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Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Custard Cake…the prettiest simple spring cake! Easier than you’d think to make…and most importantly, so delicious! The sweet lemony poppyseed cake acts as a boat that holds a light creamy vanilla custard and sweet blueberries that burst in the oven. If you love lemon poppyseed cake and you love a crème brûlée, this combination is just for you! Finish this simple, fresh, and exciting cake off with a dusting of powdered sugar.  Every last crumb is SO GOOD. Enjoy for brunch, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert – truly delicious. Bonus? It’s so pretty…with very little effort.

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

Oh, this cake! You guys, I do know I say this very often, but I am really so excited about this one. When I set out to make this, I was not sure it would really work. I was very worried it could require multiple rounds of testing, and even then, not end up working.

But to my surprise, everything worked almost perfectly the first time around. That almost never happens with baking recipes, but I was so happy it did! The funny thing about this cake is that it was inspired by two very different recipes, an old school blueberry cake I found on Pillsbury and my recent crème brûlée.

Not exactly sure how I put two and two together, but it worked! With Easter coming up, followed by Mother’s Day, this feels like the perfect cake for both!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

The idea

As I mentioned above, the cake itself was inspired by a brunch-style cake created by Pillsbury way back in the day. As you guys know, I’ve been into retro recipes lately. I’ve been doing more and more research on vintage recipes and it’s taking me in all directions.

What I love about the retro Pillsbury cake is the center. It was filled simply with blueberries. It sounds delicious as is, but something about the center of the cake inspired me. Then I thought about doing a crème center with blueberries on top. And when I say crème, I mean the creamy custard you’ll experience in crème brûlée. So delicious brûlée…plus lots of blueberries!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

It sounded too delicious to not at least test it out. So even though I was pressed for time, I tested the idea.

And now here we are! It just goes to show you that you shouldn’t knock something until you try it, you know!?

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

The details

Start with the cake. It’s simple but made special with fresh lemon zest and poppy seeds. Mix your wet ingredients with the dry, then beat in a little sour cream to keep the cake very moist.

Now, the key to this cake is to create a bit of a “bowl” for the custard and berries to bake up in…or actually, it’s kind of like a “nest”. You’ll

spread the batter out into a springform pan, then push it up the sides to create room for the custard and berries.

It’s simple, and honestly kind of fun to do!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

Now make the crème center

Mix the eggs with a bit of sugar, then pour the steaming cream into the eggs. The key here is to be constantly whisking the yolks with the hot cream. You don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!

Add the custard to the “nest” you created, then sprinkle on the berries.

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

Bake it up and about forty-five or so minutes later your cake is done! The longer you bake the cake, the more set the custard becomes. And on the same note, the longer you chill the cake, the more set the custard will become. I love mine on the creamy, but runny side, so I like to chill for an hour or so.

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

And that’s it…simple, pretty, perfectly sweet, so creamy inside, but with just the right amount of sweet, lemony, poppy seed cake surrounding all that creaminess…SO GOOD!

Perfection beyond belief. Hope you guys all enjoy this fun spring/summer cake!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other spring cakes, try these:

Strawberry Chamomile Olive Oil Cake with Honeyed Ricotta

Hydrangea Flower Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Strawberry Chamomile Naked Cake

Lastly, if you make this Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Custard Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories Per Serving: 307 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Blueberries

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper.
    2. To make the cake. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla until combined. Add the flour, poppyseeds, baking soda, and salt, and beat to combine. Beat in the sour cream until just combined. Spread the batter over the bottom and 1 1/4 inch up sides of the prepared pan, creating a boat for the custard. Making sure batter on sides is 1/4 inch thick and you have an even layer of batter on the bottom (see above photos).
    3. To make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
    4. Place the cream over medium heat and gently warm until steaming. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. In a slow stream, whisk about 1/2 cup of the cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so they don’t scramble. Whisk in the remaining cream. Pour 3/4 of custard into the center of the cake, reserving the remaining 1/3 cup.
    5. In a bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, and flour. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of berries over the custard. It's going to be jiggly. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently pour over the remaining custard, then sprinkle on the remaining berries. Bake another 20 - 25 minutes until the sides of the cake are deep golden. The custard should be pretty jiggly in the center. If you want a looser custard, bake a total of 45-48 minutes.
    6. Let cool, then release the cake from the mold. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until ready to serve. The colder your cake is, the more set your custard will be. When ready to eat, generously dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and enjoy!!
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Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Crème Cake halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a creative and beautiful cake. I forgot the vanilla in the custard and skipped the powdered sugar and it was still perfect- exactly as pictured. The blueberries really shine and it is not too sweet. I disagree with the comments that the cake is too dense- the batter is very thick but in the end there is a lovely gradient of textures and densities but never overly dense. I wonder if those commenters overmixed? There were several points where things were scary. Adding the egg to butter/sugar did not look right even when combined well, almost like something had split. Then it seemed like there was too much flour but the yogurt softened it up nicely. Also, the custard starts totally liquid so it’s worth it to take your time and make a nice nest with the batter. A+. Best summer cake. We couldn’t wait and had some slices before chilling and it was so good. Can’t wait to have another slice for breakfast today

    1. Hey Caroline,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Thanks for sharing your feedback! Have the best week:) xxT

  2. 4 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! Made it yesterday for my birthday and it was an unusual and delicious treat (even though the custard overflowed it still worked perfectly!). Just recently started following you on Insta — you’re doing a GREAT job, keep going!

