Photo credit Vered Guttman

Poppy Seed and Apple Cake Recipe

A traditional Eastern European cake perfect for teatime or celebrating Purim.

Poppy seed cakes are popular throughout Eastern Europe and Israel. The cake is even better to enjoy the next day after you make it, and is delicious with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.

Some important notes about this recipe: You need to grind the poppy seeds. You can do this with either an electric coffee grinder or with a blender, preferably a powerful one, such as Vitamix. Try to grind the poppy seed right before you are going to bake with them, as they becomes rancid pretty quickly, especially when ground. If you have to grind in advance, keep it in a sealed container in the freezer until you’re ready to use. Poppy seeds are available in bulk online, and at most Eastern European and Middle Eastern supermarkets. Alternately, you can buy a few jars of poppy seeds from the spice rack at any chain supermarket.

Storage note: Keep the cake covered in the fridge up to five days.

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Poppy Seed and Apple Cake Recipe

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 810 1x


Units Scale
  • cooking spray
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 12 Tbsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz finely ground poppy seeds
  • 6 oz apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 medium-sized apples, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two loaf pans (8½” x 4½” x 2½”) with parchment paper and spray with oil. Set aside.
  2. Put eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk and start whipping on medium speed. With mixer running, slowly add sugar in a steady stream, increase speed to medium-high and whip eggs for 6 minutes until they become thick, pale yellow and quadruple in volume.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to medium and pour butter in. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture, ground poppy seed, apple sauce, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Lastly, fold in diced apple.
  5. Divide batter between two loaf pans, shaking them a little to straighten the top.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a tester in the center of the cake comes out with crumbs.
  7. Transfer cake to a cooling rack and cool completely. 


Keep the cake covered in the fridge up to five days.

  • Author: Vered Guttman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Holiday

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