cake, Spiced Poppyseed!

A couple weeks ago I made my FIRST cake. I mean first, I have never even made a cake out of box before. So I decided to go big for my first cake and make it from scratch. My mother-in-law was coming to town and it was her birthday, so a birthday cake she got!

I had seen this Spiced Poppy Seed Cake floating around Pinterest and I just had to try it. I am a sucker for spiced anything.

For me, this cake took days (honestly, it might be my first and my last cake) but I am sure for you, you could whip it up in no time.

I also wanted to make a fun cake topper – I got the idea for the flower from Kelli Murray and her DIY Watercolor Paper Flower blogpost. If you are looking for a new blog to follow, follow Kelli.



For my flower topper, I just cut a ton a of different sizes of petals our from printer paper. I made about 10 of each size, starting small and getting bigger. I mixed up a color I like with paints and painted both sides of the petals. I let them dry over night and then I just attached them to a kabob skewer using cute washi tape. Starting at the top of the skewer with the littlest petals (I would do about two at a time) – and then just keep adding bigger and bigger petals as you go around. Yes, this takes patience. Again for a more detailed tutorial and inspiration, visit Kelli.



I was pretty happy with the way my first cake turned out, so I wanted to share the recipe with you!

Yield: Serves at least 12.


For the cake:
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamo
    • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
    • 2 cups milk, at room temperature (or warm it in the microwave until it’s tepid)
    • 2 tablespoons vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon almond extract
    • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the frosting:
  • 3 sticks (1 & 1/2 cups) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 7 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 6 tablespoons half-and-half, plus more if needed
  • poppy seeds for sprinkling


  1. Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans by spraying them thoroughly with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl: flour, baking powder, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream the 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and half cup honey until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes, scraping the sides as you go.
  4. Separate the 6 eggs: the whites need to go in a separate large bowl. (If you have 2 bowls for your stand mixer, use the other one). Set that aside.
  5. Add the yolks to the butter mixture, one at a time, stirring in between each addition. Make sure you scrape the sides well. Beat until it is smooth and creamy.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, and almond extract. It’s okay if it curdles.
  7. Add the milk mixture and the flour mixture alternately to the butter mixture, stirring after each addition until just combined.
  8. Gently fold in the poppyseeds. Set aside.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  10. Add the 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to the eggs whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites until soft peaks form; it will take several minutes.
  11. Add the beaten egg whites to the cake batter in 3 additions, mixing until just combined.
  12. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check each cake, some may cook slower than others.
  13. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes. When you can handle the pans without burning yourself, remove the cakes to a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper.
  14. At this point, you can either freeze the cakes to frost later, or do it immediately. To freeze: While the cakes are still hot, wrap each cake tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze for several hours, or up to 3 days. The night before you want to frost, place them in the fridge to defrost.
  15. To frost immediately: let the cakes cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour. It’s easier to frost a cold cake.
  16. To make the frosting: beat together the butter and sugar until a thick paste forms. Then add the extracts and half & half, adding more if it seems too thick. Beat until fluffy.
  17. Spread about 1/2 cup frosting over each layer. Frost the top of the cake, then spread the excess down the sides.
  18. Optional: Sprinkle the top with more poppyseeds, and pipe on the stars using a large star tip.

I found the recipe from The Food Charlatan, who also sourced:  Bake at 350 & Cake Ladies




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