Recipe: Vanilla Poppyseed Cake

Bridal shower to cater for? Opting for homemade desserts instead of a professionally made cake? Look no further – we present you with the ultimate crowd-pleasing sweet treat.

  • Story by Photo Amanda Thomas

Bridal shower to cater for? Planning stress left you craving a sugar rush? Opting for homemade desserts instead of a professionally made cake? Look no further – we present you with the the ultimate crowd-pleaser.


2½ cups (365g) plain flour sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
1¾ cups (385g) caster sugar
250g butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
1½ cups (375ml) milk
4 eggs
20 tsp poppy seeds, plus extra to sprinkle

115g butter, softened
60ml milk
3 tsp vanilla essence
500g icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Butter and flour a 20cm round cake tin and line bottom with baking paper.
2. Sift flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add sugar and whisk to combine, then make a well in the centre. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave: make sure it doesn’t separate, as you don’t want the oil to rise. Stir in vanilla and pour into centre of flour mixture. Mix at a medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, then the melted butter.
3. Divide the cake mixture evenly between four bowls – 770g of cake mixture per bowl.
4. Add 5 teaspoons of poppy seeds to each bowl of cake mixture and whisk to combine.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. If making each layer of the cake using the same tin, ensure you thoroughly clean the cake tin after each use and let it cool.
7. Once all four cakes have been cooked, ensure they are completely cool. Using a bread knife, gently cut the top of each cake off so they are level.
8. To make icing, in a large bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla essence and half the icing sugar until combined. Gradually add in the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy – the longer you mix, the whiter and silkier it becomes.
9. Place first cake on a plate or tray, ice the top of the cake and place another cake on top. Repeat until all cakes are stacked. Ice the enire cake and sprinkle poppy seeds all over.

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