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Category: Desserts

German Poppy Seed Cake

Unless you hate to dance, how could you resist a recipe that promises to "make you click your heels and shout ole"? This lively claim for Spanish-style baked fish appeared in a little book called "Chicken Soup to Nuts" produced ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour plus 2 hours standing | Serves 12
Note: "The Cook & the Cadenza" by the International Committee of the Southern California Symphony/Hollywood Bowl Assn. came out in 1969. Singer Marni Nixon, who contributed this cake recipe, said her children called it their "bug cake. . . . If this seems just a bit macabre, you must know that our whole family has a 'thing' about spots. We have always had Dalmatian dogs, we all have freckles, and we are all mad about polka-dots!".


  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for preparing pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • Shortening, for greasing

Step 1Soak poppy seeds in milk 2 hours.

Step 2Cream sugar and butter at medium speed, 2 minutes.

Step 3Sift together flour and baking soda. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix well. Add vanilla.

Step 4Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold into batter.

Step 5Divide batter between 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks, then turn out onto rack.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Step 1Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and milk in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, then simmer, whisking frequently, until filling has consistency of light custard, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature (filling will set up more as it cools), then stir in maple extract.

Step 2Spread 1/2 filling across 1 cake, then sprinkle with 1/2 chopped nuts. Place second cake on top, then top with remaining filling and nuts. Cut into slices and serve.

Each serving:
374 calories; 188 mg sodium; 115 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 54 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.35 gram fiber.
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