This poppy seed marble cake is not your average marble cake. And it’s not your average poppy seed cake. A combination of ground poppy seeds and marzipan mixed with kirsch (kirschwasser) makes this cake extra moist and delicious.
In my opinion, when it comes to poppy seeds, the more the better. And thousands of German and Eastern European recipes do prove me right. (Frgál or Makowiec anyone?) There are rolls that have a poppy seed filling instead of cinnamon sugar, there is poppy seed streusel cake, striezel and even poppy seed cheesecake. (If you search my blog you will also find al lot of recipes centered around poppy seeds.) Seriously, why would you content yourself with three measly tablespoons of poppy seeds if you can have so much more?
Like my last recipe this Poppy Seed Marble Cake is an old recipe of mine. It used to be on the blog and I am bringing it back because someone asked for it. Honestly, it blows my mind every time when I get asked for recipes that are ten or twelve years old. Everybody always thinks that the Internet is fast-moving and that you have to put out new stuff all the time. But apparently that isn’t always the case.
I am glad I got asked for the recipe because this marble poppy seed cake is lovely! It is really delicious and has a wonderful texture. Both the marzipan and the ground poppy seeds keep it extra moist. The kirschwasser adds a lot of great aroma. Which means this cake is good or maybe even better on it’s second, third, forth or fifth day. If it survives that long…
I made my original version of this poppy seed marble cake in a regular loaf pan. This time I decided to use a smaller one. You can use one that is longer. Standard German ones are 30 cm long. Keep in mind that, if you use a longer pan, your cake will be not as tall and the baking time might have to be adjusted.
I also increased the kirschwasser by a tablespoon. (Kirschwasser is a clear brandy that is double-distilled from the fermented cherry mash, kirsch means cherry and wasser means water. In English it is often shortened to kirsch.) I love these kinds of fruit brandies. If you don’t have kirschwasser around, you could use other fruit spirits. I would probably not skip this ingredients but if you want to, you can mix the marzipan with three tablespoons of soy milk. But please keep in mind that the cake flavour will be a bit more mellow.
Since poppy seeds often really are a main ingredient in poppy seed baked goods, there are several ways to prepare and incorporate them. In German supermarkets, you can buy regular poppy seeds, but you also can get them steamed, ground and prepared as Mohnback or Mohnfix, which is ground poppy seeds mixed with sugar, starch and some other ingredients. If poppy seeds are used as a cake filling they are often mixed with other ingredients like sugar, flour, eggs, etc, so that the mass keeps its moisture and texture. (I made such a poppy seed cake filling for my mohnstriezel recipe.) For this cake, it’s not necessary to prepare a special cake filling as the poppy seeds later are mixed with half of the cake batter.
For this cake you have to grind the poppy seeds. This is an important step. Grinding the seeds releases their nutty, earthy flavour and also makes them easier to work with. They turn into a finely ground, aromatic sticky mass. In Germany you can already ground poppy seeds in the baking isle of the supermarket, but they spoil fast once you’ve opened the package, so I prefer to grind them myself. I use a small coffee grinder for this purpose. I suppose you could use a highspeed blender, too.
I do not recommend to use whole unground poppy seeds for this poppy seed marble cake. It just won’t give you the right texture.
Super Moist Poppy Seed Marble Cake
- Loaf pan, approx. 18×7 cm, larger pan can be used
- 120 g plain soy yoghurt, room temperature
- 180 ml canola oil
- 200 g sugar
- 240 ml soy milk
- ½ tsp ground vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 g marzipan, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp kirschwasser
- 100 g ground poppy seeds
- 150 g powdered sugar
- 3½ tbsp lemon juice
- Line a loaf pan (18×7 cm) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In a small bowl, combine chopped marzipan and kirschwasser.
- Mash with a fork until the kirsch is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine yoghurt, oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Divide dough and add poppy seeds to one half, marzipan mixture to the other half.
- Pour half of the marzipan batter into the cake pan, top with half of the poppy seed batter and repeat.
- Use a long toothpick or a fork to draw a marbled pattern into the dough.
- Bake for 75 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the top of the cake gets to dark, place a piece of aluminum foil in top. This keeps the cake from browning more.
- Remove from pan and let cool completely.
- Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and pour the glaze on top of the cake.
- Serve once the glaze has dried.
- To keep it fresh, store leftover cake in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag.