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poppy seed cake recipe

Poppy Seed Cake – Czech Makovec

This is a recipe for poppy seed cake with lemon icing. We call this cake makovec in the Czech Republic.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Czech
Keyword Czech mák, poppyseed recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Icing: 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 231kcal


Poppy seed batter:

  • 1 cup ground poppy seeds (130 g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
  • 1 egg
  • cup vegetable oil (80 ml)
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (215 g)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (13 g)
  • 1 ⅓ cups milk (320 ml)
  • butter and sifted breadcrumbs to grease and dust a sheet pan

Lemon icing:

  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar (180 g) sifted
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice (60 ml) freshly pressed


  • Before you start baking, grease and flour a sheet pan. Pre-heat oven to 340 °F (170 °C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, crack an egg, add vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Mix with a hand-held kitchen mixer for 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, poppy seeds, and baking powder. Add them to the beaten egg. Add milk and mix everything using a mixer on low speed until a semi-liquid batter is created.
  • Pour and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake center. The tooth stick needs to come out clean, or with a few crumbs stuck to the tooth stick, then the cake is finished.
  • Set the baked cake aside. Meantime, make a smooth lemon icing. To achieve this, mix sifted icing sugar with freshly pressed lemon juice. Drizzle the lemon icing over warm cake and spread it using a tablespoon.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Slice and serve as a dessert or a coffee cake.


  • Makes 16 pieces.
  • Use whichever 10x15 inch (25x37 cm) baking pan with higher rims. The cake will rise while baked because of the baking powder's content.
  • The lemon icing is loaded with lemon flavor. It's a fantastic topping for this Czech-style poppy seed cake. Without this lemon icing, the cake wouldn't be complete. For the best result, use freshly pressed lemon juice.
  • EXTRA TIP: For more juiciness, add a handful of raisins into poppy seed batter.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg