Poppyseed Cake recipe

Tyna baked the Poppyseed cake that we shared around the fire on Saturday night and here is her recipe for those of you who would like to make their own:

Poppy Seed Cake

This is a brilliant cake for Imbolc celebrations but is also brilliant as a gift for new beginning of all kinds – for a naming ceremony for instance. Last year I gave it to a friend at the opening of a new art gallery and of course she now has the recipe. Briefly, seeds represent potential and new beginnings, poppy represents vision and inspiration, and honey is for love.


• 1 cup poppy seed
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 cup butter or margarine
• 1 1/2 cups sugar – I use brown caster sugar
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 1/2 cups plain flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda, scant
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt

Baking instructions

In a small sauce pan mix and gently cook the poppy seed with the honey and 1/4 cup water for 3 – 4 minutes. Allow this to cool. Cream butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. It won’t go as light and fluffy as a sponge because there is more sugar than butter.
Add the cooled poppy seed mixture to the creamed mixture, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Blend in the sour cream and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Gradually add the poppy seed mixture to the dry mixture, beating well.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into batter.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased and floured tin.
Bake in the middle of the oven 160 -170C for about 40/50 minutes – check.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Bits and Bobs
I often make this cake in two bread tins – one for now, one for later. It freezes beautifully. If making one cake you could use either an 8” or 9” tin. I always line the tin with baking paper. How long it takes to cook depends of course, on your oven, but this cake doesn’t seem to mind being taken out and prodded. It has never failed me yet. It is cooked when it is fairly brown on top and just firm on top. If it looks as if it is browning to quickly just reduce the temperature a little. It’s not a cake that you have to be concerned about the amount of air you are getting into it, even at the egg white stage. The sour cream guarantees its moistness. I prepare everything in separate bowls before I begin and beat the add whites just before I need them.

Enjoy!   Tyna x


1 Comment

  1. Julia said,

    February 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I made this poppyseed cake to share with my Five Rhythms group and it is delicious! I had trouble with the recipe in that I am not used to cup measurements. In converting it to grams I think I overdid it as I ended up with an enormous mixture. It made one large circular cake and one loaf tin size. Still that was a bonus as we ate the smaller one for Valentine’s day and there was so much left of the big one it went to a weekend workshop. The main thing is I must have got the proportions right as it tasted great.

    But what I love most is the symbolism of the seeds, poppy and honey. It felt like blessing everyone who ate it with new beginnings, inspiration and love! I must admit stirring the poppyseeds into the honey albeit on a gas ring did feel rather witch-like!

    Many thanks,Tyna, for the recipe.

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