Today’s recipe comes from Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. I received this beautiful cookbook for Christmas last year.
We were invited to a party for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with the request to bring a cultural dish. Unfotunatley, we weren’t able to make it due to a long day at work for my husband.
Yea, remember the Games? Did you forget that happened this year?! Not going to lie, I kinda did, too. But I wasn’t able to watch much of them due to my current time zone combined with those little children of mine.
I knew I wanted to bring a Polish dish and decided on trying this Poppy-Seed Cake.
This cake uses a LOT of poppy seeds.
It’s probably a good thing I ended up not sharing this cake at the party because with my luck one of the guys would’ve been randomly drug tested the next day. I was seriously nervous about the poppy seed concentration when I thought my 2 year old was acting a little loopy. If you’re concerned about your intake of poppy seeds, check out this article, which provides a guideline to poppy seed consumption limits.
I had some dilemmas with the recipe, though. And actually, the photographs I’m sharing with you today are from my second attempt. Attempt number 1 is in my freezer, as it’s still quite edible, just far from beautiful.
The recipe called for a pound of poppy seeds. Do you have any idea how many poppy seeds make up a pound!?! I’m still finding stray poppy seeds in the corners of my kitchen!
My food processor couldn’t break down the tiny seeds into a paste, so I recommend getting a spice grinder and working in batches. Because my poppy seed texture wasn’t quite right, I had a lot of extra liquid which caused seepage out of the cake roll.
I had so much left over filling that I decided to simply try again! The second time I (sorta) followed a different method for the cake I found on YouTube.
I would honestly suggest halving (or quartering!) the filling recipe, but I’m leaving it as written.
Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 lb poppy seeds
- 3 C milk
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 1 C superfine sugar
- 1 C chopped walnuts
- 1 C slivered almonds
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 egg whites, beaten
Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2/3 C superfine sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 C whole milk, warmed to 105-110 deg F
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 4 C bread flour
- 2/3 C golden raisins
- 1 egg, beaten
- Ingredients for the glaze:
- 3/4 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- milk, as needed
- Heat poppy seeds and milk in a pot over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Cover and let sit over night.
- Drain the seeds, place in a food processor, and pulse until they form a paste. Add the sugar, nuts, zest, and extract, and pulse a few seconds. Remove to a bowl and fold in the egg whites.
- Allow yeast to proof in the warm milk, 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, stirring until combined. Add the milk and yeast. Add some of the flour and mix. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add the remaining flour and the raisins. Knead until the dough forms around the hook.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place cake on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush cake with the egg. Bake 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth and runny. Pour over cake while still warm.