Marbled Poppy Seed Cake and a Riddle

The next time somebody asks you the “How do you get your calcium?” question, you should probably say: “Poppy seed cake!”. Poppy seeds are an excellent source of calcium and they are absolutely wonderful in a cake, especially when added by the cup and not by the tablespoon.

Since there are so many different German recipes for poppy seed cake, I decided to go for a very simple yet absolutely delicious loaf pan marble cake. It is so moist, tender, and fluffy that every non-vegan will think you spent hours and hours in your kitchen creaming together tons of eggs and butter or whipping up a mountain of egg whites. And only you will know that all you did was whisk together some basic ingredients and sneak in some Kirsch-infused marzipan.

A slice of fresh poppy seed cake.

Marbled Poppy Seed Cake (makes 1 10 inch loaf cake)

Have ready a greased and floured 26 cm (10 inch) loaf pan. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

For the cake:

120 g (1/2 cup) plain soy yoghurt
180 ml (3/4 cup) neutral tasting vegetable oil
200 g (1 cup) sugar
240 ml (1 cup) non-dairy milk (I used spelt milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100 g poppy seeds (3.5 oz or 3/4 cup)
100 g (3.5 oz) marzipan
2 tablespoons Kirsch (or soy milk)
120 g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
180 g ( 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (or soy flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl whisk together yoghurt, oil, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Coarsely grind the poppy seeds and set aside. (I used my coffee grinder, but not every coffee grinder will grind poppy seeds. Check the manual or use a spice grinder, food processor, or mortar and pestle instead.)

Chop the marzipan and, using a fork, mash together with Kirsch until smooth. Set aside.

Add flours, baking powder, and salt to the batter and whisk until no lumps remain. Take care not to overmix the batter.

Divide the batter equally between two large bowls. Add poppy seeds to one batter and marzipan to the other. Stir both batters until well combined. Again, take care not to overmix. (the poppy seed batter should be smooth, but if a few marzipan lumps reamin in the other, that’s fine.)

Pour half of the marzipan batter into your loaf pan. Pour half of the poppy seed batter over it. Repeat with the remaining batter. Use a skewer to create a marbled effect by swirling it around the mixture in the pan. Bake the cake for 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the cake gets too dark at the top, cover it with aluminium foil to prevent further browning or burning.

We served this cake without frosting. If you feel like your cake shouldn’t go naked like that, a cinnamon icing is the traditional choice for this cake. Combine 200 g (1 cup) of powdered sugar with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice or soy milk to make the icing. Pour over the cake.

Oh and here’s the riddle. What did we find in the grocery store?



  • […] moist and surprisingly well-structured result. It’s a very funky mash-up of one of my favourite poppy seed cake recipes and a recent promising-sounding gluten-free muffin recipe that I wanted to try. I love the idea of […]

  • […] moist and surprisingly well-structured result. It’s a very funky mash-up of one of my favourite poppy seed cake recipes and a recent promising-sounding gluten-free muffin recipe that I wanted to try. I love the idea of […]

  • denis
    3 years ago

    I searched for that marzipan poppy seed cake long time and this one came out very delicious!!

    Can’t get enough of it. Next time I will mix everything into one batter since the marzipan-side doesn’t taste that special to me. OR I will mix it with some nougat.

    Thank you very much!

  • M
    5 years ago

    I love this cake! My only problem is that I don’t like marzipan. Do you think I can just leave the marzipan out? Or do you have any ideas for a substitute?
    Thanks sooo much in advance!

    • Mihl
      5 years ago

      You can probably leave it out. It might result in a crumbly cake though.

  • Robin
    7 years ago

    this sounds delicious! And the tribble is actually a Hericium erinaceus, or bearded tooth. Cheers!

  • 7 years ago

    I just cme over from Celine’s site. Your bread looks amazing – I am totally going to make this.

    • 7 years ago

      Thank you! Hope you like it.

  • Corrin Radd
    7 years ago

    Bearded mushroom.

  • have cake, will travel |
    7 years ago

    […] up there is Marbled Poppy Seed Cake, baked into 4 mini loaves for 30 […]

  • Lea
    8 years ago

    Made this cake for Easter and it was delicious! I think it was even better the next day. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    • 8 years ago

      Hi Lea, I’m glad you liked the cake. Thanks for your feedback!

  • 8 years ago

    Hi Milh!
    I’ve made the recipe with Chinese almonds and Goji berries instead of Marzipan. It was delicious. Thanks again for this recipe.

  • amysacksteder
    8 years ago

    Beautiful! I want to eat that cake right now! And is it a mushroom or fungus of some sort?

  • 8 years ago

    You hardly ever see a marble cake that isn’t chocolate/vanilla around here… What a unique take on the concept!

