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Recipes & Food Styling

Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Thyme

May 31, 2021 | Desserts, Food Styling, Recipes

For Memorial Day, A Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Thyme! 

There is nothing complicated about this Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Thyme, but it looks like it could be on the cover of a magazine! For our Memorial Day picnic, I wanted something special and delicious. I included fresh poppy seeds in a basic vanilla cake, and sprinkled plenty of the tiny black seeds  on top. Fresh lemon thyme from the garden put the cake “over the top!”  It was delicious and oh-so pretty!

The Poppy Seed Cake was a great way to showcase some of my herbs that are flourishing out front- lemon thyme is so wonderful. Inspired by classic lemon poppy seed cakes, I added some fresh lemon thyme. It is such a simple way to make a cake – or any dessert – even prettier!

Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Thyme 


2 ¼ sticks butter (2 sticks for cake; ¼ stick for cake pan)

3 cups flour (2 ½ cups for cake; ½ cup for cake pan

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the inside of a cake pan with butter; sprinkle flour and shake away excess.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and set aside for later.

Using an electric stand mixer, cream sugar and butter together. Should be airy and light when ready. Mix on low and beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Continue beating, and gradually add vanilla. Combine all ingredients well. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg whites slowly. Mix in half of the flour mixture; add half of the milk, followed by the remainder of the flour mixture. Add the remainder of the milk. Mix on high for about 25-30 seconds.

Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold about ¼ of the poppy seeds and leaves from lemon thyme into the cake batter.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cake clean.

Let cool. When cool, cover with frosting and sprinkle with remainder of poppy seeds; place sprigs of lemon thyme in center.   


3 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together; for a thinner frosting (or a glaze), add milk to desired consistency.