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Poppy Seed cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream

The Poppy Seed Cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream combines all the things I love in a cake, poppy seeds, walnuts, dulce de leche and chocolate. The cake is very simple and easy to make that even a novice baker will succeed!

Front view of slice of poppy seed cake topped with chocolate cravings on a green plate.

When I just got married, this Poppy Seed Cake was the first cake that became an instant favorite in our family and any time I would make any cake, my dad would always ask if it’s this Poppy Seed Cake. In fact the pictures in this post are from the first time I have made it (in 2009 :O)

Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients

What makes this cake so amazing is that it uses common pantry ingredients. Aside from the poppy seed and walnuts, you probably have everything else in the fridge.

The layers of the poppy seed cake are also very versatile and you can create a new flavor just by substituting the poppy seeds with one of these other Some of the ones I’ve tried were – hazelnuts, dried cranberries, tart cherries, chocolate chips (white or dark) or even dried blueberries!

In fact, the Black Prince cake I posted a couple of years ago is a variation of this Poppy Seed Cake and so is this Royal Russian Cake.

slice of poppy seed cake topped with chocolate cravings on a white plate.

Do you like Dulce De Leche?

Check out these Recipes using the Dulce de Leche Buttercream:

  • Markiza Cake – flaky cake layers, topped with meringue, walnuts and the buttercream
  • Honeycomb Cake – Puff Pastry tubes filled with tart cherries and layered with Dulce de Leche Buttercream

Poppy Seed cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream

This Poppy Seed cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream combines all the things I love in a cake, poppy seeds, walnuts, dulce de leche and chocolate | by Let the Baking Begin!
5 from 7 votes

The Poppy Seed Cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream combines all the things I love in a cake, poppy seeds, walnuts, dulce de leche and chocolate.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: dulce de leche buttercream, poppy seed cake
Calories: 369 kcal
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings


Poppy Seed Cake

Dulce de Leche Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature (345 gr)
  • 1 1/2 cans dulce de leche (1 can = 14 oz)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, with the rack in the middle. Line two 8 inch round baking pans with parchment paper, set aside.

Make the Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

  1. Whisk together 3 eggs and 1½ cups sugar until combined. Add 1½ cups sour cream, 4 tsp baking powder and whisk again. Lastly add 1½ cups flour, 1 cup poppy seeds and or/ 3/4 cup walnuts, and whisk until no flour lumps appear.

  2. Divide batter between prepared baking pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then flip upside down onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  4. With a serrated knife split each cake into two even layers horizontally.

Make the Dulce de Leche Buttercream

  1. Whip 3 sticks room temperature butter for about 5 minutes or until light, fluffy and white in color, scraping the bottom of the bowl several times. Add can dulce de leche in thirds, minimally whipping after each addition.

Make the ganache

  1. Heat 1/3 cup heavy cream until almost boiling. Pour over 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Allow sitting for 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow cooling until room temperature before using (this will thicken it and allow for an even pour).

Assemble the Poppy Seed Cake

  1. Reserve 1 cup of frosting for covering the outside of the cake.
    Now, put a dab of frosting onto a serving plate and press one layer of the cake to adhere. Add 1/4 of frosting on top and spread into an even layer. Repeat with the rest of the layers and cover the whole cake with the reserved frosting. 

  2. Pour the ganache on top of the cake, spreading it over the top surface and moving some of it towards the edges for a beautiful drizzle down the sides.
  3. Run a vegetable peeler down the rib of the chocolate bar right over the cake, covering the top in chocolate curls. If the curls break up too much, heat the bar in the microwave in 2-3 seconds increments until you're able to run the vegetable peeler and the curls no longer break. Do not heat the bar too long, or it will liquify rendering it useless.
Nutrition Facts
Poppy Seed cake with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 369 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 369mg11%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 340IU7%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 259mg26%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Lilliya

    Can I use canned poppy seeds pie filling?

    · Reply
  • Nisha Bhatt

    Hi Marina … I like your recipe and I want to bake it for my family but the problem we don’t eat eggs .. so is there any replacement for eggs?

    · Reply
    • Hi Nisha, Sorry, I do not know what you can replace the eggs with.

      · Reply
    • Katya

      I heard chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement. I would recommend researching that but not sure how it will alter the taste of this delicious cake.

      · Reply
  • NK

    Can I bake this in 3 6inch cake pans? If so for how long? And same temperature?

