This is one of my favorite recipes from my mother. As I’ve said before, she was a great cook and a practical one as well. This recipe uses ready-made cake mix and combines it with pudding mix. This combination was popular in the 70’s and now some cake mixes already have pudding mix in them. The result is a flavorful and chewy cake.

Poppy Seed Cake
1 package 2-layer butter cake mix (or whatever cake mix you like – I used yellow cake)
4 eggs
1/2 cup salad oil
1 cup water
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 large package (4 1/2 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
Preheat oven to 375°. Beat ingredients together 10 minutes with electric mixer. Pour batter into generously buttered and floured (I used cooking spray with flour for baking) 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes. Cake will rise very high, but will settle when cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. This cake freezes very well.
Oh no. While typing this recipe I realized I forgot the cup of water. The cake (I made bundt muffins, again) is, well, dry. I thought I had just overcooked them. Oh well, I hope Alyssa likes them anyway. If not, we can toss them and try again another day. I’m traveling to visit her this weekend and will take them rather than arrive empty-handed.
The great thing about cooking is that you can try, experiment, make mistakes…and the world doesn’t end. I can remember my mom making a mistake and just starting over. We learn by example and don’t even realize it. Having watched my mom just laugh it off or shrug her shoulders and make it all over again makes it easier for me to deal with my blunders. I was disappointed about the cake. I had planned this for weeks. I’ll just have to make some when I get home and send up a fresh, moist batch.
What I did wrong on this occasion, because I was in a hurry, was to not obey the cardinal rules of cooking from a recipe:
1) always read a recipe all the way through before starting
2) after adding all of the ingredients, check the recipe again.
Oh well. They still taste good. It’s that vanilla pudding sweetness and kick.
Happier cooking next time.