Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake

Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake is one of those recipes that needs to be in everyone’s recipe box (is that still a thing?). With a crunchy exterior and soft, moist interior, a person can never go wrong with this old-time recipe.  And, I’ve got a great story to go with this recipe!

I recently visited my first cousins in Florida.  My cousin, Brenda, asked me if I often make Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake.  I was embarrassed to say that I didn’t know that cake, especially since Auntie Betty was my mom!  My mom passed in 1983, but her recipes definitely live on!  She was a great baker and cook!  

Brenda showed me the recipe and I was cracking up…it’s one of those three sentence recipes that goes something like this:  Mix all the ingredients, pour into Bundt pan, bake.  Seriously!

Even though I love the challenge of baking a dramatic 3-layer tiered cake with all the decorating, etc, Brenda (and her 3 daughters, Tammy, Diane and Francine) convinced me that I had to try it.  Even more startling for me was that it used boxed cake mix and vanilla instant pudding.  Yikes!  But, I promised that I would try it.

At that point, the conversation went something like this:

Brenda:  Be sure to undercook the cake by about 5 minutes

Diane:  Use the small size Vanilla Pudding.  I used the large one and it was awful!

Tammy:  Be sure to use Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix.  No other will work as well!

Francine (my cousin, not me):  Don’t mix the poppyseeds in at the beginning.  They go in right before transferring the mixture to the pan.

Brenda:  Yes, you must use the cream sherry!

All:  It’s our favorite cake EVER!

Brenda:  I can’t wait to see how you make it your own!

It was this last comment that got me sweating…how to take a beloved classic, one from my own mother, and rework it so that it is blog-worthy.  What I decided was that I would leave the cake as it’s written but just add a glaze and a raspberry coulis that you could add if you wanted to.  If you are a purist, don’t add anything.  If you like a little more zhuzh, than drizzle one or both of the extras. You could also sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top as I’ve done.  Honestly, I loved using all three!

Here’s the interesting thing about me and this cake…once I tasted it, I remembered it!  I remembered the funny way that the poppyseeds crunched in my mouth when I took a bite.  I remember how delicious it was and how much I loved the crunchy exterior.  It all came back to me!

I shared the cake with my siblings and they all remembered it with fondness!

So, I want to thank my cousins for reminding me about Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake and I want to encourage you all to try it!  You will never realize that it begins with two boxed mixes.  All you will know is that it’s delicious, easy and blog-worthy!!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Auntie Betty’s Poppyseed Cake

Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cream sherry
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds

Cream Sherry Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream sherry
  • 1/4 cup water

Raspberry Coulis:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray.

In a stand mixer, beat all of the ingredients except the poppy seeds for 5 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and combine for 30 seconds.

Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 20 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with raspberry coulis and Sherry Glaze.

For the glaze, melt all ingredients in a small saucepan on the cooktop. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, cool for a few minutes and pour over the cake.

For the Raspberry Coulis, place the raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan on the cooktop and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, gently smashing the raspberries until a sauce forms. Cool before serving.

Recipe adapted from Betty Shostack (my mother, of blessed memory)


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    Recipe Reviews

    Avarage Rating:
    • 5 / 5
    Total Reviews:( 1 )
    • Ellen

      I always loved my Auntie Betty’s recipes, everything she baked was always with love! I’m going to bake this asap! Love from your cousin Ellen

      • Francine

        I agree…she had great recipes! Let me know how you like (love?) the cake!

    • Harry

      That’s such a touching story. I’m glad you remembered the taste. She was such a nice person. I didn’t get to know her very well. But I enjoyed the presence of her energy, with every exchange. Sweet. Cheers Fran.

      • Francine

        Thanks for your kind words, Harry! Now try the cake!!! Haha

    • Harry

      Like I said before. I can’t bake even if my life depended on it Fran (lol). I love to eat cake. So after reading about your mom’s cake, I went and bought a layer bunt cake. Thanks for the encouragement though. Btw, that, Rosted tomato burger with garlic and guda from your archives, looks delicious, and so quick to cook. What’s 30 minutes including prep time? It takes longer to drive out and get one. Plus you know what’s in it, when YOU cook it. Cheers

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