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.
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?