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German Poppy Seed Cake
Perfect for a crowd

German Poppy Seed Cake

German Poppy Seed Cake is a tasty dessert that's fancy enough for celebrations and holidays. This old-fashioned German Mohnkuchen will win you over.

German Poppy Seed Cake
This German Poppy Seed Cake is a fantastic dessert perfect for celebrations and holidays. In Germany, they call this cake Mohnkuchen, and it’s often served as a pie, or cake, in a round shape. However, we find the poppyseed filling very satisfying, and we prefer making it in a sheet pan to cut it into smaller sizes. It feeds the crowd and is easy to transport, so it’s perfect for holidays and visits.

Tasty German Poppy Seed Cake Slices

These are the top reasons why we like these Poppy Seed Slices:

  • make this recipe in a sheet pan and cut it into small or big slices
  • this recipe is made with homemade shortcrust pastry and a delicious poppyseed filling
  • perfect dessert for any day of the year
  • fancy enough for celebrations, birthdays, and holidays

German Poppy Seed Cake

German Poppy Seed Cake

Essential ingredients

The preparation of this recipe is divided into two parts. First, make the dough, then make the poppyseed filling. Below you will find all the ingredients and step-by-step recipe. Here we share a few more words about the essential ingredients.

Dough - make homemade shortcrust dough. It's important to leave it to rest in the fridge until needed.

Poppy seed - use ground poppy seeds.

Rum - is optional, and you can leave it out.

Semolina - makes the filling moist and soft.

Whipping Cream - we use two different creams in this recipe. Feel free to use sour Cream and whipping Cream. It will make the filling creamier and tastier.

Graham cracker crumbs - we love using cookies for our pie base. In this recipe, we used Plazma cookies. If you can't find them in your country, feel free to use graham cracker crumbs or other ground cookies.

Storing and freezing

Feel free to store this German Poppy Seed Cake in two ways.

First, leave the slices to cool to room temperature. We recommend leaving them in the fridge overnight.

Keep them chilled in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

We can easily freeze the German Poppy Seed Cake too. Freeze the whole dessert or separate slices. Keep the slices in an airtight container or freezer bag. Place in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before serving, defrost it by bringing it to room temperature. 

German Poppy Seed Cake

German Poppy Seed Cake - Plazma

How to make German Poppy Seed Cake at home (video)

Check this quick video to master making German Poppy Seed Cake at home.

Next time try these sheet pan desserts

Thanks to Plazma for their amazing ground cookies and for sponsoring this recipe.

Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • rest:
  • cooking:
  • total time:
    hour 50 minutes


  • make the dough

    Add flour, sugar, baking powder, butter (cut into cubes), and eggs to a bowl. Knead the butter into the flour mixture until no lumps or chunks of butter are left. Place in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes.

  • make the poppyseed filling

    Add milk, sugar and butter (cut into cubes) to a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the ground poppy seeds and stir into the mixture. Add the semolina and cook over low heat for 3 - 4 minutes while stirring regularly. Set aside and stir in the whipping cream, rum, lemon zest, and sour cream. Stir to combine, set aside and bring to room temperature.

  • poppyseed filling

    Stir the Graham cracker crumbs into the room-temperature poppyseed filling. When combined, add the eggs and stir to combine.

  • dough

    Grease a 20 cm x 25 cm (8-inch x 10-inch) cake pan with butter. Sprinkle your working surface with flour. Add two-thirds of the dough on top. Store the rest of the dough in the fridge. Roll the dough into a 20 cm x 25 cm (8-inch x 10-inch) rectangle. Transfer to the prepared cake pan with a rolling pin. Spread the poppyseed filling evenly on top. Grate the rest of the chilled dough on top of the filling. Sprinkle with Graham cracker crumbs.

  • German Poppy Seed Cake

    Place the German Poppy Seed Cake into a preheated oven. Bake for one hour at 180 °C / 350 °F. When the cake is baked, transfer it to a wire rack to cool, then cut it into slices and serve.


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