Soured Cream Poppy Seed Cake recipe

Soured Cream Poppy Seed Cake recipe

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Nut and seed cakes
  • Poppy seed cake

This cake is very light, tender and tasty. It's fun to make and fun to eat. Ice with a buttercream icing if desired.

10 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 8 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 350ml soured cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 325g cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 80ml water
  • 80ml orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:20min › Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Pour boiling water over the poppy seeds and drain well over a fine sieve. If necessary, repeat this washing. Spread the poppy seeds on a tea towel and let dry overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Butter 2 (23cm) cake tins, and line bottoms with parchment . Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and 300g sugar until thick and lemon coloured. Beat in the soured cream and vanilla. Sift the flour mixture, and gently fold it into the egg mixture, along with the poppy seeds. Pour cake mixture into prepared tins.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. To make the Lemon Filling: In a saucepan, mix together 100g sugar, cornflour and pinch of salt. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, water, orange juice and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk 125ml of hot mixture into egg yolks. Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Once cake and filling are both cool, place one cake on a serving plate and spread with the lemon filling. Place second cake on top. Serve as is, dusted with icing sugar or iced with your favourite buttercream icing.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(9)

Reviews in English (9)

This cake is so light and very easy to make-04 Jan 2013

mnam, babovka :-D-22 Aug 2012


Delicious, light and moist tasting. I modified it a bit to make it easier to prepare. Used McCormick's poppyseed in a jar and once I did soak to soften, but then the second time I made it I used the poppyseeds without soaking. Either way is delicious. Also used lemon pie filling to save on prep time, although it would be just as delicious made in a bundt pan with a lemon glaze (lemon juice & powdered sugar). Co-workers were very impressed when I brought it to the office.-13 Mar 2005

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is so light and fluffy. Perfectly lemony and perfect for spring or summer! Or if you aren’t into cake, I’ve got a lovely Lemon Poppyseed Bread recipe too!

Related Video

What's not to love about any poppy seed lemon combo? I made the cake without the extra butter, used soured milk instead of buttermilk and soaked the poppy seeds (3 tbs) in the milk. The cake is wonderful and the white chocolate cream is surprisingly excellent even though I am not a big white chocolate fan. The two together are sublime and received rave reviews. This one is a keeper that I will return to again and again.

I have made this cake several times so obviously I think it is delicious. I have always found the recipe confusing because the idea that you would add butter to the dry ingredients makes no sense to me. The only change I make to the ingredients is that I eliminate the 6 tablespoons of butter you are supposed to cut into the dry ingredients. I just pretend that it isn't even there and blend the flour and other dry ingredients together. The two cups you blend with the sugar is plenty. If I make when strawberries don't look good I will use either raspberries or blueberries instead. I also use three ten inch pans because when I use the one and cut it into thirds it always ends up lopsided. The cake really sticks to the pan so don't skip lining each pan with parchment paper. Enjoy - it is a great cake.

I love this cake. The flavors are so wonderful. It's not too rich, it's more refreshing. I love to hear people's reactions after taking the first bite they're kind of in awe its great. I always follow the recipe exactly as stated and use Lindt white chocolate for its quality. Outstanding cake!

I've made this cake so many times I can't count it's a hit each time. People rave about it all the flavors are so wonderful, the cake is not too rich it's very refreshing. I always follow the recipe exactly one thing early on I learned was when they say butter at room temperature, they mean it. It makes a difference. And one time it fell and was really dense, and then figured out that my baking powder and soda were kind of old and weren't doing their job. This is a fabulous cake a real keeper!

The cake is a bit rich, but boy, it is delicious! I have made it for a 8 year old boy who does not like cholocate and he loved this cake and so did the rest of the guests. It ends up being a large cake, but there were no leftovers. The flavors are excellent. I am not a big fan of while chocolate, but once the flavors are mixed, you can barely tell there is white chocolate in it. It simply tastes excellent. Would make it and will make it again. Many guests asked me not to loose this recipe and make it again soon.

The cake got rave reviews at the party. The flavors are excellent. Few reviewers said that the cake was too dense, to I added more buttermilk and some more baking soda and powder. Also, part of the butter I substituted by sunflower oil.The cake had a very good texture. Also I am am a big fan of poppy seeds, so I added 3 Tbsps. It was a perfect amount. That said, it is quite a rich cake. When you look at the ingredients, I guess that should be expected. The cake turned out quite large and I thought it will be quite a bit leftover. I was wrong. Everyone wanted to take a piece home. No leftovers. Would make it again, as every guest at the party said I definitely should. Also, compare to other cakes I have made this is not too labor intensive. Do give yourself some time to chill it. The cake does not hold the shape very well. It is more messy looking cake, but that look goes well with poppies, pieces of strawberries and white fluffy cream.

