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Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)

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This poppy seed cake is a nice substitute to the popular "Poppy Seed Roll" because it is a bit easier to make and literally melts in your mouth.  Not too sweet, this moist soft cake is so good, it is impossible to have just one piece. Bogusia served them next to fresh strawberries which made the dessert table so scrumptious, we had to restrain ourselves from skipping the dinner and going straight to dessert!

Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)


INGREDIENTS FOR BOTTOM LAYER CRUST 

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 stick of butter (soft, unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
 
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE BATTER MIX
  • 1 pound of prepared Poppy Seeds (or 850g).
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 spoon of instant coffee
  • 1 spoon of cocoa
  • 9 spoons of cream of wheat powder
  • 5 apples blended (squeeze the juice out)
  • 1 1/2 spoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Almond extract
  • Powdered sugar for topping


POPPY SEED CAKE RECIPE DIRECTIONS

1. PREPARE CRUST.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl by hand until you have a smooth dough. Put on the rectangular baking pan. 

2. PREPARE POPPY SEEDS. The Polish know how to cook with Poppy seeds since they precook them before placing into the dough for added flavor. If you can find prepared poppy seeds in a 850g can, that works.  Or, you use any poppy seeds and prepare the the old fashioned way, like cooking rice. Place all poppy seeds in a pot or pan with water about 2 inches above the seeds. Cook until the water has evaporated. Then, place the cooked poppy seeds in a blender or food processor with raisins. Blend until the two are mixed well. Remove mixture into large bowl.

4. PREPARE APPLES. Chop and core 5 apples. Mix in the same blender and drain juice. 

5. SEPARATE EGGS.  Use an extra large bowl for the egg whites, and add the egg yolks to your poppy seed bowl mixture.  Then, for the egg yolk/poppy seed bowl, add sugar and butter and mix well. Then add coffee, cocoa powder, cream of wheat powder, blended apples, sugar, baking powder, and almond extract.

6. BEAT EGG WHITES.  Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg whites until fluffy and firm.  Fold it into poppy seed mixture carefully with a spatula, and then place the mixed batter over the base. 

7. BAKE.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Check with tooth pick, if it is still wet inside, bake another 5 minutes and check again.  When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut in squares.  Great to serve with fresh strawberries.


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