pletzel onion flatbread recipe poppy seeds jewish bakery
Photo credit Stephanie Ganz

10 Poppy Seed Recipes for Purim

This iconic Purim ingredient works for sweet and savory.

Poppy seed (aka mohn) hamantaschen are iconic, but there are many other Jewish treats – both sweet and savory – to satisfy your Purim poppy seed fix.

There are a couple of explanations for poppy seeds’ link to Purim: Some say that Queen Esther only ate poppy seeds during her three-day “fast” while she prayed to God to save the Jews from Haman’s murderous decree. Others say that Esther ate a vegetarian diet rich in nuts and seeds at the palace of Ahasuerus in order not to break kosher dietary laws. Either way, we’re happy for an excuse to indulge in this nostalgic flavor, and have rounded up 10 of The Nosher’s best poppy seed recipes for you to enjoy this Purim.


1. Sweet Poppy Seed Challah Rolls

Photo credit Micah Siva

These adorable mini challah rolls are a sweet take on the beloved Eastern European poppy seed roll. The filling mixes poppy seeds with coconut milk, honey, vanilla, almonds and a touch of sea salt for a flavorful treat.

2. Hungarian Poppy Seed and Chocolate Ganache Cake

poppy seed cake purim cake recipe chocolate jewish
Photo credit Vered Guttman

This rich Hungarian poppy seed cake doesn’t need the chocolate ganache topping — but it’s highly encouraged. Purim is the festival of excess, after all. And, PSA: Bookmark these poppy seed tips!

3. Poppy Seed and Apple Cake

Photo credit Vered Guttman

This comforting cake is easy to make and keeps in the fridge for up to five days, so you can keep the spirit of Purim alive for, basically, a week. 

4. Poppy Seed Roll Cookies 

poppy seed cookies jewish recipe purim Israel
Photo credit Vered Guttman

There’s a reason Israelis can’t get enough of simple rolled cookies, and this poppy seed version is one of our favorites, though you can fill them with chocolate, Nutella or date and walnuts, too. 

5. Old-Fashioned Poppy Seed Roll

poppy seed roll recipe jewish old fashioned purim cake
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

This baking project requires a little skill and a lot of patience, but the result is totally worth it. 

6. Lemon, Poppy Seed and Cream Cheese Sourdough Babka

lemon poppy seed babka recipe sourdough jewish
Photo credit Johnathan Meter

We know sourdough is a lifestyle, and this artisanal twist on a babka will scratch that baking itch.


7. Bialy Bourekas

bialy bourekas israeli pastry recipe poppy seeds
Photo credit Shannon Sarna

Old world bialys get a Middle Eastern makeover with these savory bourekas. They’re easy to make, thanks to store-bought puff pastry, and make the perfect Purim breakfast.

8. Hungarian Poppy Seed and Walnut Noodles

poppy seed noodle recipe Hungarian jewish
Photo credit Vered Guttman

This sophisticated pasta dish comes together in three simple steps for a quick dinner – on Purim or anytime. 

9. Pletzl 

pletzel onion flatbread recipe poppy seeds jewish bakery
Photo credit Stephanie Ganz

This onion and poppy seed-topped flatbread is an underrated Jewish gem. Enjoy with a schmear of cream cheese or chopped liver on top. 

10. Poppy-Seed-Filled Challah

purim challah recipe poppy seed challah crown challah jewish shabbat
Image courtesy of “The Community Table”

Honor Queen Esther with this festive crown-shaped challah stuffed with onion and poppy seeds, topped with more poppy seeds!

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