Vegetarian Amish Onion Cake Recipe with Poppy Seeds and Sour Cream

Amish Onion Cake

Vegetarian Amish Onion Cake Recipe with Poppy Seeds and Sour Cream
Region / culture: Amish | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 8 | Vegetarian diet


Amish Onion Cake
Amish Onion Cake

The Amish Onion Cake is a savory delight that combines the sweetness of caramelized onions with the richness of a buttery, cake-like base. This dish, often overlooked by those unfamiliar with Amish cuisine, offers a unique twist on traditional savory baked goods. Perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or as a comforting family meal, this recipe brings a touch of Amish simplicity and warmth to any table.


The Amish Onion Cake has its roots in the hearty, home-cooked meals of the Amish community, known for their simple yet delicious approach to food. Originating from the Pennsylvania Dutch, who are renowned for their baking, this recipe has been passed down through generations. It reflects the Amish values of frugality, family, and hard work, utilizing basic ingredients to create a filling and flavorful dish.


How to prepare

  1. Cook 0.5 cup of butter with onions for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in poppy seeds, salt, paprika, and pepper.
  3. Cook while stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and sugars.
  6. Cut in 1.25 cups of butter.
  7. Melt the remaining butter.
  8. Whisk eggs, milk, sour cream, and melted butter.
  9. Stir in the egg mixture.
  10. Spread the mixture into a greased pan.
  11. Spoon the onion mixture over the dough.
  12. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
  13. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 35 – 40 minutes.
  14. Serve warm.


  • Consider adding grated cheese on top for a cheesy crust, or mix in some cooked bacon pieces into the onion mixture for a smoky flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results, consider the following tips:

- Use sweet onions for a milder, sweeter cake.

- Caramelize the onions slowly to develop a deep flavor.

- Cold margarine is crucial for achieving a flaky texture in the crust.

- Do not overmix the dough to keep it tender.

- Let the cake rest for a few minutes after baking for easier slicing.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Amish Onion Cake warm as a side dish with a main course of roasted meats or poultry. It can also stand alone as a satisfying lunch option with a side salad.

Cooking Techniques

Slow caramelization of the onions is key to developing the flavor. Using a pastry cutter to incorporate the margarine into the flour ensures a flaky texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

Butter can be used in place of margarine for a richer flavor. For a lighter version, Greek yogurt can substitute for sour cream.

Make Ahead Tips

The onion mixture can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The dough can also be mixed and kept chilled until ready to bake.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish with fresh herbs like thyme or parsley for a pop of color and freshness. Serve in a cast-iron skillet for a rustic presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A crisp white wine or a light beer complements the rich flavors of the cake well. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling apple cider is a great choice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (177°C) until warm throughout.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving contains approximately 400 calories, making it a substantial part of a meal.


A single serving of Amish Onion Cake contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources include all-purpose flour, sugars, and onions, providing energy for the body.


This dish is rich in fats, with about 27 grams per serving, mainly from margarine and sour cream. These fats contribute to the cake's moistness and flavor.


Each serving offers around 7 grams of protein, coming from the eggs, milk, and to a lesser extent, the flour, aiding in muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

The Amish Onion Cake provides a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A from the margarine, calcium from the milk and sour cream, and various B vitamins from the eggs and flour.


Common allergens in this recipe include eggs, milk, and gluten. Those with sensitivities should take caution.


Overall, the Amish Onion Cake is a calorie-dense dish, rich in carbohydrates and fats, with moderate protein content. It also offers some vitamins and minerals, making it a hearty option for those without dietary restrictions.


The Amish Onion Cake is a testament to the simplicity and deliciousness of Amish cooking. With its rich, savory flavors and versatile serving options, it's a recipe that invites experimentation and brings comfort. Whether you're new to Amish cuisine or looking to expand your culinary repertoire, this dish is sure to satisfy.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first saw this recipe for Amish Onion Cake. It was many years ago when I was visiting my friend Martha in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Martha had invited me over for dinner and had prepared a delicious feast of traditional Amish dishes. As we sat down to eat, she brought out a steaming hot onion cake that looked absolutely mouth-watering.

I had never heard of Amish Onion Cake before, and I was eager to learn how to make it. Martha explained that it was a simple yet flavorful dish made with onions, eggs, and a few basic ingredients. She told me that the recipe had been passed down through generations in her family, and she was happy to share it with me.

After dinner, Martha and I sat down in her cozy kitchen, surrounded by the warm glow of the wood stove. She handed me a piece of paper with the handwritten recipe for Amish Onion Cake. As I read through the instructions, I could feel my excitement growing. I knew that this recipe would become a cherished addition to my own collection.

The next day, I set out to gather the ingredients needed to make the onion cake. I visited the local farmer's market and picked out the freshest onions I could find. I also made sure to get some farm-fresh eggs and high-quality flour. As I gathered everything together, I thought about Martha and her family, and how they had passed down this recipe through the years.

Back in my own kitchen, I began to prepare the Amish Onion Cake. I sliced the onions thinly and sautéed them in a skillet until they were golden brown and caramelized. The sweet aroma of the onions filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation.

I mixed the eggs, flour, and a few other ingredients together to create a simple batter. Then, I gently folded in the sautéed onions, being careful not to crush them. I poured the mixture into a greased baking dish and popped it into the oven to bake.

As the onion cake baked, the kitchen filled with the tantalizing scent of savory onions and warm spices. I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish and see if it lived up to the one Martha had made for me.

When the timer finally dinged, I eagerly pulled the onion cake out of the oven. It was a beautiful golden brown, with bits of caramelized onion peeking out from the top. I let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into it and taking my first bite.

The flavors of the Amish Onion Cake were simply divine. The sweet caramelized onions paired perfectly with the fluffy, savory cake. Each bite was a symphony of flavors, comforting and satisfying in the best way possible.

I knew then that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen, just as it had been in Martha's family for generations. I made sure to write it down in my own recipe book, alongside all the other treasured dishes I had collected over the years.

As I enjoyed another slice of Amish Onion Cake, I thought about the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. I felt grateful for the opportunity to learn this recipe from Martha, and to carry on the tradition of sharing delicious meals with loved ones.

In that moment, surrounded by the warmth and comfort of my kitchen, I knew that this recipe would always hold a special place in my heart. And I looked forward to passing it down to future generations, just as Martha had done for me.


| Amish Recipes | Amish Vegetarian | Brown Sugar Recipes | Egg Recipes | Milk And Cream Recipes | Onion Recipes | Poppy Seed Recipes | Sour Cream Recipes |

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