Eastern European Poppyseed Cake

Hi again.  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve been here, but I went away for Easter break.  I had 8 days off of work, plus weekends, and took the time to fly over to Italy for a while.  It was so nice, and I’ll share all my pictures.  I have plenty.  I got back last week, and I’ve been busy unpacking and getting re-settled.  An unexpected game of musical apartments is also keeping me on my feet.  The other day I made a poppyseed cake that my family usually eats at Easter, and while I still missed my family, the poppyseed is delicious!!  I found the recipe here, and tweaked it just a bit.  I’ve been trying to post it all week, but the pictures wouldn’t load.  Today I got a migraine at work, and they were nice enough to send me home because I looked so awful.  Now that I’m feeling a lot better, I finally have the time and the bandwidth to share this with you guys!!

It was surprisingly easy, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.  I was super-apprehensive because this was the first time I hadn’t boughten {consider this my formal entry of the word boughten into the English language} it at a very specific bakery.  If you like poppyseeds, I think you’ll love this recipe.  Let’s just all hope we don’t get drug tested for opium in the next few days!

Poppyseed Cake:


Poppyseed Filling:

  • 1/2 pound poppyseeds {More is better than less.  The poppyseeds are the star of this recipe.}
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup hot milk


  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2+ cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, separated.  {Original recipe calls for 1 but I could tell that my dough needed 2.}


  1. Grind your poppyseeds in a food processor if you’re going to.  I didn’t and everything turned out fine, so I say save the electricity.
  2. Mix your poppyseeds with the hot milk, melted butter, and 3/4 cup sugar.  Cover and refrigerate.  You should probably use a bigger vessel than I did, just in case it expands.  So anything larger than a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup should work just fine.
  3. Mix the yeast with the warm water and 2 tbsp sugar.  Let stand until foamy.
  4. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in butter using a knife or pastry cutter; your mixture sure look like large crumbs when you’re done.
  5. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the flour/butter mixture and add the egg yolks.  Stir it together and you should have a soft dough.
  6. Knead dough on a floured surface about 5 minutes, until springy and smooth.  If it’s too sticky, knead in a little flour at a time.
  7. Cut the dough in half.  Roll out each half into a rectangle 12x16in.
  8. Spread half poppyseed filling in each rectangle, leaving an inch on all sides.
  9. Fold the 1-inch border over on each side, and press down.
  10. Roll up the shorter side of each rectangle, like a jelly roll.
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Place rolls, seam side down, on the baking sheet and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  13. Preheat your oven to 350°F {176°C}
  14. Brush the rolls with the egg white.
  15. Cut diagonal slits in the rolls.
  16. Bake in the preheated oven 30-40 minutes, until dark golden brown on top.
  17. Remove from oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel until cool.
  18. Slice when cool and enjoy.
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Combine the poppyseeds, hot milk, melted butter, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

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Cut the butter into the flour and salt.

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Dissolve the yeast in the yeast and warm water… let sit until foamy.

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Add the yeast and eggs to the flour and stir.

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It’s starting to come together, into a soft dough.

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After kneading.

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Roll out one half into a 12x16in rectangle. I didn’t use a ruler.

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Fill with half of the poppyseed filling, leaving a 1 inch border all around.

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Fold the border over on all sides.

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Roll up like a jelly roll.

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Let both rolls rest on the cookie sheet in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until just about doubled in size.

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Create horizontal slits for steam to escape, and because they’re pretty. Brush with egg whites.

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Bake until dark golden brown. Cover with a clean kitchen towel until cool.

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Ready to be sliced.

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Delicious!!!  Please ignore the sloppy photography… I was too busy devouring the poppyseed cakes.

Have you ever had a poppyseed cake?  What foods remind you of your family and special celebrations like Easter or Passover?

7 thoughts on “Eastern European Poppyseed Cake

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