I made this cake for Easter dinner and the guests fought over the leftovers. It was beyond delicious, and this has now been requested for three upcoming birthdays. I baked it in three 8" pans, which was perfect, and I didn't bother to frost the sides, which was easier (and prettier, in my opinion). I took the suggestion of using gelatin in the white chocolate mixture, but would not do that again. It made the chocolate mixture difficult to fold into the whipped cream. That said, the white chocolate chunks in the frosting were a hit, so go figure. Also, I got annoyed at cutting up the 6 T. of butter into the dry ingredients. I cut about 2 T into it, then said the hell with it, and creamed the other 4 T into the liquid part of the batter. If there is a compelling reason not to cream all the butter in at one time, please someone tell me. The poppy seed cake was amazing, and I would make that by itself any time. This cake was certainly more than worth the effort, and I'm looking forward to making it again soon.

I forgot to cut in the 6 T of butter and overcooked the cakes in 9" pans and this still turned out beautifully! The white chocolate cream is really a treat with fairly minimal effort - heavenly with fresh Louisiana strawberries! Oh, and I cheated and used 8 oz of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and they worked fine.

Full disclosure: no, I have not made this recipe. To anhey and Skippy14: I had printed this recipe out in 2006 (!), and was just checking out recent reviews in anticipation of making it soon. My old copy only lists one amount of butter (1 cup) in the cake recipe. There seems to now be an extra 6 tablespoons listed for no apparent reason. I say omit it, and see what happens. 1 cup is probably plenty for a cake this size.

This took about 20 minutes longer than the recipe to finish cooking. After mixing the cream and sugar for te frosting, it got runny after putting in the chocolate mix (yes, it was room-temperature) I had to re-mix for 5 minutes to get it to a stronger consistency. Great taste, but needs to be tweaked to work.

Fantastic cake. I made it last year and this year for my birthday and I will be making it each year. Everybody loved this cake. I used frozen strawberries, let them sit for 10 min only then they are easy to slice. It takes 3 min for the sugar, eggs & lemon to reach the desired temperature, but 20 min for the mix to thicken.

Hi Anhey in Seattle-- I haven't made this cake yet, but I think that the recipe is just written in a way that's a little confusing. The cold butter cut into bits gets mixed in the first four ingredients, and the room temp butter gets beaten with sugar, etc. See if that makes sense.

I have not made this yet, but I am wondering about the 2 different amounts of butter the cake recipe calls for. Is that a mistake? How have you other people made it? I'm assuming it's a mistype, but thought Iɽ try to find out.

This cake was spectacular!! I didnt have a candy thermometer and the chocolate cream took forever to thicken up. about 20 minutes (not 3 like it says). But that's the only difficulty I had making it. The cake was moist, delicious, and beautiful! I made it for a birthday party and it was a hit. Im already wanting to make it again. The white chocolate cream balances wonderfully with the strawberries and the cake. Make this cake, you won't regret it.

This cake was really marvelous but I was disappointed at how un-white chocolate tasting the filling and frosting turned out. I followed the recipe to the letter, using all 6 Tbls of lemon and that's what it turned out tasting like. It was very good but if you are thinking that it will be white chocolate tasting, it definitely doesn't. I used raspberry jam with the filling, omitting the strawberries (I was feeding people who have allergies to them) and it was very well received.

Strawberries were out of season when I made this, so I added 2 1/2 C of pureed frozen strawberries to 1 cup of white chocolate cream for the filling. I only cut the cake into two layers, filled it with the stawberry filling,and frosted it with the rest of the cream. The white chocolate cream by itself held up nicely, but the strawberry filling was very sloppy. I found the cake light and delicious, but the whole thing was about twice as good the second day--make it ahead of time and let the flavors blend overnight.

Flavors were great, but the texture of the cake was too dense in my opinion. I will definitely keep the white chocolate cream recipe for other cakes. It was very light and flavorful (used only 2 T. lemon juice but next time Iɽ use 3T). Be sure to whip the cream until very stiff. I used homemade strawberry jam between layers and it added just enough flavor. Thanks to other reviewers for advising to be generous with the frosting. It made plenty.

This cake was awesome! I made it for father's day, everyone thought it was great, but a little rich. I loved it just the way it was. Will definitely make again.

