Coconut Cake with Poppy Seeds

coconut-cakeThere’s nothing like a slice of delicious Coconut Cake to begin your day! But this is no ordinary cake; its a coffee cake flavored with sour cream, shredded coconut, poppy seeds and vanilla baked into a soft and scrumptious cake that is great to be eaten by itself or served with something else. But beware of the poppy seeds, they are like opium – too much and it could get you to sleep instantly! However, in this recipe, the poppy seeds and coconut lend the perfect crunch and texture to the moist sour cream cake; All in all, its a simple Coconut Poppy Seed Cake that you’ll surely enjoy!

1/2 cup poppy seeds (If you haven’t tasted them before, start with less)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar (add more to your taste after batter is ready)
4 eggs – whites and yolks separated
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tspn vanilla
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt

Note: For a sugar-free version, omit the sugar in the recipe, and use 1/2 cup honey along with sweetened shredded coconut. But be prepared for a mildly-sweet cake. If you need it a bit more sweet, add some brown sugar to the batter.

In a small sauce pan cook poppy seeds with honey and 1/4 cup water for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow them to cool. Some people add the poppy seeds dry, but I think soaking this way helps extract their flavor.

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cooled poppy seed mixture to this, and beat in the egg yolks(not the whites)one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, blend in sour cream and vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the poppy seed mixture to the dry mixture, beating well. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Once it’s completely cooled, you can slice into wedges and serve with tea or coffee, or as a light dessert with low-fat whip cream.

You can also wrap the Coconut Cake in double-layered plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for a month. Make sure to bring to room temperature before serving.


  1. Hi Deb,

    yes, to make a low-sugar recipe, omit the sugar and use 1/2 cup honey instead of 1/3 cup. and make sure you use sweetened shredded coconut – honey alone will not be sweet enough.

    If you do need a little more sweet when u taste the batter, just add some brown sugar.

    hope this helps! it’s indeed a nice cake, esp with coffee, but be prepared for a less-sweet taste!:)

  2. Hi, I’m sorry but am I seeing an edited version? The recipe has 1c sugar in it. Should I just leave it out to get the original version? Thanks, I appreciate the answer as I am needing low sugar recipes withouth using artificial sweetners!

    BTW this looks delicious!


  3. lovely recipe…liked the idea of using honey instead of sugar..good for health.

  4. Unique recipe and low in sugar,looks delish:)

  5. Anita – yes, there is no sugar in the recipe, as I intended to make this as a light Coffee cake that can be enjoyed with tea or coffee. However, the honey and the sweetened coconut do give it a mildly sweet taste. But if you want it as sweet as a regular cake, just substitute the honey with 3/4-1 cup sugar, and you should be fine:)

    hope this helps!:)

  6. Anonymous says:

    hi! this is a great recipe, and I’d love to try this. but you have not used sugar in this recipe, only honey, so will this be sweet like cake?


  7. that’s a beautiful recipe Mansi! I love the addition of sour cream!:)


  8. wow, this seems like such a better use for poppy seeds than dumping them on the bagels!:)


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