This Poppy Seed Cake was my favourite cake growing up. Sure, in my first decade I had a soft spot for the Triple Chocolate Brownie Pie that my Mum learnt in America (where else?), and in my teens I rather enjoyed Grandma’s Apple Almond Cake, but at the end of the day I always pined for the poppy seeds.
(Wait, do you know what I’ve just remembered? I actually liked my Grandma’s stewed fruit dessert more than her almond cake. The plump and luscious prunes and apricots, in particular, made my heart flutter. Gosh, I really was an, erm, unique child.)
I even asked for this Poppy Seed Cake to be my birthday cake one year. People, it’s not even a proper icing-able celebration-looking cake. It’s a brown loaf with black specks throughout. A delicious brown loaf with black specks throughout, mind you.
It really doesn’t seem surprising, now I think about it, that the girl who preferred stewed prunes and gluten-and-dairy-free poppy seed loaves to triple-layer buttercream-frosted cakes grew up to swoon over raw brownies with avocado icing and porridge made from coconut flour and polenta.
But you know what? That girl, who is also this girl, who will now stop talking in third person, was on to a good thing with this Poppy Seed Cake. It is utterly, utterly delicious. Sweet and fragrant with a burnished outer edge and a soft crumb, this cake beautifully showcases the enticing slightly-smoky-nutty flavour of poppy seeds.
If it weren’t for the fact that I’m hoping my parents will take me to a fancy restaurant this weekend for my birthday, I’d totally ask for this again as my birthday cake.
Gluten-free and Dairy-free Poppy Seed Cake
From The Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 185g Nuttelex (or butter/preferred dairy-free butter)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups gluten-free self raising flour
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease and line a loaf tin.
- Combine poppy seeds and soy milk in a small jugs and leave to soak for one hour.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the poppy seed mixture, Nuttelex, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and, still on low speed so as to avoid a flour explosion, beat until combined.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for three minutes until the mixture has lightened in colour. Tip into prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove from tin to cool.
- This cake is particularly delicious when cut into thick slabs and spread with a little more Nuttelex (or butter, if that’s your fancy). Cake-sandwich!
Note: You can, of course, replace all of the dairy-free and gluten-free options here with their traditional counterparts.