First of all, I did not use the poppy seeds. then looking at the previous reviews. I created what may be my best cake ever (and I bake ALOT). I made two layers and split them to make 4 layers. I put the white chocolate cream in between the layers with some chopped strawberries. then I iced the cake with a lemon buttercream and covered it with sliced strawberries. It lasted maybe about 20 min in my office. I would defiantly make it again.

I made this cake for a going away party for a friend. I followed the advice of edsz from Washington, DC (Thanks!) and multiplied all the amounts by 1.5. I baked it in 3 9X13 pans. It took approx. 15-18 minutes for each to bake at 350 degrees. I did not increase the lemon juice in the frosting and added 4 oz. more white chocolate. The result--an AMAZING cake that was a big hit at the party. Everyone commented on the lightness of the cake and that it was not oversweet. It was an excellent cake for an early summer afternoon party. Plus, as a 3 layer cake with strawberries on top--it was very impressive looking. I will definitely make it again.

This is an out-standing dessert, with a moist cake base, a killer presentation, an excellent combination of textures and flavors and frosting to die for -- IF you make it with pasteurized whipping cream. For reasons I cannot fathom, most of what is on the supermarket shelves is ULTRA-pasteurized whipping cream. As I have read elsewhere on this site, the high temperatures used in the ultra-pasteurizing process kills the very properties which allows cream to whip. The result is a wimpy, goopy version that does not pipe very successfully, even if you chill your bowl and whisk. Why they would sell something called "whipping cream" that doesn't really whip is one of the great mysteries of life, I guess. I have made this cake twice -- once with pasteurized whipping cream and one with ultra-pasteurized whipping cream, Night and day, my fellow cooks. Despite careful preparation and much prayer, the cake made with the u-p whipping cream listed badly, because the frosting was too insubstantial to hold the layers in place. As other reviewers have mentioned, I had a lot left over. Decorative piping? Fugedaboutit. SAVE YOURSELVES heartache and pain. It's not you. It's your whipping cream. Demand that your grocer carry a pasteurized brand. One final note: I baked mine in two nine-inch cake pans and split them for a four-layer beauty.

Outstanding! The cake was moist and delicious, and the white chocolate cream was as wonderful as the reviews. I baked the cake in 3 layer pans. Since the recipe made such a large quantity of the cream, I split the 3 cake layers into 6, and built upwards with the cream and berries (I stopped after 5 layers). Flavors were fantastic, cake and cream were easy to work with and held up well for 2 days. Will definitely make again.

I just wanted to add my 2 cents on the filling as it is a 4 forker IMHO. For a firmer filling I sprinkle 1 pack gelatin over the lemon juice, allow to soften then add it to the eggs and sugar proceed per directions. I also fold in a couple handfuls of chopped strawberries to the mousse as well as adding the sliced strawberries on top. One person described it as an "upscale strawberry cake" taste. (I use a pound cake base w/ a white chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream icing)

This Cake was FABULOUS. Though it DID take a little time to prepare, it was well worth the wait. It was difficult to keep from eating the entire thing before i served it. The only suggestion I have is to make sure you use plenty of strawberries. I used one layer of sliced strawberries between each layer of cake and it wasn't quite enough "berry" taste. Also- Whoever suggested using less lemon was right on. I used almost half the lemon suggested and the flavor was plenty strong. I will with out a doubt be making this one again sometime.

A BIGGER CAKE. I needed the cake to serve 14-16 people for Easter. Multiplied all the ingredients by 1.5 and made the cake in 3 - 9 x 13 pans. Even in my convection oven, I needed to change positions of the top and bottom pans half way through. The cake came out great and received wow reviews from everyone. Made the layers 2 days ahead. Made the frosting and assembled the cake the day before. Assembled the cake on a large foil-covered cutting board (It weighs a lot.) Had enough frosting to decorate the cake nicely.

Recipe: lemon and poppy seed cake – makes one cake

  • 120g very soft unsalted butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour (see above for a gluten-free cake)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 30g poppy seeds
  • finely grated zest of 3 large lemons
  • 100g soured cream or crème fraîche
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten

(1) Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan). Grease and base-line the base of a 6″ deep circular tin, or use a cake tin liner.

(2) Beat the butter and sugar together for about a minute until very pale and light. Sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl and add the rest of the cake ingredients. Mix well until just until combined, taking care not to over-beat (over-beating results in denser cakes as the gluten in the flour gets over-worked).

