This Almond Poppy Seed Cake is made with simple, yet bold flavors – a dense almond cake loaded with poppy seeds and topped with a whipped vanilla frosting. A cozy and easy sheet cake that belongs on every dessert table.

Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake with frosting on a wood plate

I’ve never really been one to choose almonds as a snack, although I do enjoy them in the occasional salad. My love for almond comes more in the form of baked goods and the use of almond extract. I love the cozy strong flavor it adds to cakes and cookies, and let’s face it, we’d all rather eat an almond cupcake than almond butter.

Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake cut on a plate

Last month I shared these delicious Pumpkin Amaretto Cheesecake Bars with all of you, in that recipe, almond helped to amplify the main flavor of the dessert, the pumpkin. But in this cake, the almond is the star! And it’s getting a strong assist with some poppy seeds and a delicious vanilla whipped cream frosting!

I personally think this Almond Poppy Seed Cake is the perfect addition to the holiday dessert table. It adds a sweet and simple option for those who aren’t feeling the pumpkin and peppermint craze of the season.

Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake with a fork

One thing I’ve always really loved about almond flavor is that it has an essence of cherries and that mix of nuts and fruit is pure comfort. But did you know that poppy seeds have a similar flavor profile?

When a poppyseed is whole, it actually has a nutty flavor, but when ground down, it’s fruity. Kinda crazy, right? That’s why I’m a firm believer that almonds and poppy seeds were made for each other, especially when it comes to baked goods!

Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake with a bite gone

This Almond Poppy Seed Cake is sweet and dense, almost like a cross between a traditional fluffy cake and a pound cake. The frosting itself is extremely light and smooth and adds a soft vanilla flavor to the powerful almond. It’s cozy in every way and I highly recommend topping it off with a bit of cinnamon sugar for a spicy finish!

Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake with frosting on a wood plate
4.95 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Almond Poppy Seed Cake

This Almond Poppyseed Sheet Cake is made with simple, yet bold flavors - a dense almond cake loaded with poppyseeds and topped with a whipped vanilla frosting. A cozy and easy sheet cake that belongs on every dessert table.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 slices
Author Rebecca
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  • 1 box white cake mix 15.25 ounces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites room temperature


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup instant vanilla pudding powder



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray (even if it's a non-stick pan).
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together the cake mix, flour, sugar, poppyseeds, and salt. Add in the milk, oil, extracts, sour cream, and egg whites and beat for two minutes.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the cake comes clean when a knife or toothpick is inserted into the center. Allow to cool in pan completely before frosting.


  • Whip frosting ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer with a whisk attachment. A stand mixer will result in a fluffier frosting, but frosting made with a hand mixer will do just fine as well and should give you enough to over the top of the cake. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Spread evenly over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired.


*3 large eggs can also be used in place of the 4 egg whites.
4.95 from 19 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 670 | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Repin this Delicious Cake Recipe

Almond Poppy Seed Cake on a wood plate



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Almond Poppy Seed Cake on a wood plate with a title
Almond Poppy Seed Cake on a wood plate



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.95 from 19 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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  1. This would have been a 5 star review based on taste and how easy it is…however, the bake time is incorrect. The person above said it took closer to 40 minutes to bake and this is correct. 25 minutes is not nearly long enough! A plain cake mix in a 9×13 takes about 35 minutes, so after all of the additions, it makes sense that it can’t possibly be done in 25 minutes.4 stars

    1. Hi Amanda, I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! As for bake times, they can also vary at different elevations or if an aluminum or glass pan is used vs. nonstick. So we recommend baking until a knife or toothpick is inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

    1. Hi Diana, we bake it at 350°F for 25 minutes. You can find the full recipe towards the bottom of the post or use the jump to recipe button at the top.

  2. I am a hobby cake decorator, my mom and sister who are chef’s and the room full of people last night at my 40th birthday party were all raving that this was the best cake they have ever had.

    I did a double batch in 3 8in rounds and 18 cupcakes. The cake was moist yet held three layers.

    I didn’t do this recipe for frosting. I did a simple almond buttercream because my daughter and I decorated it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s a home run.5 stars

  3. I am going to attempt a gluten free version, I know they make gluten free flower, but why do you add an extra cup of flower to the already flower in the cake mix?

    1. Hi Dave, we found the addition of additional flour created the best results for a dense and delicious cake. We have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour but would love to hear how it turns out!

  4. Baked this for my daughter’s birthday cause her wedding cake from a local bakery was this flavor. She’s been addicted to it now for over 9 years but the bakery is pricey so I thought I’d give your recipe a try. It smells and looks delicious but we can’t taste it until the birthday girl arrives! Thank you for sharing your talent. I’m looking forward to trying more of your desserts!

      1. Great tasting cake and frosting. The texture was dense. Very yummy! The baking time was closer to 40 minutes.5 stars

  5. Well mine looks nothing like the picture lol. The flavor is good however the cake just falls apart, looks more like I made a crumble than a cake.