I am pretty sure you are going to kill me. Because my blog is silent for almost two weeks and then another poppy seed cake recipe? Well, yes. Because poppy seed cakes are the best thing ever and there can never be too many. Never. (Did you know that 100 g of poppy seeds contain 1500 mg of calcium? Move over, superfoods!) Also this is a recipe I saw ages back on Instagram and wanted to make it since spring.Originally this was made with bright pink rhubarb. The colour contrast between that and the blue cake is just so lovely.

Unfortunately I missed the window to make this, rhubarb season ended months ago. But it’s summer and there are so many wonderful fruits available right now. I definitely won’t cry over unavailable rhubarb right now. Instead I feel very grateful that I can get black- and blueberries at almost every corner. Since they have almost the same colour as the poppy seeds they don’t stick out as much as the rhubarb. So my cake may not be super pretty, but it definitely is delicious! It has a very moist crumb, a hint of tartness from the blackberries (mat least mine were tart) and very crunchy and cookie-like crumbs. I made the cake and let it sit on the counter for about a day before it was demolished by my co-workers. I could save a couple of slices and am amazed by the fact that they still had a perfectly moist texture even after hanging out in the fridge for three or four days.

You should definitely try to grind the poppy seeds for this recipe! The ground seeds release some of their oil, which helps to keep the moisture. Another thing that helps is enough fat and sugar! I tweaked the recipe a bit for that. As for the berry filling, you can use both black-and blueberries or a mixture of both. If you don’t have a 20 cm springform pan, you can use a larger one. But please watch the cake and make sure to bake it for a shorter period of time.

On another note I recently found out that this year’s Vegan MoFo will be in November. There’s a new team of organisers and the rules this year are just as flexible as they used to be. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t take part in another round because last year I took it a bit too far and was exhausted pretty soon. I want my pictures to look a certain way and I have to write up every entry in two languages. That, a job, and a family doesn’t always go together pretty well. I also felt that people quickly lost their interest in the whole MoFo thing and I didn’t want to litter everyone’s feed and email folder. I was determined to ignore this year’s round but now I am not so sure anymore. I have a couple of ideas and a very loose theme that might save me some energy. After all this whole event is supposed to be fun.The only thing I am really concerned about is the fact that November is a really, really bad month for food photography in Germany. I use natural light and in November there is no such thing. It is the darkest and most depressing time of the year! And no warming soup will change that. But what can I say? It’s Vegan MoFo! What do you think? Are you going to participate? Do you have a theme?

Mohnkuchen | German Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Blackberries

Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Blackberries


For the cake:
240 ml (1 cup) soy milk
80 g (1/4 cup) soy yoghurt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
100 ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla
200 g (1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) poppy seeds, ground (Grind them in a small coffee mill. Make sure the mill is suitable for grinding oily seeds.)
200 g (1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
200 g black- and blueberries
For the crumbs:
100 g (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) flour
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a round pan (20 cm diameter) with parchment paper or grease the pan.

In a bowl combine milk, yoghurt, and vinegar and let sit to curdle for 2 minutes.

Stir in remaining liquid ingredients plus flax seeds.

Stir in sugar, vanilla, and poppy seeds.

Mix with remaining ingredients.

Stir in 3-4 tablespoons of the berries and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Place the remaining berries on top and prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients in a bowl.

Form large crumbs with your hands and place on top of the cake.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Remove pan and let cool completely before serving.








Before I can introduce today’s apricot cheesecake recipe I have to start with a couple of technical things. Because for this recipe, you are going to make your own quark. (No worries, it’s very easy!)

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that German cheesecakes are different from Northern American cheesecakes. Traditionally we use quark instead of cream cheese. Quark (or topfen in Austria) is a kind of soft cheese that is made from sour milk. It’s an early stage of regular cheese. Quark is similar to cream cheese somehow, but its texture is a bit more grainy. It also tastes differently. It is a bit blander and more sour than cream cheese. It comes in different varieties with different fat levels.

Vegan versions of quark do exist, although they do not really taste like the original version. Most also have a different texture. A popular yoghurt and soy milk brand seems to make their quark by reducing the amount of liquid in their yoghurt, to obtain a firmer texture. That is something what German vegans have been doing for years and this method is also the one I am showing you today.

There are several methods to strain your yoghurt and over time I have tried a few. At first I used a coffee dripper and a  filter. I placed the dripper over a bowl and poured the yoghurt inside. Then I let it drain in the fridge over night. I never really liked that method because I didn’t have much influence on the straining and the yogurt was difficult to scrape out.

Then I used a cheesecloth but whenever I tried to squeeze that, huge blobs of yoghurt would squirt out. Then I read about nut bags. Umfortunately they are so insanely expensive that I never bothered buying them. (12 € for a scrap of polyester? Come on!) And I am glad about that now. I found a super cheap alternative and maybe you have access to that, too. (Or a nut bag.) At German drugstores you can buy laundry bags made from polyester. (I bought mine at a chain called dm.) They are very similar to a nut bag but cost only a fraction. And these are the bags I use for making quark.

Apricot Cheesecake: vegan no-bake recipe. No creamcheese, no nuts.