(3) Put the mixture into the tin and flatten the top. Bake for about an hour until golden brown, testing it is cooked after about 50 minutes by inserting a skewer into the centre: if it comes out clean, it is ready. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and test again. Put a sheet of greaseproof or foil over the top of the cake if looks like it is getting too dark.

(4) Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully. Peel off the greaseproof when cool.

(5) To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Add enough lemon juice to give a fairly thick mixture: it should only just hold its shape when you lift a spoonful of it out.

(6) Pour the icing onto the cool cake, starting in the centre and going out towards the edge. If you want a drip effect, let a little more of the icing pool at the edge in various places: it will gently and slowly drip down the side.

(7) Sprinkle over a few poppy seeds and lemon zest, and leave the icing to set before cutting.

Soured by Cookies, Saved by Lemon Cake

I tried a couple of new cookie recipes recently and as the saying goes, you win some you lose some. The first recipe Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies came from a book I received to review, Holiday Cookies. Decidedly MEH. The malt flavor was barely discernible and the milk chocolate did not stand out. Oh well, back to the proverbial drawing board. A few days later with the fall season in full swing, a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodles popped up on my feed. I should know better than to get swept up by fall pumpkin fever but they looked delicious so I baked a batch. Coming out of the oven, they looked good-a tinge of orange from the pumpkin, and a little cake-ier than I like but that was okay. I waited for the first batch to cool, grabbed one off the rack and took a bite…MEH. Noooo, another cookie bust. Little pumpkin or spice flavor, very nondescript. I lamented to a friend and decided I should bake something tried and true to restore my confidence, maybe Momofuku’s corn cookies, love em’ plus the Hubster was decidedly in favor of a batch.

But once again a new recipe caught my eye, not a cookie but a cake recipe. Food52 posted a lovely lemon poppy seed cake from Ottolenghi. I am a sucker for lemon and poppy seeds. Hoping my luck would change and having the utmost confidence in Food52 and Ottolenghi I decided to make the cake. After all, I can’t have three lemons in a row, even if the last recipe actually calls for lemons.

The cake is quick and easy. The recipe starts with beating eggs and sugar together until thick and frothy. Heavy cream is then added to the egg and sugar blend. I took the heavy whipping cream straight out of the fridge and with the mixer running, added it in a steady stream to the egg mixture. Beat until it has the consistency of pancake batter. The flour is then folded in along with the melted butter, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. The recipe calls for 3 lemons to make 1 tablespoon lemon zest but I only needed two good sized lemons and that’s with really packing the measuring spoon (because I LOVE lemon). The lemon was not overpowering. While the cake was baking, I made the lemon icing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

As soon as the cake is removed from the oven spread the icing over the top. Do not even think of forgoing the icing. It adds that sweet-tart lemony oomph and creates a beautiful glossy sheen. The cake has a nice crumb and is denser than say a sponge cake but lighter than a traditional pound cake. If you are a poppy seed addict you could increase the amount as you like. Thankfully this cake saved my week of baking. From cookie bust to cake champ. Sweet success.

Soured Cream Poppy Seed Cake recipe - Recipes

175g lactose free butter, softened, plus extra for the tin

300g gluten free self raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting

1½ tsp gluten free baking powder

225ml lactose free soured cream

zest 2 grapefruit, plus 3 tbsp juice

4 tsp poppy seeds, toasted

zest 1 grapefruit, plus 4 tbsp juice

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter then flour a 1.5-litre Bundt or ring tin. Beat together the lactose free butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, gluten free flour, gluten free baking powder, lactose free soured cream, grapefruit zest and juice, and toasted poppy seeds.

Scrape into the tin and level it off. Bake for 40-55 mins, depending on the shape of your tin, until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool a little while you make the icing.

Gently heat the caster sugar, lactose free butter and grapefruit juice to melt the lactose free butter.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 mins. Remove from the heat, stir in the zest and cool for about 10 mins until thickened and syrupy.

Turn the warm cake out onto a cooling rack and brush half the glaze over the cake. Spoon the rest over, little by little, so it sinks in.

Blackberry and star anise friands

Un-iced, these baby cakes are made for the cookie tin – they keep well and are ideal for grabbing on a whim. Iced, they would not look out of place in the poshest of afternoon tea selections. Makes 10.

