Poppy seed cake with vanilla sauce

I still had one package of ground poppy seeds from my parents. Much like ground, sweetened sesame seeds are a classic dish in Macedonia and Greece: Hungarians consume massive amounts of ground poppy seeds. They were best when we grew them at home, and my grandmother ground them fresh in her special cast iron grinder. Sometimes we just sprinkled them over pasta with some sugar. Heavenly!


250g poppy seeds

1 cup flour

2/3 cup icing sugar

zest of a lemon

0.25 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

0.5 cup vegetable oil

0.5 cup of milk

1 egg

vanilla sauce with rum extract


Butter and flour a 9-by-9-inch baking shape. 

Mix the dry ingredients, then add in the wet ones and blend well. Add more milk if necessary, so a pourable batter forms. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until center is just set.

Cook a European vanilla pudding mix with 100mL extra milk until thickened. It will be more runny than usual. Blend in a tsp of rum extract at the end, and ladle around the cake slices.

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