Buttermilk Poppyseed Cake

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 05 2010

This cake took a first place at the Vermont Dairy Festival in 1994. When I confessed that I could not get a cake to rise, Hilda helpfully suggested that my baking powder could be old. “That will do it, you know,” she said. She was right.


1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a nonstick 12-cup bundt pan and set it aside. Soak poppy seeds in buttermilk for 5 to 8 minutes. In a large bowl cream butter, shortening, and vanilla. Beat in sugars until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, then add alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating after each addition. Beat egg whites until they are stiff but not dry, then stir a scant half of them into the batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remainder. Turn the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then turn out of pan onto rack to finish cooling.