Honey-Poppy Seed Tea Cake

Honey-Poppy Seed Tea Cake

tea cake 003What better way to use the honey from your bees? This lightly sweetened cake suits a person like me who prefers things delicately sweetened. But for those who like things more conventionally sweet, you can make the sugar glaze at the end.

Honey-Poppy Seed Tea Cake

Makes 2 small loaves.



1 cup poppy seeds stirred into ½ cup hot milk

1 cup semolina flour

1 cup All-Purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

3 egg, separated

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup honey

1 teaspoon almond extract or orange flower water

1 cup buttermilk


Glaze: Blend thoroughly the following:

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter

a splash of milk or cream

2-3 drops of almond extract (or orange flower water)



Directions:  Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 medium loaf pans by buttering them and lining them with lightly buttered parchment paper.

♨ Set aside the poppy-seed milk mixture. Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whip the egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form.

♨ In a mixer, beat the butter with the honey until well combined. Add the yolks and extract, then the milks and poppy seeds. Combine with the dry ingredients, then fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter into the loaf pans, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. If using the glaze, poke holes in the cake with a wooden skewer and drizzle the warm glaze over all.



  1. Nice to hear from you Marcia. I love poppy seed cakes from Hungary and Austria and Poland such as strudels and yeast dough with poppy seed filling. I can’t find anything good even in NYC. I’d love a recipe but not too sweet. Don’t you have to cook poppy seed after it’s ground? BTW would kefir substitute for buttermilk in your recipe? I love honey – do you have bee hives?
    Regards, Terry

    • About the kefir… try it! If it is acidic enough to activate the baking soda, and it tastes good, why not? Poppy seeds, I don’t grind them, but I do soak them in milk before. Thanks for writing! –Marcia

  2. Just read your article about your bees. I guess that answers me. Glad you treated your new bees so nicely. Hope they pay you well with good honey. I’m sorry old bees died.
    Best terry

    • Thanks, Terry!
      I hope I put them in a warm enough spot. They might be too buried in the shade and I don’t think I can move them. (They’ll only go back to their old spot.)



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