FoodA tried-and-tested 150-year-old recipe for the best poppy seed cake with custard filling

A tried-and-tested 150‑year-old recipe for the best poppy seed cake with custard filling

Poppy Seed Roll with Pudding - Delicacy
Poppy Seed Roll with Pudding - Delicacy
Images source: © Canva | ma-k

11:52 AM EST, December 12, 2023

Forgoing the traditional rolled poppy seed cake, I introduce you to a delicious and effortless poppy seed cake layered with custard filling. Not only is this cake simple to make, but its taste and appeal also never fail to impress. This enduring recipe is 150 years old and continues to excite our taste buds.

Poppy seed cake, strudel, and other bakes incorporating poppy seeds are a staple dessert on the Christmas table. Poppy seeds symbolize abundance; according to tradition, consuming them on Christmas Eve brings happiness and prosperity for the year to come. Not only are desserts made from these seeds believed to be lucky, but they are also delectably tasty. Why not try making this poppy seed cake differently, swapping intricate rolling for an equally delicious, more straightforward method?

An Easy Poppy Seed Cake with Custard Filling

Compared to traditional rolled poppy seed cake, this recipe alleviates the need for kneading yeast dough and waiting for it to rise. Simply mix the ingredients, bake, and prepare the custard filling. The butter contributes to its creamy texture, while the chocolate enhances the flavor and gives it an aesthetically pleasing look. This recipe is perfect for your holiday dessert table.


  • About 6 ounces of wheat flour,
  • About 5 ounces of ground poppy seeds,
  • 0.6 ounces of baking powder,
  • 15 ounces of butter,
  • 8 ounces of sugar,
  • 2.6 ounces of vanilla custard powder,
  • 4 eggs,
  • 2 cups of milk,
  • 10.6 ounces of sour cream,
  • 2 tablespoons of oil,
  • 5 ounces each of dark chocolate and milk chocolate.


Poppy seed roll with pudding
Poppy seed roll with pudding© Youtube | Henia Foks
  1. In a small pot, gently heat a splash of the milk, then stir in the custard powder until fully dissolved.
  2. Bring the remaining milk and sugar to the boil. As it starts to bubble, stir in the custard mixture vigorously until it thickens.
  3. Transfer the prepared custard to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to avoid skin formation.
  4. While that cools, prepare the base for the poppy seed cake. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually incorporate each egg, mixing continuously.
  5. Stir 5 ounces of cream into the butter mixture.
  6. Add flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds to the mixture, combining well.
  7. Spoon the dough onto a 10 x 14-inch baking tray, pre-lined with parchment.
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  9. While the base bakes, prepare the custard cream. Whisk approximately 7 ounces of butter until it's light and fluffy.
  10. Fold the cooled custard into the butter mixture, stirring continuously.
  11. Stir in the remaining cream.
  12. Smooth the custard cream evenly over the cooled cake base.
  13. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and pour it over the custard layer.
  14. Refrigerate the poppy seed cake with custard for a few hours before serving.
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