Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Custard and Nutella

Poppy Seed Cake with Homemade Vanilla Custard and Nutella, a fabulous dessert that can be the star of any party. It might look posh, but it’s super simple to make. This is what I call perfection!

A slice of poppy seed cake with homemade vanilla custard and nutella on a small plate with a glass of flowers in the background

Forget about ready-made cakes that cost a fortune, this is the mother of all cakes! And 100% homemade with little effort and simple ingredients.  Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it is true, take my word for it.

It’s actually a favourite of mum’s, she makes it pretty often, so I had to take advantage of my holiday in Romania and get to bake some yummy stuff with her. I also had a chance to try her fancy kitchen aid, that is a really nice kitchen gadget.

Comparing to my cheap and old hand mixer, this is something else, baking becomes even easier. Not that my hand mixer doesn’t do a good job, far from it, it does the job and I can’t really complain.

So, what is the secret to these perfect layers of deliciousness?

  1. Some seriously delicious POPPY SEED SPONGE
  3. A nice layer of plain BISCUITS/CRACKERS
  4. A finger-licking layer of NUTELLA

A collage of 4 photos to show how to make poppy seed cake with homemade vanilla custard and nutella

It might look complicated, but trust me, it’s not. Firstly, get your sponge ready, then pop it in the oven, and while this is baking, you can get the vanilla custard ready.

It’s super simple, fail-proof, and better than any store-bought version. NEVER EVER buy those sachets of pudding powder or whatever, you can make your own pudding with fresh ingredients so easily.

You don’t even need to wait for the sponge and custard to cool down, you can assemble the cake while they are still warm.

The biscuit/cracker layer can be optional, but I find that it helps spread the nutella easier, rather than to spread the layer of nutella over the custard. No mess, and you can also cut some pretty decent slices of cake once it settles.

Just make sure you leave the cake to settle for a couple of hours in the fridge after you assemble it, it tastes even better when it’s cold, and plus you get better layers when you slice it.

Make sure you use a sharp knife to cut it, and that you clean it often while you slice, the nutella and the custard tend to stick to the knife a bit. But that’s pretty much all, then what’s left is some seriously delicious cake for everyone to enjoy.

If you like custard, why not try my fabulous Portuguese Pastéis de Nata Recipe (Portuguese Custard Tarts)? Easy to make and super yummy too.

Close-up shot of a white plate with a slice of poppy seed cake with vanilla custard and nutella

If you’ve tried my POPPY SEED CAKE WITH HOMEMADE VANILLA CUSTARD AND NUTELLA or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

5 from 1 vote
Poppy Seed Cake with Homemade Vanilla Custard and Nutella
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Cooling time
5 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Poppy Seed Cake with Homemade Vanilla Custard and Nutella, a fabulous dessert that can be the star of any party. It might look posh, but it's super simple to make. This is what I call perfection!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Servings: 12 cakes
Calories: 621 kcal
Author: Daniela Anderson
For the poppy seed sponge
  • 10 egg whites
  • 200 g sugar
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g poppy seeds
For the vanilla custard
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups full-fat milk
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 g no-salt butter
Other ingredients
  • 12 plain biscuits/Graham crackers
  • 1 cup nutella
  1. To make the poppy seed sponge, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).

  2. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks.

  3. Add the sugar and continue to beat for a further 2-3 minutes, until you you get a meringue-like consistency.

  4. Add the vanilla extract, baking powder, flour and poppy seeds, and mix again to combine.

  5. Line a rectangle baking tray (25x28 cm or 9x11 inches) with perchament paper, then spread the poppy seed mixture into a layer, and bake for about 20 minutes until a tooth pick insterted in the middle of the sponge comes out clean.

  6. To make the vanilla custard, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a smooth consistency, then add the sugar, flour and vanilla extract.

  7. Pour the milk into a pan, and set it over a medium heat. Add the egg mixture to the milk, and whisk for about 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

  8. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, and add the butter cubed and mix well until fully incorporated.

  9. Spread the custard over the poppy seed sponge, then add a layer of biscuits/crackers over the custard, and then top with the nutella.

  10. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing.

  11. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes
  • Click on the US Customary link (under the ingredient list) to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
  • The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
  • Please see the post for more tips about making the cake.
Nutrition Facts
Poppy Seed Cake with Homemade Vanilla Custard and Nutella
Amount Per Serving
Calories 621 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 52%
Saturated Fat 20g 100%
Cholesterol 211mg 70%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Potassium 403mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 52g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 16.1%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 27.3%
Iron 17.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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