The other day my Mom was telling me about being a young computer programmer, before she met my dad (and became a pirate). She was living in a small German coastal town in Namibia called Swakopmund, in a little house on ‘Rue de Alie’ by the beach, earning more than she quite knew how to spend. A thing that she loved to do on her days off was to go to a place called Cafe Tref, and order a slice of their famous poppy seed cake, or in German, Mohnkuchen.
While she was telling me all this – I started to get really amped to recreate that poppy seed cake for her. Like a blast from the past on a plate!
So, with a bit of googling and whatsapping to Oma I concocted a recipe. And after a few re-bakes and adjustments – I got exactly what I wanted.
A poppy seed cake literally jam packed full of poppy seeds, with a good texture, and not overly sweet. Yummy!
My Mom was in poppy cake heaven – and I think I just found a new favorite cake recipe. There are so many things to love about it!
What I Love About This Poppy Seed Cake
Awesomely, this poppy seed cake is naturally gluten free, paleo, low carb, high in protein and can count as a superfood recipe!
Poppy seeds are pretty packed with nutrition and contain a hefty whack of minerals, fibre and protein. What gets me super excited is that they have lots of zinc – which is great for your skin. So with bite I think to myself that I am feeding my skin!
If you are following a gluten free or low carb eating plan, then this recipe ticks those boxes without your even needing to think about it.
I called it a breakfast cake – because it’s the kind of cake I can easily eat at 11 in the morning with some coffee. That’s the method my folks, Nick and I used to polish off my testers… But you can honestly eat this cake at any point. Top with cream or some sauce, and you can serve if for dessert. As well as stuffing one’s face with it at all other intervals or course.
Another reason for the breakfast cake name is that I used a cup of oat flour. Oat flour has a fancy ring to it – but you can easily take some normal oats, and turn it into flour if you have a food processor, high power blender or an electric coffee grinder.
In addition I have brought down the sugar quantity to make this into a cake which can stand as a breakfast substitute.
Lastly, on a technical note, I used a pretty detachable ring pan for a baking pan, as it gives that lovely old fashioned feeling! You can use any kind of pan – it does not need to be patterned! – but one where the sides are detachable is great for easy extraction once baked. I hate breaking cakes when trying to take them out of a pan!
Poppy Seed Breakfast CakePrint This
- 1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature works best)
- 1 cup oat flour (or oats)
- 5 separated eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (you can also use water)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
Making the Oat Flour
As I said above, if you do not have any oat flour – you can easily turn some oats into oat flour if you have a food processor, good blender or electric coffee grinder.
- Take a cup of oats and process it in one of the above appliances until it forms a smooth powder.
- Check to see if it has made a cup of flour. If not, do a little more to make up the shortfall.
Making the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- Combine the poppy seeds and the milk (or water). Using a stick blender, process them for 5 minutes. This will break up the poppy seeds a little and result in a nice texture in your cake. You can also use a coffee grinder for this – just be careful that you do not turn them into a powder, and then leave out the liquid from the maceration process.
- Add the oat flour to the poppy seed mix, stirring to incorporate.
- Place the butter in a large bowl and beat.
- While the beater is running add the egg yolks one by one. Continue beating for 2 minutes after adding the last yolk.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat for another few minutes.
- Clean your beaters with hot water and soap. Give them a rough dry.
- Place the egg whites and pinch of salt into a medium sized bowl.
- Beat these until the they form soft peaks.
- To combine all ingredients, fold in a quarter of the stiff egg whites into the yolks/butter/ sugar mix. (This divided combining helps with the texture)
- Fold in the remaining whites.
- Lastly fold in the ground poppy seeds/oat flour mix and the vanilla essence.
- Scrape the batter into a greased baking pan. I like to use a pan where I can detach the sides, as the cake is apt to break when dropped out of an inverted pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a inserted knife or toothpick comes out mainly clean.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the pan and leave to cool further on a wire wrack.
Serve plain, spread with honey, or topped with cream or another topping or your choice.
As mentioned earlier, this is a semi sweet cake. If you wanted a sweeter version - then you can either up the sugar quantity (it will not adversely affect texture), or top with honey, syrup, jam etc after baking or per serving.