Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Icing

Don’t let the pictures fool you—this elegant treat from Poppytalk is easy-to-bake boxed cake mix in disguise.

  • By Poppytalk
  • March 26, 2018
Image Author: Poppytalk
  • Yield: Two 9-inch cakes


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 box of super moist white cake mix (18.25 oz. or 517 g)

1 package of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz. or 96 g)

1 cup water

½ cup of vegetable oil

3 eggs

¼ cup poppy seeds

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure lemon extract

One layer of Lemon Wedge Cake (see recipe here), optional

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Icing

5 egg whites

1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tsp to 1 tbsp vanilla (to taste)

1 pound (4 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

2. Mix all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl for two minutes, or until blended. Pour into cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

3. For the icing, you’ll need a pot and a bowl that fits comfortably over it: a makeshift bain marie. First, bring water to a boil in the pot. Once it comes to a boil, turn it down to simmer.

4. In the bowl, add the egg whites, sugar and salt. With the bowl placed atop the pot, start to beat the egg whites, dissolving all of the sugar as you go. This takes approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Continue to beat until peaks start to form in the egg whites and when the bowl is cool to touch. This takes approximately 7 to 10 minutes.

5. Slowly start to add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it is well incorporated. Continue mixing until all the butter has been added. Add the vanilla. Mix well.

6. Separate the icing into two different bowls. One with ⅓ cup, to which you’ll add yellow food colouring for the yellow flowers. For tips on icing a flower pattern, check out the Poppytalk website or watch this video.

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