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Poppy Seed Cake

20 minutes


12 pieces

It is no secret that I love a tasty poppy seed dessert. And I’m not talking about sprinkles of poppy seeds here and there, I mean a dessert with a proper poppy seed filling. This poppy seed filling can be found in the traditional Serbian dessert that I love, love, love – the famous Poppy Seed Strudel. But this recipe combines the creamy poppy seed filling with a delicious tender, soft, buttery crust, turning it into a delicious layered cake. Put this Poppy Seed Cake at the top of your to-do list. It’s delicious!

Butter Crust

The crust for this recipe is essentially a type of dough – but don’t let that fool you because it bakes into a crust that is delicious! The crust of this recipe is tender, soft and sweet to bite into, trust me you will love it!

To make the butter crust, simply prepare one dough and split it into three even parts. Start by preparing the yeast with some warm milk, a tsp of flour and a tsp of sugar. While the yeast rises, sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. To the flour and baking powder, add the room temperature butter and combine well until it resembles crumbs. Then add in the whole egg, sour cream, yeast and sugar. Combine well with a dough hook.

Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it set aside while you prepare the poppy seed filling. Once the poppy seed filling is done, split the dough into three even pieces.

*Measure the dough on a scale as a whole. Take the weight of the dough and divide this by three and measure out the three even pieces of dough. This is how you will get nice & even layers of the butter crust.

Poppy Seed Filling

The poppy seed filling is easy and quick to prepare. Simply grind the poppy seeds in a blender until they become slightly refined. Add the poppy seeds to a pot with the sugar. Pour heated milk over on top and add the jam. Combine well over the stove on low heat. This will only take a couple of minutes. You should get a creamy poppy seed texture. Split the filling into two halves.

Putting the cake together

Grease the bottom of a rectangle cake tin. Once the dough has been divided into three even parts, start by rolling out each piece to the dimension of the rectangle tin. Use the bottom of your cake tin to help with the measurements.

Place the first layer into the cake tin and spread half of the poppy seed filling on the bottom layer. On top of this place the second butter crust layer and spread the second half of the filling on top. Finally place the last layer on top.

Bake in the oven for roughly 30 minutes. The cake should turn into a golden brown colour, this will indicate that it is done. Let the cake cool down. Once it is cool, spread over some melted chocolate & sprinkle some powdered sugar.

Poppy Seed Cake  - two slices

Some Baking Tips

Have all of the ingredients at room temperature: Butter, milk and eggs should be at room temperature before using. Room temperature ingredients incorporate much easier before using. Take ingredients out at least 1 hour prior.

Read through the recipe before starting: Read through the instructions so that you know the order of things and what tools you will need. This will help you be better organized and avoid any frantic moments.

Pre-measure everything: It will be easy to follow the recipe through if all of your ingredients are ready and prepared. Measure them out into bowls. That way you can just grab them when you need them.

Measure & Divide the butter crust: One the dough is ready, measure it on a scale. Take the total number and divide by three. This will ensure that you get three even layers.

Use the bottom of the cake tin as a measurement guide: Simply use the bottom of the cake tin as a way to measure the size of the cake layers. Do not worry if your cake layers are slightly bigger, you can always cut the edges off.

Keep the oven door closed: You do not want heat to escape before or while you are baking the cake.

Poppy Seed Cake - Slices

To serve the Poppy Seed Cake, lightly dust some icing sugar and serve. This cake tastes delicious and often much better the next day. This is because the poppy seeds would have have had time to set in the fridge! You can keep this cake for up to three days in the fridge or keep frozen for up to a few weeks.

Poppy Seed Cake

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:

Chocolate & Walnut Roll

Easy Homemade Lamingtons

Koh Kolac / Hot Milk Cake

I hope that you enjoy this Poppy Seed Cake. Leave a comment and let me know how this recipe turns out for you. If you get a moment, please leave this recipe a rating. If you get a little stuck or have any questions, you can also reach me over on Instagram



Adjust Servings
1sachet instant dry yeast
50ml warm milk
1tsp sugar
1tsp flour
150g caster sugar
600g all purpose flour
300g cubed butter (room temperature)
1/2tsp baking powder
1 whole egg
200g sour cream
For The Poppy Seed Filling
300g poppy seeds (ground)
150g caster sugar
100ml milk (heated)
2tbsp apricot jam
Chocolate Topping
150g chocolate, melted
Icing sugar as desired


The Dough
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, flour and warm milk. Set aside for 5 minutes. In a stand mixer, add the sifted flour, baking powder as well as the room temperature cubed butter. Mix the flour and butter until it resembles a fine crumb mixture (this should take 3 or 4 minutes).
Add the sour cream, sugar, egg and yeast mixture. Mix with a dough hook for roughly 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Once the dough has formed a smooth ball, cover with a towel and set aside.
Mark as complete
The Poppy Seed Filling
Heat the milk on the stove – but do not boil. In a mixer, blend the poppy seeds until they resemble a ground texture. This should take roughly 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer the poppy seeds into a pot, add the sugar and combine. Add the apricot jam and hot milk. Stir on the stove on low heat until everything is well combined. You are looking for a creamy texture. This should take only a minute or two. Divide the poppy seed filling into two even parts.
Mark as complete
Putting the cake together
Grease the bottom of a rectangle cake tin with some oil and sprinkle some flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into three even parts. Roll out each piece of the dough to the dimension of the rectangle tin.
Place the first layer into the cake tin and spread half of the poppy seed filling. On top of this place the second butter crust layer and spread the second half of the poppy seed filling. Finally place the last butter crust layer on top. Bake in the oven for roughly 30 minutes. The cake should turn into a golden brown colour. Once the cake has cooled down, spread the melted chocolate and refrigerate.
Mark as complete

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