Memaw’s Poppy Seed Cake

There’ll be no tandem recipe this week; hopefully this’ll hold you over ’til next week!

Several years ago, my daughter flew to California to visit her father’s parents. When she came back, she brought this recipe with her. I was skeptical – poppy seeds? Really? Meh. – but she was so sure that Fred and I would love it that I finally gave it a try.

Oh my god, you guys. It is SO GOOD. It’s simple to make (most recipes that start with a cake mix – HI AMANDA! – are pretty simple), but SO GOOD. Did I mention that it’s SO GOOD? Because it IS. Fred likes it almost as much as I do, but I swear I could eat the whole thing myself. The crunch of the cinnamon sugar combined with the moist cake is perfect. Also, it’s fairly light and not particularly filling, so watch out – you might find you’ve eaten half the cake and only feel slightly full.

I don’t know where the original recipe came from (a Google search shows the same recipe all over the internet with a zillion different names), but as far as I’m concerned Danielle’s Memaw gets all the credit.

Your ingredients:

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Cake mix with pudding in the mix, a 5.1 oz. box of instant pudding mix, 3 eggs, water, oil, poppy seeds, and cinnamon sugar.

First thing, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Then grease a Bundt pan – you can use Crisco if you want, but I just use Baker’s Joy spray. It’s less messy.

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Then you “flour” your pan with the cinnamon sugar. I use a mix of 1 T. cinnamon to 8 T. sugar, but you can use more or less cinnamon, depending on your preferences. This part can get messy because you’ve got to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in the pan and then shake it around to evenly coat the entire inside of the pan. I usually do this over the sink (also, don’t use all your cinnamon sugar – you’re going to need some later on!)

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Throw your cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, water, oil, and poppyseeds into a bowl and mix that stuff together. It takes me about three minutes on medium speed to get everything mixed together well. Scrape down your bowl, and then mix for about 30 seconds longer.

Pour the batter evenly into your Bundt pan.

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Bake the cake for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and sprinkle the top of the batter with your reserved cinnamon sugar. I generally use a small spoon to sprinkle the sugar; you can use a spoon or your fingers or whatever works for you. Just try to sprinkle it evenly so that the entire top (bottom) of the cake is covered.

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Continue baking the cake for another 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While it’s baking, go snuggle some kittens.

These kittens are The Sopranos. They’re a month old and they are killing me with how damn CUTE they are. Look at that attitude they’re giving me, because I woke them from their nap. Brats.

This is what the cake looks like when it’s done baking.

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I let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. That can be messy (you lose a lot of cinnamon sugar off the top/bottom), so I usually do it over the sink.

The hardest part of this recipe, by far, is waiting for the cake to cool. It takes FOREVER, or so it seems. On the up side, it doesn’t have to be completely cool before you eat it – just as long as it’s not hot enough to burn your mouth, you’re good to go.

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The rumor is that you can also make a chocolate version of this cake using chocolate cake mix and instant pudding. I imagine you could do lemon as well – really, the possibilities are endless. I’ve never done anything but yellow cake/ vanilla pudding because I love it so much that I’ve never felt the need to experiment. I think YOU should, though, and report back to me.

Memaw's Poppy Seed Cake
Original Source/Author:
: Dessert
Cuisine: The land of cinnamon and sugar. I want to live there.
  • 1 cake mix with pudding in the mix (yellow or chocolate; you could also try lemon)
  • 1 5.1 oz box of instant pudding mix (vanilla or chocolate; lemon if you're making a lemon cake)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. water
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • 2½ T. poppy seeds
  • Cinnamon sugar - I use 1 T. cinnamon and 8 T. sugar, but you can adjust according to your preferences.
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease (with Crisco or Baker's Joy) and "flour" a Bundt pan with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Mix cake and pudding mixes, eggs, water, oil, and poppy seeds for 3 - 4 minutes; scrape down bowl and mix an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Pour evenly into Bundt pan.
  5. Bake 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, evenly sprinkle the top of the partially cooked batter with more cinnamon sugar, and return pan to oven. Cook another 20 - 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then finish cooling on a rack.


Honey Bun Coffee Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Honey Bun Coffee Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at My Homemade Life

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d tell you how I stumbled across the recipe, but I haven’t got a clue. Pinterest, maybe? Yeah, okay, let’s say Pinterest. Why not?

You know those honey buns you can buy in your local convenience store or by the box at the grocery store? This cake was reported to taste just like them only, you know, bigger and not wrapped in cellophane. I like those honey buns – I mean, I’m not addicted, but I like ’em every now and then – so this recipe caught my eye. And it’s a relatively easy recipe too, and you KNOW how much I like simplicity in my recipes.

For the cake part of this recipe, you need:

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Yellow cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Throw your cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil and eggs in a big ol’ bowl.

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Stir everything together ’til it’s well combined.

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Pour half the batter into a greased 9×13 pan (I use Baker’s Joy spray because it’s so convenient and also I like to add as many chemicals into my recipes as possible. SOMETHING’S GOTTA KILL ME.)

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Combine your brown sugar and cinnamon in a smallish bowl.

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Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the batter in the pan. Spread it evenly…ish. Look, nobody’s perfect. Spread it the best you can, dummy. God knows that if I was ever able to sprinkle ANYthing evenly EVER, the world would screech to a halt and then crack open.

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Spread the rest of the cake batter over the top of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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If you’re me, you’re muttering lots of profanity because the damn sugar/cinnamon shit is clinging to the batter that you’re desperately trying to spread over the top of it, and it looks like hell, but this is NOT a pretty cake and who are you trying to impress, anyway?