    1. Hey Beth,
      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your feedback! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit and thanks for making it! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday for my daughter’s birthday and our only problem was the 7 of us all wanted a second slice – but it wasn’t big enough for that! 😀 I promised them I would make it again soon. So yummy and to me it was really easy to put together! Thank you

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  4. I have not read thru all the comments – but could this be made so that the custard sets up? I used to buy a pecan/custard coffee cake at our local bakery (square shaped) that I loved – but the custard was “set”. Thank you!!!

    1. Hey Susan,
      Sure, that should work well for you, you might have to cover some of the cake with foil towards the end of making so it does not get to brown. Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  5. 5 stars
    Second go around on this recipe!!! I love the separation of taste I get from the hint of lemon to the blueberry’s and then the poppy seed…. The second day throw a 20 sec. Nuke on a piece and your golden!!!!

    1. Hey Andrew,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!! Have a great week:) xxT

  6. I have a question. My husband can’t eat poppy seeds or any seeds due to a medical issue so if I left them out, will it be good because it looks really delicious and I want to make it.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      You can leave them out:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    I had difficulty spreading the dough in the pan because of its’ density. Because of that I didn’t get the “nest” deep enough and the custard flowed over a bit. I was pleased that it still turned out as pictured. We brought it for a dinner party. We all enjoyed the dense cake and the custard combination. The cake wasn’t very sweet ( which we all liked). The host of the party isn’t a dessert person and he ate a piece… he also asked for a piece to keep for tomorrow! I liked the combination and may try it with raspberries sometime. Thanks!

    1. Hey Bruce,
      Happy Sunday!! Love to hear that you have enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it!! xx

  8. Looks lovely, but when I do poppyseed I go back to my Hungarian roots and make Bailgi , or poppyseed roll, it always gets rave reviews at get togethers and my family loves it!

  9. 5 stars
    I have made this twice so far – it is fantastic! The second time I baked it a little less in order to have a more liquid center – I prefer this, but both times it was delicious! This is so unique, it is a keeper!

    1. Hey Sabrina,
      I would store in an airtight container in the fridge. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  10. 3 stars
    This recipe looks amazing and I wish it worked out for me. I’m an experienced baker and made many of your recipes and they have been wonder! Unfortunately the custard didn’t come together. I used the right amount of eggs (large size) and heavy cream but it never solidified. Not sure where i went wrong. I’ve read the recipe over 100x and can’t figure it out.

    1. Hey Juliette,
      So sorry you had issues with the recipe. What do you mean the custard never came together? Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan

    2. I just made this last night… When it is time to pour the custard into the cake center, it is totally liquid. As it cooks it solidifies somewhat – and you can adjust baking time to make it runnier or “custard solid”. I did 48 minutes and then 3 hours in the fridge and it had.a little run to it, but mostly solid. Just thought I would share.

  11. love this recipe, made it the second time now!
    The dough is kinda dense but I think that goes really well together with the gooey custard.
    also loved that it is not too sweet

    1. Hey Luisa,
      Fantastic! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a wonderful holiday weekend 🇺🇸 xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I made this on a rainy day but it’s the perfect summer cake! Not too sweet and so so so refreshing. Will definitely be making this again, maybe add some strawberries for 4th of July? 🙂

    1. Hey Andrea,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Love the strawberry idea. Have a great week:) xTieghan

  13. 4 stars
    I made this custard cake without poppy seeds. Our young neighbor girl is allergic to nuts, and i wasn’t going to risk poppy seeds. Yes, our neighbor was a very pregnant mom of two kids and pregnant with twins, so we volunteered to cook for them her final week and first week of twins at home.
    I agree with others that this is a dense cake/pie but it is also very much a showpiece. If you want to dazzle your guests, this is very showy.
    I followed recipe exactly minus the poppy seeds and it turned out almost just like the picture. I chilled overnight and the center was still gooey, which was fine.
    Crust i rate a 10 out of 10
    The custard needed to be richer for my wife and I so i am adding vanilla beans and doubling the amount of sugar to make it more of a sweet dessert.
    I am going to serve this version at my wife’s book club.

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Saturday! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  14. Are you able to make the cake beforehand and store in the fridge for a day or two? I want to make this for mothers day. I would like the cake to be fresh so I want to put in the oven day of. I was planning on making the custard and baking the cake in the oven on Sunday. How is this 3 hours and 15 minutes if the prep time is 25 and the cook time is 50? Let me know if you can! 🙂

    1. Hey Jenna,
      This cake is required to sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving, as stated in step 6, hence the 3 hours and 15 minutes. If you want to make this ahead, I would make the entire cake ahead of time and just keep covered in the fridge. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan