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Easy & Delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (From Cake Mix)

If you grew up going to church potlucks or “dinners on the ground” like I did, you probably ate a version of this cake on more than one occasion. I’ve seen glazed lemon cakes at many such events, and almost all were laced with poppy seeds. When I eat this cake, it brings back those memories, and I hope this cake continues to live on for the younger generation who didn’t grow up as I did.

Lemon poppyseed cake + fresh strawberries + whipped cream.

Lemon poppy seed bundt cake is one of my favorite summer desserts and the first cake I make when fresh strawberries are in season. This cake tastes outstanding with fresh berries and freshly whipped cream. The bright flavors of lemon and strawberries taste perfect on a hot summer day, and freshly whipped cream takes it over the top.

Can poppy seeds cause a positive drug test?

Well….they actually can. Even though they are harmless to ingest and won’t induce a “high,” they can affect drug testing. But unless you plan to undergo drug testing for some reason, don’t let this stop you from using these little gems in this delicious cake:-)

Almond extract makes a difference.

The almond extract adds a wonderfully warm, buttery, and slightly nutty flavor to this cake that perfectly complements the lemon and poppy seeds. Cook’s Illustrated recommends Nielsen-Massey pure almond extract and McCormick imitation extract, stating that the difference between the “pure” and “imitation” was barely distinguishable. The former is more bold and assertive, while the latter mellows a bit more during baking.

My favorite bundt pan.

My favorite bundt pan that you see in the photos is this party bundt pan made by Nordic Ware. I love it because all the slices are the same size, and the symmetry looks so lovely on a cake plate or stand. This bundt was “retired” for years, but now it is currently back in stock. I bought an extra just in case. I also have miniature versions of this bundt pan. It is wonderful to make two smaller cakes from this one recipe. Below are two cakes that I baked in these miniature pans.

Helpful tools for making bundt cakes.

In the short video below, I share some helpful tools for making bundt cakes, including miniature bundt pans, a cake spatula, and a miniature cake pedestal. If you love baking cakes, these are tools that will up your game.

Poppy Seed Bundt Cake II

An easy poppy seed Bundt cake that is quick AND delicious.

Gallery

Recipe Summary test

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and sugar a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, sour cream, poppy seeds and sugar. Mix until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Reviews ( 46 )

Most helpful positive review

This cake is absolutely wonderful. I added 1 tsp. of lemon extract and instead of 1 cup oil, I used half cup applesause and half cup oil. When cake was finished cooking, I dusted the top with icing sugar I make this quite regularly now and always get asked for the recipe. Thankyou Darlene

  • 5 star values:

This cake is absolutely wonderful. I added 1 tsp. of lemon extract and instead of 1 cup oil, I used half cup applesause and half cup oil. When cake was finished cooking, I dusted the top with icing sugar I make this quite regularly now and always get asked for the recipe. Thankyou Darlene

Excellent! Moist and scrumptious. I added about 1 tsp. of sugar at the bottom of my bundt pan before added the mixture. When the cake was done, poked holes through it and drizzled it with juice of one lemon and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Topped with zest of 1 lemon. To die for!

I can’t say enough about this cake. It was easy, delicious and a crowd pleaser. My parents happened to drop in after I made this and they took half of it home with them. I used fat free sour cream and might try substituting some applesauce for some oil the next time I make this.

YUM. I made this recipe at a family gathering and everyone devoured it. It is moist and delicious. I only altered it by adding 2t of almod extract, and next time I will increase that to 3t. I served it in a pool of the microwaveable lemon curd also on this webiste, with some fresh, sliced strawberries on the side. An impressive-looking and delicious recipe.

This is a wonderful recipe – and very forgiving too. I realized after I had begun to prepare it that I only had 1/4 c. oil, so I used that, and added 2-3 T butter, melted, and 1/2 c water. I wanted to use up the sour cream I had, so it was probably between 1-1 1/4 c sour cream. I only used 2 T poppy seeds for our personal tastes, and lastly I added 1 tsp each of vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts to the batter – my favorite combination. I sprayed my bundt pan thoroughly with cooking spray and sugared it per the instructions, and the cake released from the pan beautifully. It was done for me at 50 min. I glazed it with about 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, 2 T butter, melted, a tsp each of vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts (again), and a little water to get the consistency I wanted. All these little accidents added up to a fabulous cake, so I will probably do it exactly the same way again! But I do not think you could do anything to keep this cake from being scrumptious. My daughter declared it “deeeee-licious”. Thanks for a great recipe. Good way to use up that cake mix I had on hand.