    · Reply
    • Hi NK,
      Yes, you can, but I can’t tell you the time since I haven’t done it myself. The temperature will be the same, the timing will be different. Just make sure not to fill it more than half way.

      · Reply
  • Lana

    Hi Marina, can I add cream cheese to the frosting?

    · Reply
  • Lana

    Hi Marina, can I also add cream cheese to the frosting?

    · Reply
  • Sonya

    Hi! This recipe looks great and I’m planning on making it tomorrow 🙂 question – did you grind the poppy seeds, or just use whole dry ones? Thanks!

    · Reply
  • Rachel

    Can you use honey instead of poppy seeds? If so, how much honey would you recommend using?

    · Reply
    • Hi Rachel,
      are you trying to just not use poppy seeds or do you want to include the honey somewhere in the cake? If you don’t want to use the poppy seeds, you don’t have to use them at all. You can use dried cranberries, or chopped walnuts or hazelnuts in place of poppy seeds, but I would not use honey. It would change the texture of the cake and I am not sure it will come out right.

      · Reply
  • Rachel

    Looks so yummy! I want to try baking this cake for Easter. Is it possible to split the cake into 3 pans instead of 2? If so, how long should I bake each for? And at the same temperature?

    · Reply
    • Hi Rachel,
      Yes, you can easily bake it in 3 pans. I would reduce the baking time by may be 5-8 minutes, but that is just my guess since I haven’t done this. When I guesstimate the baking time, I start checking when I can smell the cake baking in my kitchen, and when the middle of the cake is puffed up. At this point, I insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean then the cake is baked through.

      · Reply
  • Holy

    Hi Marina, my son is allergic to nuts, what can i use instead of poppy seeds and nuts? Thank you.

    · Reply
    • Hi Holy,
      You can use chopped raisins, dry cranberries, or even tiny chocolate chips (not the regularly sized) in place of poppy seeds.

      · Reply
  • Lena Kay

    I sooo gotta try this recipe. I could eat dolce delache cake everyday. Do you make any video tutorials? Im a visual learner and find those helpful.

    · Reply
  • Lana

    What size of pan/baking sheet do we use??

    · Reply
  • So excited to try this cake out for Easter this year!

    · Reply
  • Milana

    Thank you! 🙂

    · Reply
  • Nadia

    Hi! I’m making the cake in advance and I’m just wondering how long do the cakes keep unfrosted? Also, do I need to refridgerate or freeze them? I’m making them tonight (Wednesday) and I’m planning on frosting them on Friday and eating on Saturday… Do you think the cake will turn out?

    · Reply
    • Hi Nadia,
      You can freeze the cake, keeping it well wrapped to keep it’s freshness, then on the day of the assembly defrost and frost with the frosting (man that’s a lot of “frost” in a sentence lol). It will be wonderful for Saturday, just keep it covered until ready to serve so it doesn’t take on smells from other things in the fridge.

      · Reply
  • Milana

    This cake looks so good my husband loves вареная згущенка! I was wondering if I can just put like 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of poppy seeds cuz I don’t like them a lot!
    Thanks 🙂

    · Reply
    • Hi Milana,
      yes you can reduce the poppy seed amount in the cake for sure, you can even replace it with chopped walnuts or raisins, or chocolate chips (the mini ones), or even omit it altogether with great results. This cake is very versatile.

      · Reply
  • Inna

    Marina, is there a certain way you made your cake batter? My korzhi turned out so flat. Or are they suppose to be kind of thin? This is not a biskvit type right?
    I did use a 10″ pans, but I did increase everything by a quarter, so maybe my technique was off. Help.

    · Reply
    • This is not a biskvit kind of cake. It is more sense and not as fluffy, but it should have risen in the oven. Did it rise? Or did it stay the same? If it stayed the same then you might have forgotten to put the leveners.

      · Reply
    • Another thing – this cake needs to be baked as soon as it’s mixed. So you need to have 2 baking pans ready as soon as you end mixing the batter. If you baked your first layer and only then baked your second one, the second one might not be as fluffy as the first one.

      · Reply
  • Marina, this cake is so unique, I love it! 🙂

    · Reply
  • elena

    Hello, Can I use the round 10″ or 8″ springform to bake the cake?

    · Reply
    • Hi Elena,
      I would use the 8″. The cake will be a bit taller than the pictured one since you’re using a smaller spring form.
      If you decide to use the 10 inch, I would increase the amount of ingredients by 1/4. So if it calls for 1.5 cups flour, I would increase it to 2 cups and so on.

      · Reply

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