{Gluten-Free} Poppyseed Cake

On New Year’s Eve I baked a poppyseed cake — a gluten-free variation of one I made four years ago in Australia (original recipe posted here, it’s based on a recipe by Deborah Madison). It’s been on my mind to bake this cake again, and I wanted of course to make it gluten-free. It turned out beautifully, with a mix of almond flour, gluten-free oat flour, and sweet white rice flour. I used maple sugar for the sweetener.

This was a proper cake — fluffy, with a tender crumb, dare I say you’d be hard pressed to identify it as gluten-free. This is the goal, right? Simple ingredients put together to make gluten-free results that taste just as good as any made with all-purpose flour. That was the premise of my cookbook, and one I still hold to today (another reason you won’t find any all-purpose gluten-free mixes or recipes calling for gums on my site). I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.

Til next time – N x

Gluten-Free Poppyseed Cake

Recipe by Nicole Spiridakis



Feedback has been that there are a lot of poppyseeds in this recipe. So you may want to lower the amount to a 1/2 cup.


  • 1 cup (or 1/2 cup) poppyseeds

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, or coconut milk, heated, but not boiling

  • 3/4 cup/75 g gluten-free oat flour

  • 3/4 cup/75 g almond flour

  • 1/2 cup/80 g sweet white rice flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, or 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, soft but not melted, at room temperature

  • 1 cup maple sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk or coconut milk


  • Heat the oven to 375ᵒF. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the poppy seeds and the hot milk. Set aside until needed.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Transfer the egg whites to a small mixing bowl. In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, then beat in the egg yolks, adding one at a time and beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Drain the milk from the poppy seeds and discard the milk. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole milk and yogurt, then add to the batter along with the drained poppy seeds. Beat until well combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture to the batter, in thirds, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, making sure it’s all well mixed. Fold in about a quarter of the beaten egg whites with the spatula, then fold in the rest, mixing gently until just combined.
  • If at all possible, let the batter rest for 30 minutes. But it’s OK if you can’t. Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Place in the oven and bake until golden and firm, with the sides just beginning to pull away from the pan, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Carefully run a sharp, thin knife along the sides of the cake, just against the pan, then gently remove the rim and allow the cake to cool to room temperature before removing the base of the pan and slicing.
  • Cake will keep, well covered, on the counter for four days or in the fridge for up to seven,
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