Take a knife and drag it through the batter and cinnamon sugar in random swirly patterns. Look, do whatever you want. You can see that I did long swirly patterns because I had no real idea of what I was doing. It worked out fine. IT DID.

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Now throw the pan in the oven, and clean up your kitchen. When you’re done cleaning, you might have a moment to veg out in front of your computer before you have to make your glaze.

Your glaze needs to be done and ready to pour by the time the cake comes out of the oven. Luckily, it’s easy to make.

Glaze ingredients:

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Confectioner’s sugar, rum UM I MEAN VANILLA EXTRACT, and milk.

Stir your sugar, vanilla, and milk together. I used my 4-cup measuring cup to make it easier to dump over the cake. AM BRILLIANT.

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Looks like glue.

Oh look! Cake’s done!

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Dump the glaze over the hothothot cake and then spread evenly..ish. Look, just do the best you can. No one’s judging you except your mother, your sister, your kindergarten grade teacher (“I knew that child was going to come to no good when she couldn’t color inside the lines”) and Amanda.

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Mmmm, glue cake.

Let it cool for at least 15 minutes or, if you’re me, more like an hour. What? I had other stuff to do. Those kittens aren’t going to snorgle themselves.

Here it is after an hour with the glaze all cooled and crackly.

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And… the verdict? Well, I kinda made this face.


Yep. I didn’t care for this at ALL. Not one bit did I care for it. In fact, I didn’t even eat one whole piece, and excuse me – there’s something WRONG if I can’t even finish one piece of a cake. It was a really really heavy cake and it was not to my liking at all.

Fred also didn’t care for it.

The chickens, however, gave it 73 beaks up and demolished it in 10 seconds flat. George and Gracie each got a small piece, and I got the feeling they ate it just to be polite.



Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out our new page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

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I was all excited when I saw that this recipe had a cake mix for the main ingredient because, “Hey, I have a cake mix in the cupboard!” But then I started thinking about how many recipes I’ve bombed over the years and I really didn’t want to use my magic butter cake mix on what could possibly end up in the garbage. So I did the smart thing and grabbed a cheap cake mix for this recipe and saved the butter one for another time. What? I like butter. And rumor has it that it’s better for you than margarine. But that’s just this week. Who the hell knows what will be good/bad for you next week?

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Way back in 2008 Robyn was taking pictures of food that she made. She was a food blogger before it was a thing!

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Somebody knows that they got busted for being ridiculous and they obviously don’t care. Hee!

I bought a kitchen scale! And thankfully it goes back to zero after you put your bowl on it so you don’t have to do any math! And it does that whole bullshit thing about noting the differences in fluids/solids/density/boring/WTFEVAH that Rick and I always fight about. It just may save my marriage, yo.

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Please Note: A perfect eight ounces brought to you by She Who Knows Her Way Around a Scale. Fucking scales.  I have never met a scale that I liked.

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Action shot!

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I read the part about lumps right when I was using the mixer. Oops! So I ran the mixer a little more just to mix the eggs in properly and then I quit.  So what I’m trying to say here is that when the recipe said that it might be lumpy, I let it be lumpy.

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I carried the lumpy theme over into the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture too.  Don’t do what I do. I’m going to just go ahead and blame Shirley (aka: mom) because she had just come home from a church rummage sale and plopped this down on the counter…

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This 13-year-old cookbook is going on the shelf with the other cookbooks that I haven’t tried anything from yet. She knows that we’re wanting to get beyond the one entry per week that we do. But damn, finding a recipe, buying the groceries, making the recipe, taking the pictures and then writing about it is harrrd. I need a secretary.

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As you can see, I had a time of it when I tried to make the swirls. This is also why I never make marble cake.

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The icing. That’s a whole lotta powdered sugar in there. Of course I tasted it and HOLY SWEETNESS, BATMAN! I always thought I was a sweet eater and that’s why I am such a fat-fatty. But I’m pretty sure that I’m more of a fat eater than a sweet eater.  Especially after this recipe.

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Action shot of the icing going on the cake.  I work magic with my descriptions, huh?  Shut-up.

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You know how sometimes you can really like something, but ruin it for yourself if you eat too much of it? Yeah. This was a ridiculous amount of icing for a so-called Honeybun anything.

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I tried a piece with the least amount of icing and eh, it was okay. An easier delivery method would be if you just opened your mouth and poured in 1 cup each of powdered and brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was just TOO MUCH. You could easily halve both the cinnamon “swirl” and the icing parts of the recipe and have a really great coffee cake. But this was a case of major over-kill. Everyone in my house agreed that it was ridiculously sweet so we’re going to pass and I’m glad I didn’t use my butter cake mix!

About those pictures of Robyn…You’re welcome. 

Honey Bun Coffee Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Guamanian
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix of your choice
  • 8 ounce sour cream (Robyn used reduced-fat because she's counting calories, bwahaha)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ c. vegetable oil
  • Cake filling:
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 4 T milk
  • 1 T vanilla
  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, and vegetable oil. Stir together until well combined (some lumps are okay. You're never going to get all those lumps out!)
  2. Pour half the batter into a greased pan.
  3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly(ish) over the batter.
  4. Spread the rest of the batter over the top of the cinnamon sugar. It'll look like crap; that's okay. No one's judging you except Amanda.
  5. Take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter from one end to the other.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes at 325ºF, check with a toothpick for doneness (if the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.)
  7. When the cake is just about done cooking, mix your glaze (so that it'll be ready when the cake comes out of the oven). Stir together confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla with a small whisk or fork to get all the lumps out.
  8. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the glaze over the top and spread it evenly.
  9. Let cool 15 minutes (or more) before serving.