  • Gorgeous! I LOVE poppy seed cake!

  • Awesome! It looks very moist and delicious, no need for icing! Wow, your grocery store find is confusing me. I don’t know if I want to eat it or pet it! :D

  • 8 years ago

    I think that looks like a sea urchin, but who am I? I do love poppy seeds and just so happen to have my packet of seeds to spread in the garden! That cake looks yummy!

  • 8 years ago

    What a beautiful cake!! As for the mystery item, looks like some weird furry mushroom :)

  • 8 years ago

    ah ha ga! i remember that “trouble with tribbles” episode of star trek from when i was little. yay! i have no idea what that is, Mihl – but i do know that your marbled poppy seed cake = awesome!!!!

  • 8 years ago

    I didn’t know poppy seeds were a good source of calcium… And I wouldn’t have thought about grinding these seeds, so small they already are (we’re not very used to them in France). The color effect is very nice… And I’ve got all the ingredients at home, so why not giving it a try. It would be a nice change to the traditional chocolate-vanilla Marbled cake! Thanks for the recipe.
    About the strange ingredient, I would say a kind of fresh seaweed… Coral Seaweed? I’ve never seen it fresh though. And why not a Monkey Mushroom, which I’ve never seen fresh too?

  • 8 years ago

    That cake looks super good. With marzipan in it, mmm…

    Ha, I’d love to know what the thing in that last picture is!!

  • 8 years ago

    What a very different cake! I love it. It sounds really delicious by the ingredients!

  • 8 years ago

    MMM poppy seeds!

    The riddle answer: a shaggy mane (aka lawyers wig) mushroom. Delicious sauteed with oil and nutmeg


  • 8 years ago

    I had no idea poppy seeds were a good source of calcium! Unfortunately, I think they might be illegal here! Just like hemp. :-( Looks delicious though!

  • 8 years ago

    Is that a mushroom?!

    It looks like there’s a picture in your poppy seed cake!

  • 8 years ago

    OMG this looks amazing. I will have to deglutenize it, but I have a pretty good GF marble cake recipe to use as a base…I can’t wait. And the last time I bought poppyseeds at the Reformhaus, they told me they could grind them for me if I ever needed. Guess I need. :-)

    Oh, and I second the mushroom ides, but what a weird mushroom! If it’s edible, can’t wait to hear how it tastes…

    • 8 years ago

      Awesome that the Reformhaus will do it for you!

  • 8 years ago

    I’m not sure if I told you this already, but I like your new blog header.

    My guess is that that thing is some kind of mushroom.

  • 8 years ago

    That poppy cake looks so good – and spelt milk? Wow! I have never heard of that one. And I have no idea on the riddle…puzzled.

    • 8 years ago

      Spelt milk is the new thing over here. It tastes very sweet although there is no added sugar in it.

  • 8 years ago

    That Poppy Seed Cake looks AMAZING mihl! I’m loving the addition of kirsch infused marzipan!
    Mmmmm yeah….
    I have no idea what that ferby thing is though, I have never seen anything like that before in my life. I’m guessing it’s some sort of Funghi?

  • 8 years ago

    Oh, I love poppy seeds! This looks great.

    And… yeah, I have no idea what that is. I’m going to second the tribble guess! :)

  • 8 years ago

    You had me right at the beginning with “marbled poppy seed cake”, but “Kirsch-infused marzipan” definitely sealed the deal! That cake sounds amazing! If I can’t find a 10″ loaf pan, what would you suggest as an alternative?

    As for the riddle, you have me puzzled…

    • 8 years ago

      Do you have a 9 inch pan or a bundt pan? They should work, too.

      • 8 years ago

        Yes, I have a 9″ round pan, and a bundt pan. Thank you for the tip! Hmm, a marbled poppy seed bundt cake would be terrific. :)

        • 8 years ago

          My first idea was to make this in a bundt pan. I bet it’ll look great!

  • 8 years ago

    delicious sounding recipe and a very delicious looking fungi of the Hericium genus! Nice find!

  • 8 years ago

    I didnt realize that poppy seeds were so good for you! All the more reason to use them and it looks like you picked the perfect option!

  • 8 years ago

    I adore poppy seeds in any kind of meals, and this looks delicious!

  • tofuparty
    8 years ago

    I have no idea, but I’m so much intrigued.

  • 8 years ago

    What a yummy poppy cake! Did you find a mutant fuzzy melon? I really think the two above have it, though ;)

  • 8 years ago

    A tribble!
    Ah wait, I came here for the cake. Looks delicious!

  • Neta
    8 years ago

    Looks delicious!

  • 8 years ago

    It appears to be a Polygeminus Grex.

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