This continental Poppy seed cake is a tea time favourite. A sweet poppy seed filling layered in between a rich buttery, vanilla flavoured cake. This slab-style poppy seed cake was my favourite childhood cake made by my Russian grandmother- this one is now one of my favourite cakes to make. I'm sharing her recipe in this post
I have even used any left over filling to swirl into muffin batter, bake them and then freeze. I like to finish this cake with a light lemon glaze, or dust liberally with pure icing sugar before serving.
Poppy seed filling
This recipe is the basic poppy seed filling used for Babkas, yeast roll or a butter cake. It is a time consuming filling to make, but well worth the effort.
Poppy seed Filling
550g ground poppy seeds
4 1/2 cups full cream milk
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sultanas
4 eggs separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence or 1 medium lemon rind grated
In large pot, add poppy seeds, sugar, honey and milk. Stir until well mixed. Place over a medium to low heat and boil for 20 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes so it doesn't burn. Add sultanas after the first 10minutes of cooking. The cooking is complete when all the milk has absorbed and the poppy seeds are soft to taste and plump. Allow to cool completely.
After the cooked poppy has cooled, with electric beaters, whip the 4 egg yolks with 180g sugar until thick and creamy and pale in colour. Add lemon essence and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Pour whites on top of egg yolk mix. Sift cornflour on top of this, fold gently. Pour this mixture on top of poppy seeds and fold through. Add filling to Poppy Seed Babka, Poppy seed Bundt, Poppy seed yeast roll cake, or Poppy seed Muffins.
100 grams unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
30 grams vanilla custard powder
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/3- 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pure icing sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
hot water if needed
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease large, line and dust with flour, shaking off the excess flour, a large deep, rectangular cake tin. Cream butter until soft and fluffy, add sugar a 1/3 at a time until all incorporated and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Lightly whisk eggs and add to mixture a third at a time while still beating. Sift in flour, custard powder and salt. Beat until combined, adding milk a third at a time while the beater is still running until all the mixture is well mixed. Beat mixture on high for 1 minute, it should become lighter in colour.
Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the tin. Add poppy seed filling to about 5-6 cm deep. Spoon on the rest of the batter. Put into the oven, bake for 70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, leave in tin to cool. While still warm, glaze with lemon glaze- mix icing sugar, lemon juice until a thinned icing consistency- add some hot water a little at a time if necessary. Dust with icing sugar upon serving.