Poppy Seed Cake With Lemon & Cheese (Classic German Recipe)

This Poppy Seed Cake recipe is a classic German dessert called "Mohn Quark" and it's absolutely mouth watering delicious.. An absolute perfect fit for any type of Holiday or Family Gatherings.
It has a creamy cheese texture with a hint of lemon zest that leaves you wanting more.


In addition, you get that nutty moist taste from the poppy seeds that makes it hearty and simply irresistible. The cake seems a little tedious to make but it's actually quite simple.. It has 3 layers. Below you will find the ingredients and preparation instructions for all 3 layers.

Poppy Seeds Cake Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients For The Base Of The Cake
  • Cake Flour (200g)
  • Fine Sugar (50g)
  • 1 Egg
  • Butter (100g)
  • Lemon Zest (1 Tbsp)
  • Salt (1 Tsp)

Ingredients For The Cheese Layer
  • Cottage Cheese (400g)
  • 1 Egg
  • Fine Sugar (75g)
  • Butter (50g)
  • Semolina (3 Tbsp)
  • Milk (4 Tbsp)
  • Lemon Juice (2ml)

Ingredients For The Poppy Seed Layer
  • Poppy Seeds (150g)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Sugar (20g)

Poppy Seed Cake Recipe (Instructions)

How To make the Base Of The Cake:

1. In a mixing bowl add the sugar and an egg and beat with an electric hand mixer until it becomes creamy...

2. Then add the lemon zest, cake flour, butter and salt and continue beating until it forms into a dough.
Note: You can watch this video on how to make the lemon zest. You will need a Box Grater.

3. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Now it's time to do the cheese layer.

wrapping the cake dough

How To Make The Cheese Layer:

1. Put the cottage cheese in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a microwave and add the butter with the cottage cheese, 1 egg and beat it with a stick blender

2. Then add the milk, fine sugar, lemon juice, semolina and continue mixing it with the stick blender until it forms a thick creamy cheese batter. Then let it settle in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Beating the cheese with a stick mixer

How To Make The Poppy Seed Layer:

1. Add the sugar and 2 eggs in a mixing bowl, mix it with a whisk then add the poppy seeds and keep on whisking until it forms clumps (See Pic). Put aside for later.

Poppy Seeds Mix

Assembling The Cake:

1. Take the cake dough out of the fridge and tear off 2 small pieces. The 2 small pieces of dough will be used to make the lattice for the cake in the final steps.

cake dough to make the lattice of the cake

2. Take the cake dough and place it between 2 parchment papers and roll it with a dough roller until it becomes about 10 inches in diameter. Then press it slowly into an 8 Inch cake pan to form the bottom crust of the cake.



3. Now pour all the cheese in the cake pan on top of the cake dough and flatten it with a spatula then layer it with the poppy seeds and do the same. Make sure the filling does not surpass the sides of the crust.

Layering the cake

4. When you are finished layering the cake with the cheese and poppy seeds, take the two small pieces of dough you put aside and flatten them with a roller between 2 parchment papers. Then cut them into strips to create the lattice on the cake. (See video below on how to lattice the cake)

making the lattice on the cake

6. Whew! Were finally almost done. Final step is smearing the cake.. Simply pour an egg yolk in a cup and add a tablespoon of milk, mix it and brush it on the strips of the cake..  

7.  Place the cake in the oven and bake for 55 minutes at 350 Degrees (F). Enjoy!

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