lemon poppy seed cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Filling

I’ve made this cake several times over the years with rave reviews each time. The resulting cake is extremely moist and has a velvet texture using my not-so-secret “dense up” method for store-bought cake mix. The frosting is light and not overly sweet, which balances out the sweet, tart raspberry pastry filling of each layer.
This no-fail recipes is easy for beginners.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time4 hours


  • Parchment Paper
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup for liquids
  • Measuring cups for dry ingredients (Yes, there is a difference!)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Icing spatula
  • Cake leveler or bread knife and toothpicks
  • Wire cooling racks



  • 1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (also includes ingredients listed on box)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cup water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds


  • 1 cup raspberry filling


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, either using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, combine dry cake mix, flour, sugar, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Add oil, water, and additional wet ingredients called for on the cake mix package. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or 5 minutes by hand.
  • Grease and flour three 6" round cake pans. You can use butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray. Then, place three circles of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. You can do this by placing the bottom of the pan on the parchment paper, trace it, and then cut accordingly with scissors. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minute before removing from pans. Place on wire wrack to cool completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, combine powdered sugar and unflavored gelatin in a small bowl and set aside. Next, pour heavy whipping cream into a large mixing bowl, and either using an electric or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on high until peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar/gelatin mixture one teaspoon at a time until blended and whipped cream has the consistency of frosting. Remove bowl from mixer, cover, and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour.
  • Once the cakes are cooled, level each with a cake leveler and add ½ cup of the filling to both layers, leaving the filling about ¼ inch from the edge. When you place the next layer on top, it will press the filling to the edges cleanly. (I bought the raspberry filling from a cake supply store online. It's pretty standard.)
  • Frost cake with prepared whipped cream frosting. Optionally, you can garnish the top of the cake with fresh raspberries and mint leaves as shown in the picture.