Exquisite Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Melt-in-the-mouth cake dough with Eastern European flavour.

Poppy Seed Cake recipe

Poppy Seed Cake

A cake with a typical Eastern European flavour. Traditionally, it is made with a brioche dough. But here, I choose a very melt-in-the-mouth cake dough.

It is prepared the day before to be eaten. The flavours will spread and it will be much better.

Ingredients (for a 24 cm long cake tin, about 16 slices):

Ingredients for the poppy paste:

  • 130 g poppy seeds, slightly ground (5 to 10 seconds in a blender/chopper),
  • 130 g full liquid cream,
  • 52 g honey,
  • 25 g blond cane caster sugar in granulated form,
  • 48 g or 1 medium egg,
  • 9 g wheat in fine semolina,
  • the grated zest of an untreated organic orange or lemon.

    Ingredients for the cake dough:

  • 330 g all-purpose wheat flour T65 type,
  • 165 g quality butter with taste, cut into pieces, at room temperature and soft,
  • 100 g blond caster cane sugar to be ground into icing sugar (about 45 seconds in a blender/chopper),
  • 30 g soft liquid honey, neutral in taste,
  • 3 medium eggs (175 g with shells),
  • 8 g baking powder,
  • 2 g salt (two large pinches),
  • 400 g poppy paste (do not put more, otherwise it is too wet).

No aromas are added to the dough, but a little vanilla, rum, kirsch, dried raisins, candied peel… can be added if desired.

Course of the recipe:

Poppy seed paste:

In a saucepan, warm strongly (7 to 8/10) the cream, honey and sugar, and mix with a whisk. When it starts to boil, pour in the poppy seeds and semolina, stir continuously and let thicken for about 3 minutes. Cool the mixture off the heat about 1/2 hour, then add the egg and zest. Chill the cream for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, it can be kept for 3 days in a closed container.

Prepare it in advance so that it develops all its flavours. It keeps frozen very well for a month.

Cake dough:

All ingredients (egg, butter, honey, flour and sugar) are at room temperature. In a mixing bowl, carefully mix the sifted flour, yeast, icing sugar and salt. Add the soft butter in pieces and whisk with the electric mixer at low speed for about 3 minutes (cover the bowl with a cloth as fine powder will escape) until the powder becomes sandy without coarse grains. Buttering the powders in this way gives the cake dough an exceptional fondant.

Crack all 3 eggs at once and mix this time with the hook of the electric mixer at slow or medium speed for about 45 seconds. Stir in the honey (warm it to make it more liquid) and mix for about 30 seconds. Do not overwork the dough so that it does not become elastic.


For the assembly, do like a marble cake with alternating layers of cake dough and poppyseed paste (in total there are 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of poppyseed paste). Cool the cake dough in the refrigerator for 4 hours or 3/4 hour in the freezer. The 24 cm long cake tin is greased beforehand.

Divide the cake dough in three. To facilitate assembly, shape a layer of cold cake dough to the size of the cake tin. The dough should be slightly floured because it sticks easily. Place this layer in the mould. Spoon an even layer of half of the poppy seed dough on top of the cake dough, and so on. The layer of poppy paste should cover the entire cake dough and touch the sides of the cake tin because, during baking, steam will be able to escape from the sides and avoid deforming the cake.

Baking and storage:

Bake in convection mode, pan at the bottom of the oven, 10 minutes at 230°, then 50 to 55 minutes at 160°. Insert a pin in the centre of the cake, if it comes out without a trace and barely moist, it is just cooked.

Allow it to cool down for 2 hours and wrap it in plastic film or in a box to enjoy it the next day. The cake will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight box with a paper at the bottom. It should not be allowed to dry out.

“If-” you'll be a Man…

Re-discover Rudyard Kipling's famous poem “If- you'll be a Man, my son” which has inspired so many generations. It celebrates the courage to overcome hardship.

I've decided to succeed

I have put together 10 tried and tested tips for finding the will to successfully achieve your ambitions and overcome obstacles in your personal and professional life.

Gourmet treats

Exquisite recipes for mini-cakes (madeleines, financiers, biscuits, cakes, muffins) and other delicacies (croissants, brioche, traditional cakes…).