If you have ever been a guest in my parents home you have had poppy seed cake. Poppy seed cake is my Mom’s go-to dessert, and has been my whole life. The smell of the sherry cooking in the cake batter is the ultimate smell of home for me. I once had a friend say, “Whenever I think of your parent’s house I think of poppy seed cake and jarlsberg cheese” (clearly in my pre-vegan days). My parents have moved to a mostly vegan diet and my Mom asked me to create a vegan version of poppy seed cake for her. The original recipe uses cake mix and a lot of eggs. It took me several tries, but I’ve come up with a vegan poppy seed cake that is as delicious as the original.
The secret to this poppy seed cake is the Dry Sherry. It adds a very distinct flavor and will make your whole house smell delicious while the cake is baking.
After the cake comes out of the oven wait about 15 minutes before you flip the cake out of the bundt pan and onto a plate. Let the cake cool completely before you pour the sherry glaze on top.
When you make the glaze resist the temptation to add all of the sherry at once. The glaze can go from the perfect thick, but pourable texture to completely runny in seconds. I find that the amount of sherry I need to create the right viscosity depends on the weather. Sometimes I only need 1 Tablespoon of sherry mixed with the powdered sugar and other times I need the full 2 Tablespoons. Start with 1 Tablespoon and add additional sherry 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a nice, thick glaze that will slowly run down the sides of the cake.
Vegan poppy seed cake is a beautiful dessert, but also works well at brunches since it isn’t overly heavy. It is delicious with your morning cup of coffee as well.
- 1½ cups Unsweetened Almond, Rice or Coconut Milk
- 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅔ cup Canola Oil
- ½ cup Dry Sherry
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2.5 cups All- Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup Cornstarch
- 1½ cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 TB Poppy Seeds
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 TB Dry Sherry
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a bundt pan. Set aside.
- Whisk the milk and the vinegar together and let sit a few minutes until curdled. Beat together the milk mixture, oil, sherry, and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until no large lumps remain. Stir in the poppy seeds.
- Pour mixture into greased bundt pan. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. After 15 minutes of cooling flip the cake out of the bundt pan and onto a large plate. Let cake cool completely.
- Whisk powdered sugar with 1 TB of sherry. Mix it together and add additional sherry, 1 teaspoon at a time, until a thick but pourable glaze has formed. Pour over cooled cake.