Almond Poppy Seed Cake is a moist, almond loaf cake speckled with poppy seeds in the batter as well as the sweet almond poppy seed glaze! Sliced almonds are toasted on top for an extra flavorful crunch! The delightful flavor, fluffy crumb, and quick simplicity of this recipe make this poppy seed almond cake really special.
This moist almond cake recipe is similar to my Almond Poppy Seed Muffins, but it's richer thanks to the butter and sour cream. I could not get enough of the muffins and I wanted to make a dessert version! This delicious loaf cake was the perfect solution. It may be a cake, but it also pairs so well with your morning coffee or afternoon tea, so treat yourself to dessert for breakfast!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This quick bread makes an amazing dessert or breakfast cake with almond extract in the batter and the icing.
- Crunchy poppy seeds get mixed into the batter and glaze for a pop in every bite.
- This easy cake recipe freezes really well, so double or triple the recipe and have almond flavored cake ready in your freezer at any moment!
You'll need the following ingredients to make this incredible Glazed Almond Cake with Poppy Seeds:
- Poppy seeds take this almond cake to the next level, adding nuttiness and crunch. They can typically be found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, by the spices. You'll only need a small amount for this recipe, so use the rest of the jar to make my Orange and Poppy Seed Muffins!
- Sour cream and butter add richness and keep this almond poppy seed cake extra moist.
- Whole milk is added for extra moisture, so low-fat or dairy-alternatives should not be used in its place.
- Almond extract is the main flavor in both the cake batter and the icing, so make sure to use a good quality extract. Watkins extract is my personal favorite that tastes amazing in my Almond Sugar Cookies too!
- Sliced almonds get baked on top of the cake batter, adding a toasted almond flavor and crunch. This ingredient can be left out if desired!
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- Bake in an 8" square or 9" round pan instead of a loaf pan. Note that the bake time may vary based on the size of the pan.
- Make a vanilla bean icing, cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache (like in my orange chocolate cake recipe), or mascarpone whipped cream instead of the almond glaze.
- If you prefer using plain greek yogurt, it can be used in place of the sour cream.
- Replace the almond extract with vanilla extract and mix a tablespoon of orange or lemon zest with the butter and sugar to make it into an orange or lemon poppy seed cake!
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
How to Make Almond Poppy Seed Cake
Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
Step 2: In a separate large bowl, cream the room temperature butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Then mix in the eggs, sour cream, and almond extract until combined.
Step 3: Alternately stir in the dry ingredients and the milk into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.
Step 4: Spread into a parchment-lined 9x5" loaf pan, top with sliced almonds, and bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Step 5: Make the almond glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, almond extract, poppy seeds, and whole milk until smooth.
Step 6: Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, slice, and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Use a scale to measure the flour in grams (see "metric" tab in recipe card below). This will help guarantee the right amount of flour in your batter. I got my scale for about $20 years ago and it still works so well!
- If you really love almond flavor, add an extra ¼ - ½ teaspoon of extract into the batter!
- I like using my cordless hand mixer to cream the wet ingredients together and to mix the dry ingredients and milk in a bit before switching to a spatula. If you don't have an electric mixer, all of this can be mixed by hand as well!
- Don't overmix the batter or it can become dense and tough. Once the flour streaks are gone and it's a nice, smooth batter, you're good to go!
- Make a parchment paper sling by leaving a 2-3 inch overhang on the long sides of the loaf pan to make it easy to remove the cake from the pan after baking.
No. Some recipes call for soaking poppy seeds in warm water or milk before adding to the batter, but this is not necessary in this almond poppy seed cake.
Yes, this cake freezes very well! Slice un-iced cake and wrap each slice individually before transferring to the freezer.
This could be from over-baking it or over-measuring the flour. Remove the cake as soon as it's baked in the center so a toothpick comes out clean. It will continue to bake a little bit in the hot pan after you take it out of the oven. I also recommend using a scale to weigh the flour in grams for the most accurate measurement!
This has not been tested and almond flour has a significantly different composition than all-purpose flour, so it is not recommended.
Store cooled, unglazed cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. The glazed cake should keep at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Freeze fully cooled, sliced cake in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature, glaze, and serve.
To make it a super simple grab-and-go snack, wrap the slices and freeze them individually!
Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Almond Poppy Seed Cake with Glaze
- 9x5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper
- Mixing bowls
- Electric mixer recommended
- Measuring spoons
Almond Poppy Seed Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour weighed in grams or spooned and leveled
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup whole milk room temperature
- ¼ cup sliced almonds optional, for topping
Almond Poppy Seed Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon almond extract more/less depending on flavor preference
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds optional
- 1½-2 tablespoons milk more/less depending on consistency preference
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes on medium speed). Stir in the eggs, sour cream, and almond extract well.
- Alternately mix the dry ingredients and milk into the wet ingredients. Fold and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients just until the dry streaks disappear.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
- Bake on the middle rack until a toothpick comes out clean (about 50-65 minutes). Let cool in the pan for 10-20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, almond extract, poppy seeds, and milk until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake, slice, and enjoy!
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.