340g egg whites (10 egg whites)
100g plain flour
300g icing sugar
180g ground almonds
2 tsp star anise, finely ground
⅓ tsp salt
Grated zest of ½ lemon
220g unsalted butter, melted and left to cool, plus extra for greasing
150g blackberries
For the icing (optional)
70g blackberries, plus 10 extra, to garnish
2 tbsp water
300g icing sugar, plus extra to dust

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Use melted butter to brush the bottoms and sides of 10 mini loaf tins (4.5cm high x 9.5cm long x 6.5cm wide), or similar small baking tins, and chill. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk to froth them up a bit don't whip them completely. Sift the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, star anise and salt, add to the egg whites and stir until incorporated. Add the lemon zest and melted butter, and mix just until the batter is smooth and uniform.

Pour into the baking tins, filling them two-thirds of the way up. Halve the blackberries and drop into the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little, take out of the tins and leave until completely cool.

To ice the cakes, put the berries and water in a small bowl and use a fork to smash the fruit in the water. Pass through a fine sieve, pressing the pulp against the sides. Pour three-quarters of the purple juice over the icing sugar and whisk vigorously to a uniformly light-purple, runny paste. It should be just thick enough to allow you to brush it over the tops of the cakes, and will set as a thin, almost see-through coating on top with some icing dripping down the sides. (If not, add more juice.) Place a blackberry on each friand and dust with icing sugar.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy

Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription--PopupClosed 12 days


Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends


DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.


Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year


These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.


Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year


These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months


Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Lemon poppy seed muffins

Zest from 2 lemons
98g Truvía® Baking Blend
260g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
190g reduced-fat sour cream
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
110g unsalted butter, softened
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
98g Truvía® Baking Blend, ground in a coffee grinder
Juice from 1 lemon


1. Preheat oven to 200° C.
2. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, Truvía® Baking Blend, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, vanilla, butter and lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.
4. Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture. Gently mix together until just combined, then fold in the poppy seeds.
5. Divide batter evenly into paper lined muffin cups.
6. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Prepare glaze by mixing lemon juice with ground Truvía® Baking Blend.
8. Brush or drizzle glaze on muffins.

With thanks to Truvía® for allowing us to publish this recipe www.truvia.co.uk

Other recipes you might like »

Red velvet cake

This stunning cake with red sponge and white icing is also suitable for gluten free diets.

Roy Fares’ brown sugar shortbread

Try out these simple but delicious treats - courtesy of award winning Swedish Pastry Chef

Chocolate fudge cupcakes

These bright and fun cupcakes will add a splash of colour to your Cake Break event.

Poppy Seed Cakes and Yeast Cakes

Traditional Poppy Seed Cake

I do not know why but the smell of baking yeast cakes just fills me with warm loving feeling, it is so wonderful.

Yeast cakes feature greatly in Polish festivals and there is Babka for Easter, Makowiec (Poppy seed roll) for Christmas Eve and doughnuts before the start of Lent and New Year’s Eve and Epiphany.

Surprisingly my mother did not seem to have a great success with yeast cookery, maybe her kitchen was a bit cool, I do not know. We got our yeast cakes from her friends. I have done lots of experimenting with yeast recipes and have had a lot of success (and some failures from which I also learnt much!). I now know that you can succeed in a cool kitchen you just have to start a day beforehand.

Watching the yeast rise still seems like magic to me even though I am well aware of the science that makes it happen. It can be unpredictable and depends on the yeast and the temperature.

I prefer to use fresh yeast but cannot always get it, so now I use dried yeast and also get good results. I have used the type of yeast that you add straight to the flour but I like to see that the yeast is active before it goes into the flour so this is not my favourite type – but I have to admit is does work in many recipes.

Many recipes use a batter starter and I like this method as you can see the yeast making the mixture really rise.

The best time to make a yeast cake is on a day when you are in and doing other things as the times for rising and proving can vary, you have to be around and do the next stage when the time is right, you cannot rush it.

One of the drawbacks with yeast pastry is that the cakes go stale very quickly so you need lots of people on hand to help to eat it all.

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are the blue-grey seeds of the poppy – Papaver somniferum. They have been used since antiquity and were known in Egyptian, Minoan and Sumerian cultures. They are used in European and Middle Eastern cooking and are especially popular in Jewish and in Polish cooking.

Mak is the Polish word for poppy seed and a cake made with poppy seeds is called makowiec.

This is one of the dishes served on Christmas Eve and I will be writing about the food for that evening later in the year.

Makowiec – Poppy Seed Roll

Traditional Recipe

This classic yeast cake is served on Christmas Eve. Poppy seeds and honey are used to make a filling which I think is just so delicious. Some fillings also use dried fruits such as raisins but I prefer it without.

