Blueberry Poppy seed Cake

My daughter made this cake for Mother’s Day last weekend and I tell you folks it was outstanding! Delicious, beautiful, and easy to make. In fact it actually looked like it came from a countryside bakery. Its that good!

About the recipe

This recipe was re-published in NY Times in 2021 but actually the first time the recipe was published was back in 1990. The delicious blueberry cake was created by Linda Rahman of Petaluma, California who won the grand prize at the 34th Pillsbury Bake-Off, the Super Bowl of baking contests.

She recalled how she never thought her cake would win as it looked “too ordinary to win anything,” But it looks liked the judges disagreed. Their choice to award her first place was unanimous because they said it was “light, refreshing and satisfying.” I couldn’t agree more! A humble cake that’s not so humble, as its delicious and sophisticated. A win win in my book.

What makes it so humble

I call the recipe humble because honestly all the ingredients are what we have in our pantry or can easily pick up at any grocery store. Flour, eggs, sugar, sour cream, salt, butter, baking soda, and blueberries. See! Such humble ingredients for a gorgeous dessert. If you follow the directions exactly as presented you will get a beautiful cake that will look like it came from your favorite pastry shop. Here is the recipe.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Cake
recipe from Linda Rahman via NY Times Cooking


  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (195 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seed
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed, drained on paper towels
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons whole milk


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

In a large bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add lemon peel and egg; beat 2 minutes at medium speed.

In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, poppy seed, baking soda and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with sour cream.

Cook’s Notes: The batter will be thick.

Spread batter over bottom and 1 inch up sides of greased and floured pan, making sure the batter on the sides is 1/4 inch thick.

In medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Spoon over the center of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly. Remove sides of pan.

Make the glaze: In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and enough milk until glaze is of desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over top of warm cake. Top with a handful of fresh blueberries, if desired. Serve warm or cool.

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