I usually pour the yoghurt into the bag and hook it up. (The laundry bag has a long, adjustable string.) It let it hang like that for three to four hours and drain the liquid that has collected at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

After that I place a kitchen towel at the bottom of the bowl and place the yoghurt filled laundry bag on top of the towel. Then I let the yoghurt rest in the fridge for a night. The next morning the yoghurt has usually lost half its weight and is thick and creamy.

Apricot Cheesecake: vegan no-bake recipe. No cream cheese, no nuts.

If you don’t have access to nut or laundry bags, you can still make quark. Pour your yoghurt into a double layered cheesecloth or a regular kitchen towel. Tie it up with a small piece of thread and hook it up. If you haven’t got any hooks, you can try to tie it around the tap on your kitchen sink. Sometimes that works. Or you leave out that step and start by placing the filled kitchen towel in your bowl. Over night it should be able to soak up a lot of liquid even if you didn’t drain the yoghurt before.

Now that you’ve done all that, you have your cheesecake base! And believe me, it’s worth all the work. The cake you are going to make with this quark is very creamy and light. It also doesn’t require baking, there are no expensive cashew or other nuts in it and it reqires only a few more ingredients. Of course I couldn’t do without the coconut oil. If you are sensitive to that, you can replace it with margarine. That will definitely work for the crust. The filling might need a tiny bit more agar though. (Start with 1/4 teaspoon.)

Apricot Cheesecake: vegan no-bake recipe. No cream cheese, no nuts.

Oh, one last thing: This time I didn’t use regular agar agar. We have a product called Agartine, that is meant to replace gelatine in baking. The difference to regular agar is that Agartine is thinned with maltodextrin. One package measures 10 grams, of which 20 % are agar. So if you want to replace the Agartine with regular powdered agar agar, use 1 teaspoon (2 g).

As I already said, this cheesecake has a very light and creamy texture.It tastes mild and fresh and is only lightly sweetened. That makes a great base for the caramelised apricots which go on top. The crust couldn’t be easier: A simple two incredient cookie crust that is stored in the fridge so it will hold together well. I think this recipe is a great alternative both for those who don’t have access to cream cheese (or don’t like it’s taste) and for those who have to avoid nuts (or cannot afford them in the quantitiy that is usually necessary for no-bake vegan cheesecakes). So this apricot cheesecake is easy to make, and except for the agar agar, it doesn’t require any fancy or expensive ingredients.

Apricot Cheesecake: vegan no-bake recipe. No cream cheese, no nuts.

Apricot Cheesecake (No Baking, No Nuts)

8 servings


1000 g plain soy yoghurt
200 g cookies (oatmeal or shortbread)
10 tablespoons melted, refined coconut oil, divided
200 ml quince juice plus 2-3 tablespoons, divided (substitute apple juice)
10 g (1 pkg) agartine or 2 g (1 tsp) regular powdered agar agar
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
400 g apricots, sliced
50 g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


A day before you plan to make your cheesecake, drain the yoghurt as explained above. Yield: 500 g of quark.

The next day, line a 21 cm springform pan with parchment paper (bottom and sides).

Place the cookies in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Alternatively place the cookies in a freezer bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies.

Mix with 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil.

Press into the prepared pan and place in the fridge.

Pour the quark into a large bowl and mix with remaining coconut oil and sugar.

Place 200 ml quince juice and agartine (or apple juice and agar agar) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Boil for two minutes and let cool for five minutes.

Mix with the quark mixture until everything is smooth.

Remove the pan from the fridge and pour the quark mixture over the cookie crust.

Refridgerate for 2 hours, then place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.

While it's in the fridge, prepare the caramelised apricots.

Place apricots and brown sugar in a small saucepan. (Can be the one you used before.)

Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar has melted, stirring constantly.

Mix remaining juice with cornstarch and stir well until there are no lumps left.

Pour over the apricots and cook for another two minutes, stirring.

Let cool.

Carefully remove the cake from its pan.

Place the apricots on top of the cake. Reserve some of the apricot caramel for serving.

Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

This cake's leftovers are best stored in the fridge, too.

Apricot Cheesecake: vegan no-bake recipe. No cream cheese, no nuts.





Breading and baking is not the same as breading and frying. Seriously, it’s not. So I won’t start this post with: “It’s like the real thing! You’ll fool everybody, even yourself!” Because you won’t. But this is not what my post and my recipe are about. This post is about how no matter if you fry or bake, breading something without eggs can be frustrating. It takes a lot of time to toss all these vegetable slices in liquid and bread crumbs. And then these ungrateful things fall apart the minute you look at them.

These are my invention. Mohnkringel don’t exist, I think. Well, okay. That is not true. Here is a wonderful recipe by the very talented Maikki, for example. But at least I can claim that in Germany Maikki’s version would be called kranz and not kringel.  Isn’t it fascination how words travel though time and space via food? I think kringel or kringle came to us via Scandinavia while all those poppy seeds hail from Eastern and Central Europe. I didn’t look this up, but I suppose there’s a lot of Jewish food history involved here, too. Whoever invented this or wherever it came from, I am thankful for another idea to fuel my poppy seed addiction. But before I write something about these mohnkringel, I want to thank you all too for welcoming me back into the blogging community. I’ve read all of your comments and every single one of them made my day. I am very grateful that you’ve kept me in your readers and that many of you even took the time to come here and leave a comment. You all are awesome.