Poppyseed Coffee Cake


Poppyseed coffee cake is the perfect treat on any morning, but it’s extra special on Christmas morning. Whip it up quick before anyone is awake or bake it the night before so it’s ready as soon as everyone stirs in the house. The rich vanilla flavor combined with poppyseeds is irresistible. At Christmastime, I love to decorate poppyseed coffee cake with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

Slice of Poppyseed Coffee Cake on a plate with sugared cranberries and a Santa mug next to it.

Find the full recipe at the end of this post.

Poppyseed Coffee Cake Love

Christmas morning is the best! The air is filled with anticipation, excitement, and joy. Our farmhouse, is also filled with the heavenly aroma of holiday baking; butter, vanilla, and sugar all nestled in the oven. My easy Poppyseed Coffee Cake recipe is a family favorite on cold winter mornings and especially on Christmas. 

The beauty of this coffee cake is that it’s not only easy, moist, and delicious, but it’s versatile too. The mouthwatering flavors of vanilla and poppyseed can be enhanced each season. You can easily use fruits like sugared cranberries at Christmastime, or lemon zest, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries in the spring and summer. 

From Cali to Carolina

I was first introduced to this recipe in California. I fell in love with it the minute I tried it. This Poppyseed Coffee Cake literally melts in your mouth! Then, I found out how easy it was to make. Who doesn’t love an easy recipe?! From that point forward it became one of my favorite go-to coffee cake recipes.

In California, working full-time with a growing family,  I was the queen of box cake mixes. They were quick and easy. Since moving to the farm and slowing down, I discovered a true love for baking from scratch. And while I try to bake from scratch as often as possible, sometimes shortcuts can offer extra time to spend with the people we love, especially during the holidays. 

Not only do box cake mixes save time, but in many recipes it creates a virtually perfect outcome. I also have discovered (and fallen in love with) the outstanding result you get when you combine a box cake mix with instant pudding. Together they create the moistest and most delicious cake, it’s practically a guarantee. 

Christmas Morning is for Cozy Chaos, not for Cooking

There is little that compares to the fun of waking up on Christmas morning! Seasonal music is playing, wrapping paper is flying, giggles are abundant and a yule log crackling in the fireplace (even if it’s just a YouTube channel on your TV screen). These are the moments to cherish and remember. What you don’t want to remember about Christmas morning, is being in the kitchen cooking and preparing breakfast. That is why I love this easy Poppyseed Coffee Cake recipe.  If you make it in the morning it takes about fifteen minutes to whip up and get in the oven (this can also be made the night before so it’s ready to eat anytime on Christmas).

As soon as I wake up, I go straight to the oven and start it preheating. By the time I gather my ingredients for the coffee cake, the oven is heated and I begin to mix up my ingredients. Within fifteen minutes, the coffee cake batter is ready to go into the oven, my coffee is done brewing, and the family begins to stir. Perfect timing!

We open gifts while the cake bakes and by the time we are done and tummies begin to rumble, the Poppyseed Coffee Cake is ready to be served. It really is perfect for such a busy (and splendidly hectic) morning!

Make Poppyseed Coffee Cake your own Poppyseed Coffee Cake displayed with Santa cookie jar, a bowl of pomegranates, and a poinsettia behind it.

Y’all know I am all about making things your own. Whether it’s home decor, a DIY, or a recipe, I think it’s so important to your personal stamp on it.

The beauty of this coffee cake is that you can serve it in many ways. Make a vanilla glaze to go on top; you can also serve it with a side of vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream, or seasonal fruit. In the Spring you can add a little lemon zest to the batter and serve it with a seasonal fruit compote or sugared blueberries.

At Christmastime, I love serving Poppyseed Coffee Cake with glaze. I add sugared cranberries on the side with rosemary garnish and it creates the perfect (edible) picture of Christmas! The versatility of this recipe makes it so much fun to experiment with throughout the year and during each season. Have fun making it your own!

Poppyseed Coffee Cake with sugared cranberries in the middle.
Yield: Serves 6-8

Poppyseed Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

The beauty of this coffee cake is that it's not only easy, moist, and delicious, but it's versatile too. The mouthwatering flavors of vanilla and poppyseed can be enhanced each season through accompanying fruits like sugared cranberries at Christmastime and lemon, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries in the spring and summer. 


  • 1 box Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 package French Vanilla instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup golden cream sherry
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds

Vanilla Glaze (optional)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together at medium speed for a few minutes until there are no lumps in the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  5. Allow cake to cool for about 10-15 minutes before turning over onto a platter or cake plate.
  6. Glaze once the cake is completely cooled. (optional)
Poppyseed Coffee Cake displayed with Santa cookie jar, a bowl of pomegranates, and a poinsettia behind it.

For more farmhouse inspiration, beautiful home decor styling and tips, delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and more, follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.


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