I have been searching for many years for the best recipe for this cake and I think I now have it. Many recipes that I have tried, have made a cake which is so large that it has tried to escape out of the baking tray and the oven and I have been experimenting to get an amount which is more suitable for the standard size oven in the United Kingdom.

Also the shape of a nice roll of cake has eluded me till now, mine seemed to rise too much and crack and spread across the baking tray with all the filling escaping!

On a visit to Poland I was given a suggested that you wrap the rising yeast roll in greaseproof paper to keep its shape and this worked. So at last I have the size and shape that works well.

Without a doubt this recipes is time consuming – so in my next posts I will give some easier simpler variations which are also delicious.

There are 3 parts to the making of this cake: the poppy seed filling, the yeast pastry and the icing.

Poppy Seed Filling

I make the poppy seed filling first, or during the time the yeast is rising, as it has to be cool when used. You can make the filling ahead of time – there are several stages where you can leave it to finish later. I often make till until the addition of the butter and add the rum and egg just before I need it. You can also freeze this filling at this stage.

500ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)

120 ml runny honey & 1 tablespoon

¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence

Put the poppy seeds and milk into a saucepan and simmer then together for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop any sticking or burning. The aim is to cook the seeds and adsorb as much of the milk as possible. You need to watch this carefully and keep adjusting the heat to stop the mixture burning.

Using a fine sieve, strain the poppy seeds from the liquid – leave this for a while to remove as much liquid as possible.

The poppy seeds need to be crushed, I use a hand held blender for about 5 minutes which I find is the easiest way but you can use a pestle and mortar or a mincer.

Once crushed, place the poppy seeds back into a saucepan and add the ground almonds, the vanilla essence and the 120ml of honey and mix thoroughly.

Add the butter to the mixture and simmer gently for about 5 minutes and then leave this mixture to cool completely and then add the rum.

Whisk the 15ml (1 tablespoon) of honey with the egg yolk until this is thick and creamy and then add this to the mixture.

Just before you need the filling, whisk the egg white until it is stiff and then fold this egg white into the poppy seed mixture.

Yeast Pastry

5g fresh yeast or a 1/2 teaspoon of dried yeast

60ml of milk (whole or semi-skimmed)

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl then cover this with a tea towel or cling film and leave the bowl in a warm place for 3 hours.

After this place the bowl in the fridge – you can leave this overnight.

10g fresh yeast or 1 teaspoon of dried yeast

60ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)

100g butter at room temperature

Warm the milk slightly and put it into a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes or until you can see that the yeast is active and rising.

Add the starter, the egg and egg yolks, the pinch of salt and the flour. Mix and then knead the dough until it forms a soft ball.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and leave for 15 minutes.

Add the butter in tablespoonful amounts to the dough, kneading slightly at each addition and then knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and elastic but not sticky, if it is too sticky add some more flour knead till it is the correct texture.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise.

Putting together the poppy seed roll

Have ready a greased baking tray as the size of rectangle of dough you need is governed by the length of the baking tray.

When the dough is ready, roll it out into a rectangle of around 20cm by 25cm. It will be about 1cm in thickness.

Place the filling onto the dough leaving about 2cm clear at all the edges.

Roll up the poppy seed roll lengthwise and then enclose the roll reasonably tightly lengthwise in greaseproof paper, do not cover the ends of the roll which will rise and expand lengthwise.

Place the roll onto a baking sheet with at least 5cm at each end to allow for the expansion and leave this to rise for about 1 hour.

Pre heat the oven to GM4 – 180 o C

Place the risen roll into the oven with the greaseproof paper still on.

Bake for about 40 minutes and then cool on a wire rack, remove the greaseproof paper as soon as the roll has cooled slightly.

Before serving dust the roll with icing sugar – or you can glaze it with a thin lemon icing.

I cut the short end of the roll off and do not serve these.

Lemon Icing

The amount of icing sugar you need will vary, depending on the size of the lemon and the dampness of the sugar.

Place the lemon juice in a bowl and slowly add the sugar mixing it with a wooden spoon is best, use more or less sugar to make a soft runny icing which will coat the back of the spoon.

Easier Recipes

So that is the end of my first recipe, which does take quite a while to make but I felt I had to include this traditional version especially now I have mastered it.

There are many other poppy seed cakes and I will be continuing next with a few of these. They quicker and easier to make but are still very delicious and also a few recipes for poppy seed cakes which have evolved from these.