Friday, May 8, 2009

Poppy Seed Cake

Now here is an interesting recipe. My good friend Angela was on a quest to make her husband's favorite cake for his birthday. It's one of those family recipes that not many other people have heard of-- so of course my interest was peeked when she mentioned it. She has only attempted to make this cake on one other occasion; years ago when she was 20 years old and newly married (remember that honeymoon period where you'll do anything to please your spouse?). Unfortunately, the cake did not turn out for her and her husband wouldn't even eat it (I guess he never entered that honeymoon period).

We decided to bake the cake together during one of our traditional "Friday Teas". I was surprised by the results. I'm not a fan of poppy seeds at all, but once I got beyond the texture issue of the seeds in a cake, it was pretty good. The "filling" layer was wonderful and I actually even liked the frosting, even though I usually do anything I can to avoid baking with vegetable shortening.

Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup Poppy seeds (we only used 1/4 cup and it was plenty!)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
5 egg whites

Cake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan

1. Mix poppy seeds and buttermilk in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Cream sugar and shortening together. Add poppy seed mixture.

3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt; mix well.

4. Fold in the egg whites (this part confused me because the recipe does not say to beat the egg whites, so I'm not sure why they need to be folded in. We even called the original recipe owner and she said they do not need to be beaten. I may make this again and beat the egg whites before hand and see what happens).

5. Bake cake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick cake tester is clean.

Filling and Topping:

This filling could be used between layers if you use cake rounds, but since we used a 9x13, it was between the cake and frosting. It was quite a combination to be mixed with the frosting so if you make a layered cake, I would suggest doubling the filling so that you still can have some under the frosting as well.

5 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and mix until well blended.

2. Boil, on medium-low, until it thickens to be like brownie batter.

3. Set aside and cool completely.


1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. With a whisk, combine milk and flour in a saucepan.

2. Heat over a low flame until thick, like a paste.

3. Set aside and cool completely.

4. Cream together sugar, shortening, butter and vanilla.

5. Add to cooled flour mixture and whip until spreadable consistency.

Assembling the cake:

1. Be sure both the filling and the frosting are completely cooled before assembling the cake.

2. Spread the cooled filling over the top of the cake. (if you made a layered cake, hopefully you made enough to spread between the layers and on top of the cake.)

3. Let the filling layer set up a bit before frosting. I put it in the refrigerator for about an hour before frosting.

4. Top with the frosting.

5. Chill the cake before serving and store in refrigerator.


Anonymous said...

Just don't eat poppy seed cake, before you have to take a drugscreen test, you'll end up with a false positive....and all kinds of questions! LOL

Nancy (tims_mom)

Tracy said...

Oh - NOW I see the filling recipe part I was asking about - I don't know how I missed that the first time around!