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Poppy Seed Lemon Cake w/ Raspberries

Poppy seed cake with raspberries on a decorative blue plate.

Recently I posted a recipe for the Starbucks Lemon Cake and several of you commented saying that you love the cake, but it deflated after you got it out of the oven. I had an idea of why it’s happening, but I needed to make one more cake to investigate what might be causing the ‘great fall’. This is how this cake was born. I decided to use the lemon cake base, add some raspberries, Chantilly Cream and make it into a cake. Needless to say it was delicious!
Also, don’t forget to check out the video I found on YouTube, on how to pipe the petals on top of the cake 🙂

Poppy seed lemon cake slice topped with a lemon on a blue decorative plate.

So there are several things that I changed. First off, I went to the blog of the original poster of the recipe and I noticed that she says to use ‘4.3’ oz packet of instant pudding, but there is no such size. The only ones available are the 3.4oz or the 5.1oz. Then, I looked at the picture of her ingredients closer and found that she shows a picture the large packet (5.1 oz) not the small one, like it notes in the recipe. So that is the first change I made in my recipe, I used the 5.1oz packet of instant pudding.
Second, I theorized that deflating might be caused by overbeating the dough. The dough already has leveneres, so when you beat the additional air in, the bubbles expand beyond the capacity of what the dough can handle once in the oven, so it deflates once you take it out of the oven. What does that mean? It means that you should only mix the ingredients on LOW speed and only for about 30 seconds. Sifting the ingredients before combing the wet & dry, will prevent the lumps from appearing in your final product.

Lemon cake with poppy seeds and chantilly cream on a cake platter with fresh raspberries.

I do have to say that making a cake with a boxed mix goes against every fiber of my being, but hey, if it tastes good, why not, huh? I will continue to look for a recipe that can replace the boxed mix, but if any of you that don’t mind it, then go for it! Someone who’s new to the whole baking thing, will really appreciate this recipe because you will love not only making and but eating this cake as well!

You will notice that I usually don’t include the instructions to level you cakes, because I always use the baking strips which make all of my cakes come out without the puffed up domes, but if you do not have them, go ahead and level the cakes before stacking.

So go ahead, give it a try!

More Cake recipes:


Poppy Seed Lemon Cake w/ Raspberries

5 from 2 votes

Moist lemon poppyseed cake with chantilly cream and raspberries.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: lemon cake, poppy seed cake
Calories: 838 kcal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


Starbucks Lemon Cake


  • 1/2 packet cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream chilled
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 lb raspberries

Special Equipment (optional)

  • 104 Wilton Piping Tip Rose tip
  • Pastry Bag
  • Edible Pearl Dragees


Make the Cake

  1. Turn oven to 350°F. Line two 9 inch round pans with foil & spray with non stick spray, or butter and flour the pans. Wet the baking strips (see bottom of post to see what they are) and secure around the pan. Set aside.

  2. Combine all the wet ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  3. Sift the cake mix & instant pudding into a mixer bowl, add about 1 cup of wet ingredients & the poppy. Beat with a mixer on low speed (important!!) for about 15 seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients and beat on low speed for another 15-20 seconds. DO NOT over beat, or your cake will deflate.
  4. Put 1/3 of batter into one pan and 2/3 into another pan.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until slightly golden in color or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Start checking when you can smell the cake in your kitchen. Remove the cake with less batter out of the oven first (it will be done sooner), then take out the second cake.
  6. Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, before removing and allowing to cool on a cooling rack.

Make the frosting

  1. Beat 1/2 pack cream cheese & 1¼ cups sugar until smooth and no lumps appear. Add 3½ cup heavy cream & 2 tsp vanilla extract, then switch to a whisk attachment. Whip the frosting until it holds shape and does not run.


  1. Cut the top crust of both cakes off (about 1/8 inch thick). Process the cut off tops in the processor to produce fine crumbs (they will be used to cover the sides)
  2. Cut the thicker cake in 2 even layers.
  3. Place a dab of frosting on serving plate. Put the first cake layer on top.
  4. Cut 4 strips of parchment paper, thick enough to cover the edges of the serving plate, and put them slightly under the cake completely covering the plate.
  5. Spread about 2 tablespoons of frosting on top of the cake. Put half of the raspberries on top and cover the raspberries with 1/3 frosting.
  6. Place another layer of cake. Repeat with raspberries and frosting. Cover with 3rd layer of cake.
  7. Cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting.
  8. Take a palm full of processed cake crumbs and press all around against the sides of the cake.
  9. Fit a pastry bag with 104 Wilton tip (rose petal tip). Fill the bag with leftover frosting.
  10. Starting from the outside ring of the cake, start piping the petals in circles until you get to the middle. See YouTube video below on how to do this.
  11. Place a couple of pearl dragees in the middle.
  12. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Poppy Seed Lemon Cake w/ Raspberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 838 Calories from Fat 459
% Daily Value*
Fat 51g78%
Saturated Fat 32g200%
Cholesterol 193mg64%
Sodium 531mg23%
Potassium 255mg7%
Carbohydrates 91g30%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 51g57%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1496IU30%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 259mg26%
Iron 2mg11%
* 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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  • Wendy

    I made the cake using a lemon box cake. Then, used my own lemon cream cheese frosting with a layer of raspberry curd between the cake and frosting. It was devine! While reading the recipe, I was surprised by the “mix on low speed for 15 sec. and then add the rest of the liquid ingredients and mix on low another 15-20 sec. I did sift the dry ingredients, but my cake was very lumpy at this point. BUT, not wanting it to fall, I followed the directions and told myself, this better turn out right… WOW! did it ever turn out right. I brought it to the luncheon following worship on the Sabbath, and it was gone in a flash. The cake was light as a feather and very yummy. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and directions. The little bit of lumpy in the batter as it went into the oven didn’t make a bit of difference.

    · Reply
  • Nadia

    Made this cake and had no issues with it falling down! I was a little worried it would taste too lemony because husband is not a fan of lemon flavored desserts but he loves this cake and the lemon is so subtle it only enhances the flavors of the cake! Def will make it again thank you for the recipe!

    · Reply
    • That’s great Nadia! Thanks for providing your feedback! I think it might help others who will attempt the cake as well 🙂

      · Reply
  • Oksana

    Marina, I am so excited to finally give this cake a try. I have been looking and looking at it but could never find the time to make it. So I need your help before I actually make it. Do you think this cake is best assembled the same day it is to be served? Or is it okay to bake the cake layer and frost it the night before? Suggestions!?

    · Reply
    • Yes, the cake is good assembled the day before, just make sure to refrigerate it and adjust the sweetness of the cream to the tartness of the raspberries. If they’re very sour, you can probably add a little bit more sugar to the cream, just try a raspberry dipped in cream to know if it’s sweet enough. Good luck! 🙂

      · Reply
  • Natasha (@NatashasKitchen)

    Your cake looks luscious, it would be a great way to use our raspberries that are growing in our yard. Your pictures look beautiful as usual :).

    · Reply
    • yes, that is definitely a good idea! thank you!

      · Reply
  • inna

    This cake looks amazing. I love anything with citrus in it.
    I also use the cake strips. Our oven bakes unevenly every time and this causes domed and lopsided cakes. The cake strips help a lot

    · Reply
    • Thank you Inna!

      Yeah, I love cake strips. No more domed cakes 😀

      · Reply

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