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Polish Recipes Newsletter

Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)

We love going to our friend's Polish parties--the food is always amazing. Rarely will you ever see a party with store bought food, large or small, and instead you see the work of lots of friends and family members slaving around their kitchens for weeks to put off a meal that few catering companies could rival. Everything is made from scratch, including this poppy seed cake recipe I got from my friend Bogusia at her husband's birthday party.
This poppy seed cake is a nice substitute to the popular "Poppy Seed Roll" because it is a bit easier to make and literally melts in your mouth.  Not too sweet, this moist soft cake is so good, it is impossible to have just one piece. Bogusia served them next to fresh strawberries which made the dessert table so scrumptious, we had to restrain ourselves from skipping the dinner and going straight to dessert!

Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)
Polish Poppyseed Cake Recipe

Ingredients For Bottom Layer Crust

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 stick of butter (soft, unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
Ingredients For Cake Batter Mix
  • 1 pound of prepared Poppy Seeds (or 850g).
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 spoon of instant coffee
  • 1 spoon of cocoa
  • 9 spoons of cream of wheat powder
  • 5 apples blended (squeeze the juice out)
  • 1 1/2 spoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Almond extract
  • Powdered sugar for topping


1.  PREPARE Crust.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl by hand until you have a smooth dough. Put on the rectangular baking pan. 

2.  PREPARE Poppy Seeds. The Polish know how to cook with Poppy seeds since they precook them before placing into the dough for added flavor. If you can find prepared poppy seeds in a 850g can, that works.  Or, you use any poppy seeds and prepare the the old fashioned way, like cooking rice. Place all poppy seeds in a pot or pan with water about 2 inches above the seeds. Cook until the water has evaporated. Then, place the cooked poppy seeds in a blender or food processor with raisins. Blend until the two are mixed well. Remove mixture into large bowl.

4.  PREPARE Apples. Chop and core 5 apples. Mix in the same blender and drain juice. 

5.  separate eggs.  Use an extra large bowl for the egg whites, and add the egg yolks to your poppy seed bowl mixture.  Then, for the egg yolk/poppy seed bowl, add sugar and butter and mix well. Then add coffee, cocoa powder, cream of wheat powder, blended apples, sugar, baking powder, and almond extract.

6.  Beat Egg whites.  Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg whites until fluffy and firm.  Fold it into poppy seed mixture carefully with a spatula, and then place the mixed batter over the base. 

7.  bake.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Check with tooth pick, if it is still wet inside, bake another 5 minutes and check again.  When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut in squares.  Great to serve with fresh strawberries.

Polish Poppy Seed Cake Recipe


Recipe help please

What size baking pan(s) for the Makowiecz cake? Do you mean teaspoon or tablespoon, in the recipe? What size stick of butter? (8TBL of sweet butter?) How many servings are in this recipe? Is this something that can be made as makowiecz cupcakes? Thank you! ;-)

Poppyseed cale

I have had poppy seed roll that had a hint of orange in it - how much orange would you add - would you use juice, orange sections, orange zest...?

poppy seed cake

would like to try this recipe

Poppy seed cake

The poppy seed cake is interesting. My daughters tried it in London a few years ago and have raved about it ever since. I will be making this cake for Christmas this year. I would be interested though in a recipe for the roll which I make for most Christmases. I am particularly interested in the dough as my roll always has a gap between the dough and the poppy seed filling, not like the picture on your recipe. What do I do to overcome this problem? Any advice would be appreciated.

Poppy Seed Cake

I'm anxious to try the recipe but I have a question. Is the cream of wheat powder the same as Cream of Wheat in the cereal section of the supermarket?

I checked on this too since

I checked on this too since it was a little bit of a surprise for me too.  Yes, that is it!  

Poppy Seed Cake

This is the first time I have seen a Makowiec cake and not roll. I will have to try it out soon. Thanks for posting it.

I liked that it wasn't a roll

I liked that it wasn't a roll too, a little easier to make and tasted equally as good if not better.  Please let us know how it turns out when you try it!

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