Mohnkuchen (Poppy Seed Cake)

Having a craving for poppy seeds? I’ve got the cake for you! # 68: Mohnkuchen (Poppy Seed Cake)


When I think of poppy seeds, images of light, lemony muffins and cakes come to mind. Now throw that image out the window for this bake. It has a dense layer of poppy seed laden custard on top of a soft butter cake, all topped with short crust crumble. It’s perfect for butter lovers!

The best part of this bake was all the fun textures. From the crumble topping, to the poppy seed filling that felt like chia pudding, to the very damp cake dough that held it’s shape and had to be pressed down into the pan.

Have you ever head of quark? Up until a week ago, I thought it was just a type of measurement for tiny particles. Well, it’s also the name of a creamy cheese that is similar in texture to Greek yogurt or smoother cottage cheese. The more you know! It’s apparently a normal grocery store item in western European countries, so this recipe didn’t provide me with any substitution suggestions. Google came to the rescue, however, and Greek yogurt was deemed sufficiently similar.



This is the perfect recipe to use your hands to mix everything together. I could have used a stand mixer to cut the butter into the flour and sugar, but why not go the old-fashioned way.



The cutest lil short crust ball!



My “quark” mixture: full-fat Greek yogurt, milk and oil. I then sifted in the flour and baking powder and kneaded it all into a cohesive dough.



Sadly, I don’t own a coffee or spice grinder, and as a result my filling had a speckled look. Ideally, you grind the poppy seeds into powder before adding them and get a smoother, uniform mixture.

Another fun ingredient tangent – semolina! I actually thought it was made of corn (based on the golden color – don’t judge) but it’s actually finely-ground durum wheat. Apparently durum wheat flour is different from whole wheat flour because it doesn’t include the wheat bran or germ. Learn more here.



It baked for nearly 15 minutes longer than what the recipe called for. PSA – always go with your gut! Sometimes the cake really does need an extra 10 minutes in the sauna.



It is surprisingly not very sweet! Perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. And maybe a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top? I think yes!



Happy munching!


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