Poppy Seed Gugelhupf


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Preparation info

  • Makes

    10 to 12

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

When I make this cake for guests, the aromatic flavor stumps them. Could it be cardamom, five-spice powder, or something even more exotic? They are surprised to learn the source is nothing more than fresh, ground poppy seeds.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup poppy seeds, ground
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Using a cylinder-shaped pastry brush, butter the inside of a 9- to 9½-inch Gugelhupf mold or fluted cake pan. Coat with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed, beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Return the speed to high and beat until the mixture is very pale and light in texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, then the lemon zest.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl, and stir in the poppy seeds. Mix the milk, rum, and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Stir in half of the flour, then half of the milk, then repeat. Spread evenly in the pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack to unmold and cool completely.

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