Almond Lovers Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake

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Almond Lovers Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake ~ If you love almond flavor, this is the moist coffee cake of your dreams with 4 layers of lovely almond flavor baked right in.

Every once in a while I can’t decide what I want to make.  I’ve got too many sticky notes plastering my desk, I’ve bookmarked too many tempting blog posts, there are too many cookbooks lying around with too many little tabs sticking out of their pages, and it overwhelms me.  At times like this the id takes over.  I just make an arbitrary decision.  I want almond poppy seed cake.

But of course no decision is ever arbitrary.  Almonds are up there with lemons and chocolate in my top flavors playbook. And ever since I made that delicious TANGERINE CAKE I’ve been wanting to revisit its moist dense texture, absolutely loaded with crunchy poppy seeds. Between the almond flour, the paste, the extract and the Amaretto there’s 4 layers of almond flavors here, and I could have made it 5 if I’d thought to sprinkle some nuts on top.

There’s no need to buy a big bottle of Amaretto just for this…those little mini bottles are perfect.  And you can pop the other half of the tube of almond paste into the freezer for another use. Did you know you can also make your own almond paste? Here is a tutorial from Food52-– all you need is just 4 ingredients and a food processor!

I love the combination of almond and poppy seeds in this cake–it’s classic but often overshadowed by more popular lemon poppy seed recipes.  I’ve used it a several times on the blog, in my AMARETTO POPPY SEED ICE CREAM, and in my ALMOND POPPY SEED FRENCH TOAST, for instance.

Note: This moist cake keeps well but the glaze will not stay smooth and pretty after a day under a cake dome.  If you are serving any kind of glazed cake for company, it’s best to glaze it the same day you’ll be serving it.  I won’t lie, I eat this for breakfast, but if you aren’t up for that, at the very least trying having a sliver before lunch!

Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake
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Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake


  • 1 cup (two sticks) room temperature butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 of a 7 oz tube of almond paste, crumbled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 Tbsp Amaretto
  • 1 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • milk or cream to thin


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and almond paste together.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating.
  4. Mix the buttermilk with the almond extract and Amaretto in a measuring cup.
  5. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl with the poppy seeds.
  6. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet to the butter, beating just to combine.
  7. Spoon the batter into a greased tube pan and smooth out the top.
  8. Bake for about 45 - 55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Tube pans vary in capacity and shape, so baking times will vary as well.
  9. Cool completely before glazing.
  10. For the glaze mix the confectioner's sugar with enough milk or cream to thin to a glaze consistency, and add in the extract. You can also use Amaretto to thin the sugar if you prefer. Sprinkle a few poppy seeds or sliced almonds on top if you want to.

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  • Reply
    August 21, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Salted or unsalted butter? Thank you :)

    • Reply
      August 22, 2018 at 6:15 am

      I always use unsalted :)

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