Mohnkuchen Recipe: The Cake That Calls on You

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

The search for a recipe for mohn kuchen that isn’t written in German is the first thing that tries to separate you from this amazing cake. Even on YouTube, there are more German videos recipe than English ones but I’ve gone through that ultimate task of finding the best mohnkuchen recipe and I’m more than willing to share it with you.

The first time I saw this cake, all I really wanted to do was to sink my teeth into it, it looked so good my taste buds couldn’t resist itself. Mohnkuchen called out to me but how do you eat a cake that’s a picture in your phone? Simple answer is, you make one.

Mohnkuchen is perfect as dessert and it is a good way to put to use those poppy seeds you were considering throwing out. All you need is a few more baking ingredients and enough zest to start baking. About zest, some persons use a little orange zest for extra flavour.

German Poppy Seed Cake

In German, the word mohn means poppy seeds in English and thus we can safely translate the word mohnkuchen to mean poppy seeds cake and that’s exactly what they are. The mohnkuchen recipe is definitely not a mohnkuchen recipe without poppy seeds, the recipe is built around poppy seeds and they do give the cake a rich flavour too. It’s not an optional ingredient.

This classic moist soft cake has two layers, the crust (of dough) and the poppy seed cake filling. However, there can be a third layer of topping and when it comes to poppy seeds cake toppings, there are a ton of options and each one of these options further adds to the intense richness of your mohnkuchen recipe.

The crust and filling layers can also be made in such a way to become just one layer. This is done by mixing your dough and your filling before baking. While this taste good too, I recommend the two layers but of course, you can try this out though it will never look as good as the two layered poppy seed cake. Winks.

How to Prepare Mohnkuchen

What were the odds of finding the best mohnkuchen recipe there is, specially one in English? Well, good news is you found it but before I share this recipe with you, I’ll love to share the list of ingredients first.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 150g of self-raising flour.
  • 40g of butter (unsalted butter or salted, if preferred).
  • 5g of baking powder, that’s about half a tablespoon.
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. You can opt for white sugar though and the quantity can be reduced to suit preference.
  • 2 egg yolk
  • Almond extract for flavour.
  • 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of milk or cream (optional)

Ingredients for the poppy seed filling:

  • 100g of poppy seeds. Use the food processor to ground the poppy seeds or you can use the mortar and pestle.
  • 3/4 cup of milk.
  • 1/3 cup of cream of wheat.
  • few drops of vanilla extract.
  • 2 tablespoons (or less) icing sugar.
  • 2 egg whites, beat the eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins, walnuts or currants (optional).
  • 2 apples, peel and grate the apples (optional).
  • Rum (very optional).

Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

The crust is to be made first, before the poppy seed filling. To make crust, follow the following steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to about 350F (or to 180°C).
  2. Mix the butter, brown sugar, plain yoghurt, and the milk (or cream) in a large bowl. Mix until the mixture is creamy and no longer grainy, that is till it’s smooth.
  3. Add the egg yolk and the almond extract to the butter mixture and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together.
  5. Pour the flour and baking powder mixture into the butter mixture in the large bowl and mix. Mix lightly first with a spatula, before using hands. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
  6. Knead the dough into a ball shape. To work effectively on the sticky dough, apply flour on hands and on the board where the dough is then transferred to.
  7. Allow the dough to sit for a few minutes whilst being wrapped before rolling it out.
  8. You can ditch step 7 and just go ahead to roll your dough. Rub flour on the rolling tool and roll your dough to a shape that fits your pan.

What type of pan to use and why: A springform pan or removable bottom pan is good for use since it releases your cake easily. A normal pan could work well too. I prefer a round pan of about 8 inches. This does not allow for too much spreading of the dough so the dough comes out thicker. If you want a thinner dough, you can use a pan of about 10 inches. And lastly, do not forget to butter your pan lightly.

  1. Transfer dough to the pan and trim off the excess if it doesn’t fit perfectly into the pan.

Tip: If this is too stressful and wasting for you, you can actually spread the dough while it is in the pan. Use a spoon dipped in flour (because the dough is sticky, remember?) to scoop the dough into the pan. Rub a little butter on the dough to reduce the stickiness if the surface and also coat the spatula that will be use for spreading in flour too for an easy spread.

  1. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While your dough gets ready, you can get busy making the filling. To make filling, follow the following steps:

  1. Pour milk into a pot and heat on low till it is hot.
  2. Add in the ground poppy seeds, icing sugar, vanilla extract, grated apple, raisins, cream of wheat and your rum, only a little quantity of rum.
  3. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or so, the mixture should be continuously stirred.
  4. Allow filling to cool before adding the egg whites lest they get cooked. Stir the egg whites with the mixture.
  5. Spread the cooled filling over the cooled dough and then spread the topping on the filling. Put in oven to bake, remove from oven when the cake is firmly set, this should take about 45 minutes or less.

Now that your cake is ready, invert your pan to release the cake on to a serving plate, allow to cool before serving. If you used a removable bottom pan, then remove the pan’s bottom from the sides. Quite easy but it sure takes time to make but the wait is definitely worth it.

For extra flavour, you can also introduce a bit of lemon juice in your filling.

Mohnkuchen Toppings to Try

The Mohnkuchen recipe provides enough room for toppings. There are a lot of toppings that go well with the poppy seed cake. These toppings are added after the filling goes on the crust. The toppings then go on the filling. The topping used do not only add an extra layer of goodness to this cake, it also goes ahead to add to it’s aesthetic value especially the struesel topping.

Popular toppings to try on your poppy seed cake include:

  1. Streusel topping. Just so you know, they will definitely take first place if only for the beauty they add to your cake. This topping is prepared from mixing flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Create small lumps and keep in refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Apply on your filling before baking, it yields a golden brown colour and adds flavour to your cake.
  2. Honey, water and almond extract mixture topping.
  3. Sour cream topping: This topping is prepared from sour cream, sweet cream, flour, sugar, vanilla or lemon extract, sugar and egg whites. This topping is baked with the cake too. The ingredients are mixed together except the egg whites which are whisked separately and then folded in to the mixed ingredients.
  4. Apricot jam topping: Spread a layer of apricot jam on the filling before baking.
  5. Apricot glaze topping: With this as topping, you don’t have to bake it with your cake. The topping is applied on your cake before eating.

Mohnkuchen is a recipe you’ll probably never get tired of. The softness of the cake and the dark blue hue of the poppy seeds cake filling and the deliciousness of the cake will ensure you keep wanting and baking more. You can eat the poppy seed cake with whipped cream or ice cream of your favourite flavour. Don’t just sit there, go do some baking.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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